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91 - Kyoto University International Symposium “Does Nature Think ?", 2019

Kyoto University International Symposium Does Nature Think ?

Kyoto University International Symposium “Does Nature Think ?"

Organized by
Research Institute for Humanity and Nature,
Kyoto University,
École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales,
UNESCO and Maison de la Culture du Japon à Paris

2019 June 6th, 7ht & 8th
UNESCO (June 6th, 7th), Maison de la Culture du Japon à Paris (June 8th)

Course Contents



Globally, our environment is no longer in a state about which we can be optimistic. Anthropocene compels us to fundamentally reconsider the modern conception of nature as a mere object. Augustin Berque, a French advocate of mesology (Uexkül's Umweltlehre, Watsuji's fūogaku, i.e. the study of milieu) suggested the strange question “does nature think?” as the theme of this international conference. The aim of the conference is to reexamine the modern view of nature, whereby human beings are seen as holding a transcendental position. We will invite 25 to 30 researchers from different fields (anthropology, geography, philosophy, Buddhism, human environmental studies, primatology, agricultural science, oceanography, law, history of Western art, etc. ), as well as practitioners who directly face and work within nature, to discuss together, in an intercultural and interdisciplinary approach, a series of questions centering on the problem of what may or may not distinguish human thinking from the diverse types of selfawareness and communication, discovered by ethology and biosemiotics, to exist among other living beings.