Studying Philosophy in Kyoto

Philosophy has a history of more than two millennia since ancient Greek, making it simply the oldest of mankind’s scholarly pursuits. Today it is not clear, however, how we can pursue and develop this long-standing discipline in the entirely new circumstances of the 21st century.

But we have a clue in the tradition of our department. This department was the home of a distinctive philosophical movement in the 20th century Japan; Kyoto school. The founders of the school, Kitaro Nishida and Hajime Tanabe, served for decades as professors of this department, rearing a host of original and creative philosophers. They were open-minded to such diverse intellectual milieu as Western classical and contemporary philosophies, Eastern traditional thoughts, religious experience, science, mathematics, logic, art, practical matters & etc. Against those rich and wide intellectual and cultural backgrounds, they attempted to construct dense and daring philosophical edifices of their own.

In the age of globalization and under the dominance of science/technology, we are in more need than ever for the open-mindedness to various intellectual fields and practical issues. So while researching classical and contemporary Western philosophy, we are always paying serious attention to such other fields as mentioned above, and seeking to make unique and original philosophical contributions to today’s various problems.

We are also very keen to establish international networks of scholars and students of philosophy and many other disciplines. Through corroborations with newly established institutions in Kyoto University and Graduate School of Letters such as Center for Applied Philosophy and Ethics (CAPE) and Kyoto University Asian Studies Unit (KUASU), we are organizing numerous international workshops, symposiums, exchange of scholars and students, and other research and educational activities. Our emphasis is particularly placed on the establishment of cross-disciplinary intellectual networks in the region of Asia and Pacific.

For more information, visit the following pages.


The Department of Philosophy,
Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University,
Yoshida Hommachi, Kyoto, 606-8501


TEL: 075-753-2754
MAIL: kyoto.phil[at]