Tokyo Forum 2022 discusses dialogue between philosophy and science

December 12, 2022

More than 30 speakers took part in Tokyo Forum 2022 on December 1 and 2, 2022, to discuss how human life can be made better in this time of conflict, global health challenges and a changing climate.
With the main theme of “Dialogue between Philosophy and Science: In a World Facing War, Pandemic and Climate Change,” the symposium was attended by an audience at the University of Tokyo’s Yasuda Auditorium as well as online viewers from 36 countries. The past two symposiums were held solely online.
In his opening address, UTokyo President FUJII Teruo stressed that dialogue between philosophy and science is crucial as we tackle problems arising from the remarkable progress of science and technology in the modern era.
“Philosophy in the 21st century needs to build a new universality based on regionality and diversity that extends throughout the world,” Fujii said. “This universality must challenge the uncritical anthropocentrism of conventional history and be open to coexistence with things than human beings, including ecosystems and nature.
“Science in the 21st century also needs to break away from un-self-critical scientific supremacy and strive to recognize its own limitations. This will require reconsidering the meaning of ‘ethics’ for science.”
Chey Tae-Won, Chairman of South Korea’s SK Group, echoed the sense of alarm about problems humanity faces. “Today, we find ourselves in long, dark tunnel, with no end in sight,” he said. Chey underscored the importance of being open-minded and learning how to embrace differences, while finding practical solutions with greater flexibility and diversity and thinking outside the box.
During their separate keynote addresses, former U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, HASEGAWA Mariko, President of the Graduate University for Advanced Studies, and University of Chicago President Paul Alivisatos discussed the role of philosophy in the age of rapid progress in science and technology.
During the High Level Talk Session, philosophers, a physicist and a science historian expressed their respective stances on the theme of “Dialogue between Philosophy and Science: Towards a New Enlightenment.” They touched on such concepts as universality, regionality, diversity and ethicality—essential elements in addressing a new enlightenment, which is required of a philosophy in the 21st century.
Tokyo Forum 2022 was the fourth annual symposium held under the theme of “Shaping the Future.” It was cosponsored by UTokyo and South Korea’s Chey Institute for Advanced Studies to stimulate discussion on the best ways to shape the world and humanity.

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