The journal Shisō no kagaku (Science of Thought) and the Institute for the Science of Thought have received relatively little attention in the English-language literature on Japanese intellectual life after the Second World War. Among scholars writing in English, Shisō no kagaku and the Institute for the Science of Thought have been treated as largely incidental to examinations of the high-profile engagement in civil society activism of its young leader Tsurumi Shunsuke in the 1960s and beyond. This essay traces the group's ethos to its foundational principles and first two projects: the introduction to Japan of new trends in foreign thought, and the articulation of a new approach to philosophy based on the everyday thought of the ordinary person (common man's philosophy). A focus on these projects reveals the influence of one of the two women cofounders, Tsurumi Kazuko, and contributes in a small way to rectifying the absence of women's voices in the literature on postwar Japanese intellectual life.
Vanessa B. Ward; Rethinking Intellectual Life in Early Postwar Japan: Shisō no kagaku and Common Man's Philosophy. positions 1 August 2017; 25 (3): 439–468. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10679847-4149336
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