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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Philosophy Seminar 7 (German Philosophy/Contemporary Philosophy)

Reading Kant’s the Critique of Pure Reason

Yuka Matsuo
4th-year student at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences

When we see a normal everyday object such as a desk, we recognize that “this is a desk.” Have you ever considered what takes place within our consciousness when making this recognition?

In the Philosophy Seminar 7, students read the Critique of Pure Reason, the main work of the contemporary Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant. Particular emphasis is placed on the Transcendental Dialectic and students discuss the topic of “recognition” as introduced at the start of this article. The course is taught by the knowledgeable and kind Professor Yoshiyuki Mikoshiba, who conducts research in the philosophy of Kant. Seminar classes use a format in which students give a presentation on preselected sections of Kant’s work. Presentations are followed by a Q&A session. When students have trouble proceeding in their discussion, Professor Mikoshiba helps get the debate back on track by explaining through easy-to-understand and familiar examples. His assistance is invaluable to student discussion.

One feature of this seminar is that many students choose to repeat the course. In fact, I am a repeater myself. This is possible due to a system allowing students to repeatedly enroll courses which they find interesting in the philosophy course. I think there are many 4th-year students who, like myself, have repeatedly enrolled in the course since their 2nd year and are now taking the course for the third time. The sections of Kant’s work which are read change slightly every year, allowing for new discoveries to be made even by repeating students. This creates the desire for more in-depth knowledge.

Every week, I find myself looking forward to time spent immersed in detailed analysis of Kant’s philosophy together with my motivated classmates.

Presentation given in the classroom

Professor Mikoshiba teaches with passion.