mardi 13 décembre 2016
During my stay in Japan this fall, two new ideas occurred to me. As Montaigne already noticed, we think elsewhere. One is to open a new cafe for reading philosophical texts written in French and discussing them in Japanese. I named it "Bergson Cafe". According to a view (Alain Badiou), there are two schools of philosophy in the 20th century's French philosophy. One stresses theoretical aspects of philosophy, the founder being Léon Brunschvicg, and another is originated from Henri Bergson who pursued a philosophy of life. Before entering into philosophy, I had an impression that a goal of philosophy is to establish a theory or a concept. If that is the case, I thought philosophy did not suit me. However, I happened to read Pierre Hadot in a bookstore in Paris in 2006 and came to realize there is another aspect of philosophy, namely "philosophy as a way of life", as he called it. This experience changed my perception of philosophy. That is why I chose "Bergson" for the new cafe and we are planning to read the texts in this line of philosophy.
The second project is to organize a forum where scientists discuss with philosophers and researchers in the field of humanities problematics in science and medicine, and themes that are not explicitly clear to scientists and thus have not been discussed by scientists. I named it "Forum of philosophy of science for scientists (FPSS: pronounced fipsee)" and posted an announcement in the internet at the end of last month. I have received positive responses from more than 20 Japanese scientists.The aim of this activity is to recognize current situation of science and to make it publicly open, in the hope that it will make science much closer to non-scientists and that many (philosophical) themes hidden in scientific achievements will be revealed to scientists.
I went back to Japan last month to organize several small gatherings to discuss science from philosophical perspectives and philosophical matters with scientists and non-scientists. These are popularization activities of the ISHE. The gatherings were held in Sapporo and in Tokyo. The themes we talked about this time were as follows: "the gene" in Sapporo meeting, "Nicomachean Ethics"and "the plant" in Tokyo meetings. In these meetings, I first present the outline of the topics in about an hour and the discussion ensues for the next hour. Often the discussion time is not enough and we continue our discussion at a party after the session. I have benefited a lot from these activities. I hope the participants also enjoy these occasions. The followings are some of the photos taken before each session.
The Second Sci-Phi Cafe SHE in Sapporo (2016.11.8)
The Fourth Cafe-Philo PAWL in Tokyo (2016.11.11)
The Tenth Sci-Phi Cafe SHE in Tokyo (2016.11.17)
The Tenth Sci-Phi Cafe SHE in Tokyo (2016.11.18)
lundi 12 décembre 2016
The year 2016 turned out to be a transition year, from a student to a researcher. Since the beginning of the year, I have been immersed in the world of the Japanese, and did not have time to visit this blog. As I mentioned before, I have been engaged in translating Le jeu du hasard et de la complexité (Odile Jacob, 2014) by Prof. Philippe Kourilsky into Japanese. Fortunately, I could finish it by the end of summer. Editing process will last for about 6 months, according to the editor. In fall, I moved from Paris, the city I had lived for 9 years, to Tours, the city that seems to be pleasant to live in. Being now in transition from 2016 to 2017, several ideas to be done in 2017 occurred to me. I am thinking of finishing one by one with an ascetic spirit. But is it an achievable resolution?
mardi 26 juillet 2016
I have received the following information from the Institut Pasteur Paris. It seems very interesting. But, unfortunately, I'll have things to do on that day and cannot attend it. For those who can, please enjoy it!
Elie METCHNIKOFF Legacy : From embryology to aging from phagocytes to microbiota
September 26, 2016 Institut Pasteur - Paris
This year, we celebrate one century of the many legacies of the great scientist Elie Metchnikoff. The Institut Pasteur organizes a one-day symposium that will illustrate the impact of his work on modern biology. The Institut is also displaying an exhibition that presents the life and multiple achievements of Metchnikoff, who worked here for 28 years. Metchnikoff is considered the father of phagocytes, innate cellular immunity, probiotics and gerontology. His initial work as a comparative embryologist led him to be one of the founding fathers of immunology, and develop a new understanding of physiology and pathology. As an illustration of his boundless curiosity, his team investigated inflammation in guinea pigs, rats and frogs, infectious diseases in monkeys, caimans and geese, and aging in parrots, rabbits, dogs and humans. He then explored the gut microbiota of these animals and generated germ-free organisms. His later studies led him to propose that fermented milk delays the deleterious and pro-aging effects of toxic compounds released by putrefactive gut bacteria. Finally, he was also a philosopher, and ventured into writing essays on natural harmony, human disharmony, pessimism and, in the face of it all, optimism. In all these fields, Metchnikoff has been a visionary, publishing more than 200 papers in the Annales de l’Institut Pasteur. He has also been a remarkable team leader and mentor, supervising more than 100 young trainees and collaborators. This symposium will begin with an opening talk to remind us of the life and many achievements of Elie Metchnikoff. The sessions will then illustrate the four major scientific fields pioneered by Metchnikoff - embryology, macrophages and immunity, microbiota, and aging. The speakers will illustrate these periods through their own work, and project their modern visions of Metchnikoff’s legacy. Finally, a closing talk will reflect on the visions of Metchnikoff for the future of biology.
