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Between falling in love and marriage: working out “self” and “ownership”
Institute for Social Ethics Colloquium #5, 2013

June 5, 2013

[ Date/time ] Saturday June 22, 2013, from 2:00 p.m.
[ Venue ] Room R32, 3F, Building R, Nagoya Campus, Nanzan University
[ Shared theme ] Between falling in love and marriage: working out “self” and “ownership”
[ Main summary ] In the common modern form of marriage that grows out of love, it is sometimes said that the ideal state is to be “eternal lovers.”
On the other hand, the rise of the “konkatsu” trend reveals the existence of people trying to find stability through relationship of shared quality, and not a love relationship with its many undefined elements.
This reversal can be stated as: “Marriage not based on love; but love comes after the marriage.”
In this way love and marriage are both multilayered and discretely nuanced.
People can perhaps thus be seen at the same time to be searching for a new means for sharing their lives with others.
We have invited Makiko Miyano and Hisashi Fujita to approach these issues from the perspective of love and marriage respectively in order to discover frameworks for considering other forms of interrelationship that exist between love and marriage by clarifying the shared themes found at the heart of these matters.
Session 1 [ Topic ] The desire for “self” viewed from the modern Japanese perspective of love
[ speaker ] Makiko Miyano (Associate Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Fukuoka University)
[ Description ] While discussing the philosophy of the forms of love relationship, this talk will shed light on the background intellectual history of love when this conversation is placed in the context of modern Japan.
To provide this context we turn to Shuzo Kuki’s well known “Iki no Kozo” (The Structure of Iki).
In the “iki” or “chic” lifestyle, Shuzo attempts to depict the living impression of the “other” found in the moment created by the irregularity in love while showing that revealing the frailty of that moment informs the problematic nature of love.
As pertains to our discussion, we can contrast and analyze that dual nature of love explained by “iki” with daily ethics based on the relational terms outlined by Tetsuro Watsuji.
Let us discuss the problem of the desire for personal reality through love that was the stumbling block for the intellectuals of modern Japan, as a period that exposed the dangers in love.
Session 2 [ Topic ] Deconstructing ownership and vows: from the perspective of modern French philosophy
[ speaker ] Hisashi Fujita (Instructor, Faculty of International Studies of Culture, Kyushu Sangyo University)
[ Description ] Marriage as a relationship between two persons will be examined from the two perspectives of ownership and vows.
For example, Kant posited that if marriage is a contractual sexual relationship, then seeking marriage is seeking ownership of the partner.
The intention is to eliminate the existence of other men or women and seek the continuity of the relationship.
These leaves the question of what it means to desire ownership of another person.
By referring to the works of such philosophers as Kant and Hagel we reexamine the ideas of ownership and reflect on this issue by reconsidering characteristics of desire held by persons living as individuals.
Having clarified the relationship between an individual and their desire, we can search for the profound truths represented by vows in marriage by asking ourselves again what it is to live our lives with others.
[ Inquiries ]

Nanzan University Institute for Social Ethics
18 Yamazato-cho, Showa-ku, Nagoya City 466-8673
Phone: 052-832-3111       FAX: 052-832-3703     E-mail: ise-office@ic.nanzan-u.ac.jp