London Lectures

Japanese Philosophers on Plato's Ideas

Noburu Notomi (University of Tokyo) argues that the reaction of four Japanese philosophers to Plato’s Ideas can shed light on how to read Plato today.

Plato has been one of the most important philosophers in the West and is now read all over the world. He has undergone a lot of research in academia, but I suspect that we modern readers have missed some essential factors in analyzing Plato’s texts and thoughts. In order to correctly understand his central theory of Ideas (transcendent forms) and reconsider the potential of Plato’s philosophy in the modern world, I would like to discuss four Japanese philosophers of the twentieth century: SAKABE Megumi, IZUTSU Toshihiko, INO-UE Tadashi, and TANAKA Michitaro. Through their reaction to Plato’s Ideas, I hope that our Japanese background can shed light on how to read Plato today.

Part of the 2021-2 London lecture series: Expanding Horizons.