Volume 6, 2014
Transformation of Knowledge and a University “Crisis” in Japan
This essay aims to interpret Japanese university reform plans in terms of knowledge. For this aim, a history of attempts at university reform after Second World War is described briefly (sec. 2), and the underlying tone of these reform plans is explored by asking why the university had to start attempts at reforming their education and research system, what these plans signify, and what results from them (sec. 3). Then, it is asked where such reform plans lead the Japanese university, and a conclusion is drawn that as regards to knowledge expected to be produced and transmitted in university, the present Japanese university becomes to be a different kind of institution from the university based on the W. von Humboldt’s ideas (sec. 4). This leads attention to A. Schutz’s theory of knowledge, especially his distinction between knowledge and information, his insight into horizonal structure of knowledge as well as his ideas about higher education founded on his theory of knowledge, and why and in which context Schutz’s theory of knowledge is significant for elucidating a university “crisis” in Japan is explicated (sec. 5).