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Masahiro Morioka
Waseda University
  1. The Concept of Inochi: A Philosophical Perspective on the Study of Life.Masahiro Morioka - 1993 - Global Bioethics 6 (1):35-59.
    The objective of this paper is to contribute to the international discussions on life and scientific technology by examining the images and concepts of life in contemporary Japan. In English the word Inochi can be rendered as "life". However, the nuances of the Japanese term differ in certain cases, and therefore I have chosen to use the term much as is. I first discuss the linguistic meanings of the word, and then consider several important features of the images of inochi (...)
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  2. A Phenomenological Study of “Herbivore Men”.Masahiro Morioka - 2013 - The Review of Life Studies 4:1-20.
    From 2008 to 2009, “herbivore men (sôshoku danshi or sôshoku-kei danshi in Japanese)” became a trendy, widely used term in Japanese. It flourished in all sorts of media, including TV, the Internet, newspapers and magazines, and could even occasionally be heard in everyday conversation. As it became more popular its original meaning was diversified, and people began to use it with a variety of different nuances. In December of 2009 it made the top ten list of nominees for the “Buzzword (...)
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  3. Is Meaning in Life Comparable?: From the Viewpoint of ‘The Heart of Meaning in Life’.Masahiro Morioka - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy of Life 5 (3):50-65.
    The aim of this paper is to propose a new approach to the question of meaning in life by criticizing Thaddeus Metz’s objectivist theory in his book Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study. I propose the concept of “the heart of meaning in life,” which alone can answer the question, “Alas, does my life like this have any meaning at all?” and I demonstrate that “the heart of meaning in life” cannot be compared, in principle, with other people’s meaning in (...)
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  4. The Trolley Problem and the Dropping of Atomic Bombs.Masahiro Morioka - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy of Life 7 (2):316-337.
    In this paper, the ethical and spiritual aspects of the trolley problem are discussed in connection with the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. First, I show that the dropping of atomic bombs was a typical example of the events that contained the logic of the trolley problems in their decision-making processes and justifications. Second, I discuss five aspects of “the problem of the trolley problem;” that is to say, “Rarity,” “Inevitability,” “Safety Zone,” “Possibility of Becoming a Victim,” (...)
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  5. Natural Right to Grow and Die in the Form of Wholeness: A Philosophical Interpretation of the Ontological Status of Brain-Dead Children.Masahiro Morioka - 2010 - Diogenes 57 (3):103-116.
    In this paper, I would like to argue that brain-dead small children have a natural right not to be invaded by other people even if their organs can save the lives of other suffering patients. My basic idea is that growing human beings have the right to grow in the form of wholeness, and dying human beings also have the right to die in the form of wholeness; in other words, they have the right to be protected from outside invasion, (...)
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  6. The Ethics of Human Cloning and the Sprout of Human Life.Masahiro Morioka - 2006 - In Heiner Roetz (ed.), Cross-Cultural Issues in Bioethics: The Example of Human Cloning. Rodopi. pp. 1-16.
    Abstract -/- In 1998, the Council for Science and Technology established the Bioethics Committee and asked its members to examine the ethical and legal aspects of human cloning. The Committee concluded in 1999 that human cloning should be prohibited, and, based on the report, the government presented a bill for the regulation of human cloning in 2000. After a debate in the Diet, the original bill was slightly modified and issued on December 6, 2000. In this paper, I take a (...)
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  7. Reconsidering Brain Death: A Lesson From Japan's Fifteen Years of Experience.Masahiro Morioka - 2001 - Hastings Center Report 31 (4):41-46.
    The Japanese Transplantation Law is unique among others in that it allows us to choose between "brain death" and "traditional death" as our death. In every country 20 to 40 % of the popularion doubts the idea of brain death. This paper reconsiders the concept, and reports the ongoing rivision process of the current law. Published in Hastings Center Report, 2001.
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  8. How a Japanese Philosopher Encountered Bioethics.Masahiro Morioka - 2013 - In Frank Rövekamp & Friederike Bosse (eds.), Ethics in Science and Society: German and Japanese Views. IUDICIUM Verlag. pp. 27-41.
    In this essay I will illustrate how a Japanese philosopher reacted to a newly imported discipline, “bioethics,” in the 1980s and then tried to create an alternative way of looking at “life” in the field of philosophy. This essay might serve as an interesting case study in which a contemporary “western” way of thinking succeeded in capturing, but finally failed to persuade, a then-young Japanese researcher’s mind.
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  9. Feminism, Disability, and Brain Death :Alternative Voices From Japanese Bioethics.Masahiro Morioka - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy of Life 5 (1):19-41.
    Japanese bioethics has created a variety of important ideas that have not yet been reflected on mainstream bioethics discourses in the English-speaking world, which include “the swaying of the confused self” in the field of feminism, “inner eugenic thought” concerning disability, and “human relationship-oriented approaches to brain death.” In this paper, I will examine them more closely, and consider what bioethics in Japan can contribute to the development of an international discussion on philosophy of life.
