Kyoto University International Symposium

“Does Nature think ?” - French-Japanese Interdisciplinary Dialogue on the ‘Intelligences of Nature’ -

  • Date: Thursday, June 6 – Saturday, June 8, 2019.
  • Venue: Room IX, UNESCO (June 6-7), Maison de la Culture du Japon à Paris (June 8)
  • Organized by: Kyoto University and École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
  • Sponsored by: Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (Kyoto), Expo ’90 Foundation (Osaka),
            Maison de la Culture du Japon à Paris (for June 8)
  • External Link: International Association of Japanese Philosophy (Program)

Overview

 Globally, the human environment is no longer in a state about which we can be optimistic. It is necessary, therefore, that human beings fundamentally reconsider their relationship with nature.
 Augustin Berque, French specialist of ‘Studies of human milieux’ suggested the strange question “Does Nature think?” as the theme of this international conference. The aim of the conference is to re-examine the view of nature whereby the human being is in a dominant position. We will bring together around 25-30 researchers from different fields (anthropology, studies of human milieux, philosophy, Buddhism, human environmental Studies, primatology, science of agriculture, oceanography, law, history of Western art, etc. ), as well as practitioners (photographers, oyster farmers, etc.) who directly face, and work within, nature. Together, we will discuss, in an inter-cultural and interdisciplinary manner, a series of questions on human beings, nature, living things, plants and their relationships, life, and the environment.

(1) The present conference will be composed of the following three sub-themes:
June 6: “Milieu (Fūdo) and Environment” 「風土と環境」
June 7: “Representations of Nature, and Spokesperson for Nature” 「自然を表象する、語る」
June 8: “Sensitive Intelligence of the Living” 「生物の感性的知」

(2) Keynote Addresses:
June 6: Augustin Berque (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales(EHESS) / Studies of Human Milieux)
June 7: John C. Maraldo (University of North Florida, USA / Japanese Philosophy, Physics)
June 8: Juichi Yamagiwa (President, Kyoto University / Primatology)

Program

June 6 (Thursday) “Milieu (Fūdo) and Environment”

Time Title Chair/Speaker
9:30 – 9:40 Opening address Frédéric Joulian (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, (EHESS))
9:40 – 10:40 Keynote address
“Does nature think evolution ?” (La nature pense-t-elle l’évolution ?)
Chair: Frédéric Joulian (EHESS)
Speaker: Augustin Berque (EHESS)
10:40 – 10:50 Break
10:50 – 11:30 “A Thought for nature?” (Une pensée pour la nature?) Yoann Moreau (Mines ParisTech, Crisis and Risk Research Center)
11:30 – 12:10 “How Does Nature Think? – Beyond A Dichotomy Towards A New Synthesis” (Masatoshi Murase),
“Natural Procedure for Art-Technology Collaboration” (Naohide Tomita)
Masatoshi Murase (Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics, Research Unit of Advanced Future Studies, Kyoto University)
Naohide Tomita (Graduate School of Engineering, Research Unit of Advanced Future Studies, Kyoto University)
12:10 – 13:40 Lunch
13:40 – 14:10 “Yes, Plants Think: Some Evolutionary thoughts about the diversity and recognition” Masayoshi Shigeta (The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University)
14:10 – 14:50 “The Dialectic of Human Technology and Naturalness” Masahiro Morioka (Waseda University)
14:50 – 15:00 Break
15:00 – 15:40 “Farmers’ seeds, microbial communities…. From the critique of agricultural modernization to the introduction of new biological ontologies in agriculture.”
(Semences paysannes, communautés microbiennes… De la critique de la modernisation agricole à l’instauration de nouvelles ontologies biologiques en agriculture.)
Élise Demeulenaere (CNRS)
15:40 – 16:20 “Rights to the things of nature. The case of predial easements.”
(Des droits reconnus aux choses de la nature. Le cas des servitudes prédiales.)
Sarah Vanuxem (Université Nice Sophia Antipolis)
16:20 – 17:00 “What was the ontology of the nature of the pre-modern West ? Contemporary historical anthropology perspective.”
(Quelle était l’ontologie de la nature de l’Occident pré-moderne ? Regard de l’anthropologie historique contemporaine.)
Pierre-Olivier Dittmar (EHESS)
17:00 – 18:00 Commentaires et discussion générale avec Daniel Niles (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature), les intervenants et le public.

June 7 (Friday) “Representations of Nature, and Spokesperson for Nature”

Time Title Speaker
9:30 – 9:40 Opening address Tetsuzō Yasunari (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature)
Kenichi Abe (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature)
9:40 – 10:40 Keynote address
“Is nature outside us or within us ? Some philosophical reflections.”
Chair: Mayuko Uehara (Kyoto University)
Speaker: John C. Maraldo (University of North Florida, USA)
10:40 – 10:50 Break
10:50 – 11:30 “The Idea of the “Knowledge of Nature” as Detectable within Modern Japanese Philosophy” Mayuko Uehara (Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University)
11:30 – 12:10 “自然は人が関わることによって豊かになる” Kenichi Abe (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature)
12:10 – 13:40 Lunch
13:40 – 14:20 “Conservation of the Bush of Ghosts: Dual Nature in West African Anthropogenic Landscape” Gen Yamakoshi (Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University)
14:20 – 15:00 “The life of land” Nahoko Shimada (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature)
15:00 – 15:10 Break
15:10 – 15:40 “Nature and Meditation: Landscape Painting in Early Modern Europe” Kayo Hirakawa (Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University)
15:40 – 16:20 “Dogen’s View of Nature” Mitsuko Yorizumi (The University of Tokyo)
16:20 – 17:00 “How to represent the landscape of Japan after the disaster of March 11, 2011 ?”
(Comment représenter le paysage du Japon après le désastre du 11 mars 2011 ?)
Tadashi Ono (Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie Arles)
17:00 – 18:00 Commentaires et discussion générale avec Tetsuzō Yasunari (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature), les intervenants et le public.

June 8 (Saturday) “Sensitive Intelligence of the Living”

Time Title Speaker
13:30 – 13:35 Opening address Juichi Yamagiwa (President, Kyoto University)
13:35 – 14:35 Keynote address
“Japanese Concepts on the World Living Things”
Chair: Yoann Moreau (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature / Mines ParisTech) 
Speakser: Juichi Yamagiwa (President, Kyoto University)
14:35 – 14:45 Break
14:45 – 15:25 “How is intelligence distributed among beings ?” (Intelligence avec l’ennemi ? Uu comment redistribuer l’intelligence entre les vivants ?) Frédéric Joulian (EHESS)
15:25 – 16:05 “An art of wayfinding, a traditional navigation method by interpreting elements of nature.” Kanako Uchino (Polynesian Voyaging Society)
16:05 – 16:45 “The Tree, or the sensitive life” (L’Arbre ou la vie sensible) Jacques Tassin (CIRAD, the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development)
16:45 – 16:55 Break
16:55 – 17:35 “Taking Nature into account and finding principles of measure. Ritual interactions with the non-humans in the Amerindian world.”
(Compter avec la nature, trouver le sens de la mesure. Interactions rituelles avec les nonhumains dans le monde amérindien.)
Périg Pitrou (CNRS)
17:35 – 18:20 Commentaires et discussion générale avec Sander Van der Leeuw (Arizona State University), les intervenants et le public.