Accepted Paper:

An alternative study on emotion and humanity in terms of ethics and philosophy  


Kazuhiko Yamamoto (Kyushu University)

Paper short abstract:

Ancient religious and philosophical discourses which eliminate emotional aspect of humanity were inherited by the western philosophy of Descartes, Kant and Hegel. Our alternative study on humanity which values sensuous and emotional aspects will lead to the clue for solving the mental health issue.

Paper long abstract:

The ethical structure of the Albanian customary code, the Kanun, represents the ethical value system of a society without state power, being supposed to be the first ethical value system that humans have ever had. In spite of the appearance of civilizations and the resultant advent of an incipient state power, humans had known only this ethical value system until the fifth century B.C. when Gotama appeared on the Indian continent. In the fifth and fourth centuries B.C., Socrates and Plato forged the philosophy of dialectic in the form of the Idea of Good. In the fourth century B.C., Aristotle conversed about the political institution of the polis, following Plato's discourse. In the first century A.D., Jesus in Galilee preached "Love your enemies." The basic trait of these religious and philosophical discourses which try to eliminate the emotional aspect of humanity, have been inherited by western philosophy of Descartes, Kant and Hegel, in which it has been the general rule that only reason and the rational elements of humanity are valued. Here, a question may be raised regarding the mental health of humans, who are apparently admonished to incessantly lessen the emotional aspect of humanity while honing the rational aspect in their everyday way of thinking and behavior. The sensuous and emotional aspects constitute a pretty good portion of humanity. The alternative study on emotion and humanity in terms of ethics and philosophy might enable us to find the breakthrough for the impasse of mental health issue in post-modern society.

Panel P033
Medical anthropology into the future: aspirations and challenges (Commission on Medical Anthropology and Epidemiology)