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  10. The Concept of Life in Contemporary Japan.Masahiro Morioka - 2012 - The Review of Life Studies 2:23-62.
    The objective of this paper is to contribute to the international discussions on life and scientific technology by examining the images and concepts of life in contemporary Japan. In English the word Inochi can be rendered as "life". However, the nuances of the Japanese term differ in certain cases, and therefore I have chosen to use the term much as is. I first discuss the linguistic meanings of the word, and then consider several important features of the images of inochi (...)
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  11. Manga and Philosophy: Why Was the Book “Manga Introduction to Philosophy” Written?Masahiro Morioka - 2015 - The Review of Life Studies 6:1-28.
    Slightly modified PowerPoint slides in the PDF format presented at the first conference of the European Network of Japanese Philosophy, Barcelona, Spain. (December 4th, 2015).
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  12. Human Dignity and the Manipulation of the Sense of Happiness: From the Viewpoint of Bioethics and Philosophy of Life.Masahiro Morioka - 2012 - Journal of Philosophy of Life 2 (1):1-14.
    If our sense of happiness is closely connected to brain functions, it might become possible to manipulate our brain in a much more refined and effective way than current methods allow. In this paper I will make some remarks on the manipulation of the sense of happiness and illuminate the relationship between human dignity and happiness. The President’s Council on Bioethics discusses this topic in the 2003 report Beyond Therapy, and concludes that the use of SSRIs might make us “feel (...)
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  13. Why is It Hard for Us to Accept Moral Bioenhancement?Masahiro Morioka - 2013 - In T. Uehiro (ed.), Ethics for the Future of Life: Proceedings of the 2012 Uehiro-Carnegie-Oxford Ethics Conference. Oxford Uehiro Center for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford. pp. 97-108.
    In my paper I would like to criticize Julian Savulescu and his colleagues’ argument on moral bioenhancement. If we want to improve our society, it would be easier and more effective to improve social conditions. Our personality ought to be constructed upon our inner foundation, which should not be tampered with by outside intervention or control, and I dare say this belief is a healthy one that should not be overturned.
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  14.  86
    In Search of a Philosophy of Life in Contemporary Society: An Introduction.Masahiro Morioka - 2011 - The Review of Life Studies 1:1-7.
    In this paper I am going to talk about the “philosophy of life” project, which my colleagues and I have attempted over the last few years at our college. I believe research into the philosophy of life should contribute much to our discussion about many issues, such as democracy and war and peace in contemporary society. Before entering the main topic of this presentation, I would like to briefly introduce my academic background up until the present.
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  15.  93
    Le Principe d'Intégrité Comme Droit Naturel.Masahiro Morioka - 2009 - Diogène 227 (3):140-.
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  16.  70
    Narrative Responsibility and Moral Dilemma: A Case Study of a Family's Decision About a Brain-Dead Daughter.Takanobu Kinjo & Masahiro Morioka - 2011 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 32 (2):91-99.
    A brain death case is presented and reinterpreted using the narrative approach. In the case, two Japanese parents face a dilemma about whether to respect their daughter’s desire to donate organs even though, for them, it would mean literally killing their daughter. We argue that the ethical dilemma occurred because the parents were confronted with two conflicting narratives to which they felt a “narrative responsibility,” namely, the responsibility that drives us to tell, retell, and coauthor the (often unfinished) narratives of (...)
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  17. Confessions of a Frigid Man: A Philosopher’s Journey Into the Hidden Layers of Men’s Sexuality.Masahiro Morioka - 2005 - Tokyo: Chikuma Shobo.
    "Confessions of a Frigid Man: A Philosopher’s Journey into the Hidden Layers of Men’s Sexuality" is the translation of a Japanese 2005 bestseller, "Kanjinai Otoko." Soon after the publication, this book stirred controversy over the nature of male sexuality, male “frigidity,” and its connection to the “Lolita complex.” Today, this work is considered a classic in Japanese men’s studies. The most striking feature of this book is that it was written from the author’s first-person perspective. The author is a professor (...)
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  18. Reconsidering Meaning in Life: A Philosophical Dialogue with Thaddeus Metz.Masahiro Morioka (ed.) - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy of Life, Waseda University.
    An e-book devoted to 13 critical discussions of Thaddeus Metz's book "Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study", with a lengthy reply from the author. -/- Preface Masahiro Morioka i -/- Précis of Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study Thaddeus Metz ii-vi -/- Source and Bearer: Metz on the Pure Part-Life View of Meaning Hasko von Kriegstein 1-18 -/- Fundamentality and Extradimensional Final Value David Matheson 19-32 -/- Meaningful and More Meaningful: A Modest Measure Peter Baumann 33-49 -/- Is Meaning in (...)
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