March 22, 2019 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Leading scholars from Japan and abroad have united at King’s from March 21-24, 2019 at the Centre for Advanced Research in European Philosophy (CAREP) at King’s University College’s international conference, “Why the Kyoto School Today?”

Dr. Antonio Calcagno, Professor of Philosophy at King’s, explains the conference explores advancements in Japanese philosophy. The conference examines and critically analyzes key concepts, including the limits of knowledge and science, the relation between being and nothingness, the configuration of social and political reality, and the historical legacy of the Kyoto School and its thinkers.

“This conference is a first for Canadian philosophy,” says Dr. Calcagno. “There have been no philosophy conferences in Canada that have explored this theme.”

“Through scholarly dialogue, researchers and attendees are able to reflect on important questions about the limits of knowledge and the nature of science; questions of being, becoming, and nothingness; the configuration of social and political reality; and the philosophical works of individual figures of the School and their engagement and reworking of 20th century European thought,” he explains.

The Kyoto School of Japanese Philosophy seeks to develop and reinterpret the legacy of Japanese thought by engaging schools of Western thought, including Neo-Kantianism and Phenomenology. The Kyoto School arose out of a confrontation with the European philosophical tradition at the beginning of the 20th century at a time when scholars in both traditions were searching for new modes of thinking. Japanese philosophers were looking to imagine a new modern Japan. At the same time, Western philosophy and the modern world entered into a crisis, which many philosophers argue it has not yet recovered from and finds itself in a more precarious situation at the beginning of the 21st century than at the beginning of the 20th century.

The conference features many preeminent, leading international scholars in the field, including:

  • Dr. Bret Davis (Loyola University)
  • Dr. Rolf Elberfeld (Universität Hildesheim)
  • Dr. John Krummel (Hobart and William Smith Colleges)
  • Dr. Stephen Lofts (King’s University College)
  • Dr. John Maraldo (University of North Florida)
  • Dr. Brian Schroeder (Rochester Institute of Technology)
  • Dr. Mayuko Uehara (Kyoto University)
  • Dr. Jason Wirth (Seattle University)
  • Dr. Michiko Yusa (Western Washington University)

“It is an honour to have such speakers come to our campus. The caliber of study, reflection and discussion is very high,” says Dr. Calcagno.

The conference garnered international attention. The Japan Foundation recognized the importance of the conference by awarding Dr. Stephen Lofts a conference grant to help organize the event and bring top scholars to campus. 

“CAREP seeks to expand the horizon of Canadian philosophy by broadening its engagement with other forms of thought. CAREP seeks to make original scholarly contributions to Canadian and global philosophy,” Dr. Calcagno explains.

For more information on the Centre for Advanced Research of European Philosophy and the “Why the Kyoto School Today?” conference, visit or