Jean-Marc CAVAILLON, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
Jean-François CHAMBON, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
Philippe HERBOMEL, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
Elisa PERDIGUERO-GOMEZ, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
|Metchnikoff's history and legacy|
Session 1 - From embryology to immunology
|Comparative macrophage biology|
Unversity of Edinburgh, UK
|Phagocyte development in zebrafish|
Institut Pasteur, Paris
|Elisa Gomez Perdiguero|
Institut Pasteur, Paris
|Phagocytosis in Dictyostelium|
University of Geneva, Switzerland
|Macrophages as APCs|
Washington University, St-Louis, USA
Session 3 - Influence of microbiota on immunity and health
|Microbes and immunity|
Institut Pasteur, Paris
|Microbial metabolites and pathology|
Cleveland Clinic, USA
|Microbiome and human health|
|Johan van Hylckama Vlieg|
Session 4 - Aging
|Pathology associated with aging|
Institut Pasteur, Lille
|Microgila in aging|
University of the Basque Country
|Rejuvenation of the aging|
Institut Pasteur, Lille
University of Oxford, UK
mardi 12 juillet 2016
In this entry, I am going to briefly explain our activities for the first mission, namely to organize two types of gatherings: one is to discuss scientific topics from the perspectives of history and philosophy (Sci-phi SHE=Science & Human Existence) and the other is to discuss 'philosophy as a way of life' (PAWL) by focusing each time on a philosopher who developed this type of philosophy. Since 2011, we have organized 9 + 1 gatherings for the first type and 3 gatherings for the second. The followings are the hard data:
(1) Science and philosophy: Overview (24-25.11.2011, Tokyo）
(2) Determinism and free will (17-18.4.2012, Tokyo)
(3) The Normal and the pathological (11-12.9.2012, Tokyo)
(4) Brain and mind, or consciousness (29-30.11.2012, Tokyo)
(5) Vitalism (26-27.3.2013, Tokyo)
(6) Intestinal microbes (10-11.9.2013, Tokyo)
(7) Gene (3-4.4.2014, 2014, Tokyo)
(8) Intelligent design (27-28.11.2014, Tokyo)
(9) Science & religion: The case of Auguste Comte (10-11.3.2016, Tokyo）
(1) Philosophy for science & science for philosophy (2.3.2016, Sapporo)
(1) Diogenes of Sinope (28.3.2014, Tokyo)
(2) Epicurus (21.11.2014, Tokyo)
(3) Epictetus (8.3.2016, Tokyo)
lundi 11 juillet 2016
In 2013, I established the Institute for Science & Human Existence (ISHE). My original intention was to bridge between science and philosophy and to reach understandings of human existence. One of the reasons was that I was amazed by enormous amounts of work on science accumulated in the field of philosophy but that most scientists are totally unaware of these facts. This is in stark contrast to the situation of philosophers who always look at science. I thought this unrequited love should be rectified.
Having reflected on 3 years of activities, the mission of the ISHE has become clearer to me.
(1) to popularize science and philosophy by organizing gatherings to discuss scientific and philosophical matters.
(2) to study scientific problems from the philosophical and metaphysical point of view: the first theme is immunity.
(3) to research on the philosophy as a way of life: the first project is on the philosophy of Pierre Hadot (1922–2010).
(4) to promote cultural exchange between France and Japan: the first attempt is the translation of Philippe Kourilsky's book on new immunology, which was dealt in the previous articles.
(5) to reach an understanding of human existence and eventually to transform our own existence.
dimanche 10 juillet 2016
The book I am in the process of translating into Japanese is Le jeu du hasard et de la complexité (Odile Jacob, 2014) by Dr. Philippe Kourilsky, emeritus prof. of the Collège de France and the former president of the Institut Pasteur. English title would be The Game of the Chance and the Complexity. I have finished about two-thirds.
Novalis (1772–1801) left notes on translation. According to his notes, there are three types of translation: the first is literal, the second with interpretations and the third mythic. Novalis thought the third is of highest grade, for which there had been no models. However, one thing is clear: the translator has to be a true artist and the poet's poet. Translating acts are done everywhere and this principle is applied to all cases.
My own policy was to first complete the literal version of translation and then to proceed to the next step, hoping to climb up as high as possible. The visibility of the summit is hard to tell at this point.