Essential Philosophy for Global Leaders to begin on October 1, 2019

 Class List of Fall Semester 2019

“Essential Philosophy for Global Leaders” will begin on October 1. This class is designed as one of the Doctoral Program Liberal Arts for “Minor Course of Science and Technology for Global Leaders”. The class is open to all master’s & doctoral students who want to be active in the international community no matter which major/minor course they belong to. The lecture will be conducted in English.

Theme & Objective

Key themes:
– Historical and contemporary relevance of philosophy
– Integrating philosophy in other fields
– Philosopher’s public role
– To recognize philosophy as scientifically meaningful and socially useful
– To counterbalance the old and new in our understanding of philosophy
– To reflect on the general and technical roles of philosophy
– To integrate philosophy in your discipline
– To educe personal philosophy and leadership

Message to Students

posterWelcome to Essential PHILOSOPHY!
This course is designed to equip students with skills that are essential to intellectual thought. Non-philosophic audiences, from fishermen to astrophysicists, struggle with cruxes that philosophers in a particular canonical field work on. Philosophic insights are inseparable from human existence and its applications are numerous, whether in design, programming, communications, toxicology, policy etc.
Classes will consist of short and clear lectures combined with discussions and lively debates.
This course will be conducted in the simplest possible English.

Lecture Outline

Essential Philosophy for Global Leaders [19S1013]
Number of Credits
RAVENOR-YAMAMOTO, Roxanna (Project Lecturer of Ochanomizu University)
Target Audience
Graduate Students
Undergraduate students can also attend.
Graduate School of Humanities & Sciences Building R408
Date & Time
Tuesday, Period 7-8 (15:00-16:30)
Year 2019
  October 1, 8, 15, 29
  November 5, 12, 19, 26
  December 3, 10, 17, 24
Year 2020
  January 7, 14, 21
Lecture Plan
  • Each lecture will begin with a brief introduction on the scheduled topic, followed by discussions in relation to the topic.
  • Course 1. A primer to Essential Philosophy (Ph.)
    – Introduction to the course
    – (Discussion) Students’ expectations of the course
  • Course 2. The object of Ph.
    – Identifying the knowledge that can be attained through Ph. alone
    – (Discussion) Is Ph. a science or an art?
  • Course 3. The essential function of Ph.
    – Exploring the need for inquiry
    – (Discussion) Why should we study or practice Ph.?
  • Course 4. Outlook on the world
    – Analysing various perceptions and knwoledge base in which they are grounded
    – (Discussion) Does the world need to change or not?
  • Course 5. Common beliefs
    – Questioning common beliefs and their foundations
    – (Discussion) Why do people believe they will one day disappear from the world?
  • Course 6. Common practices
    – Questioning common practices and their motives
    – (Discussion) Why are 2.41 billion people active on Facebook?
  • Course 7. Critical thinking
    – Focusing on the conscious activity of the mind
    – (Discussion) When is it right to squander time?
  • Course 8. Abstract thinking
    – Reflecting on the metaphysics of time
    – (Discussion) Is there time?
  • Course 9. Reality and Virtual Reality
    – Natural vs. synthetic environment
    – (Discussion) What are your plural identities?
  • Course 10. The science of questions
    – Emphasising on the importance and difficulty of posing good questions
    – (Discussion) Can people live happily together?
  • Course 11. Ultimate meaning of our actions
    – Understanding our motives
    – (Discussion) What is the motive for studying?
  • Course 12. Ultimate justification of our actions
    – Asserting the value of our actions
    – (Discussion) What is the anticipated good which justifies the efforts invested in studying?
  • Course 13. The Socratic seminar
    – Students take turns and lead the debate based on a text from Jonathon Free’s book “Making Philosophy Obsolete: Popular Science’s Battle for the Public Mind”
    – (Discussions) Can we do away with philosophy?
  • Course 14 and 15: Final Presentations and Q&A
    – Oral presentations of your own philosophic work (written or not)
Out-of-class Learning
Apart from the time students will invest in their final presentation, this course requires no learning time outside the classroom. Students are encouraged to dedicate as little/much time outside the class as they deem necessary to fulfil their personal philosophy-related aims.
Recommended readings:
Plato. (any edition). The Republic
Schopenhauer, A. 1966. The World as Will and Representation


Registration Period: Tue., October 1 through Mon., October 14
If you cannot register during above period, please contact Academic Affairs Office in Student Affairs Building.
*For undergraduate students, please contact Leading Graduate School Promotion Center.


Ochanomizu University Leading Graduate School Promotion Center
Tel: 03-5978-5775