2020 Essence of Humanities and Social Sciences40:Human Studies

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Humanities and social science courses
Wakamatsu Eisuke 
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Course description and aims

In this lecture, we will read the book “Man's Search For Meaning” and “I still say Yes to life” by Victor Frankl, one of the leading thinkers of modern times and think about 'meaning of lives' and 'wisdom in times of crisis'.
Frankl was persecuted by Nazi Germany because he was a Jew, and forced to live in a concentration camp. "Man's Search For Meaning" is the record at that time. In this lecture, we would like to deepen our thoughts on what "evil" was in the days when Frankl suffered.

We form a group with several people, deepen the questions hidden in the book and give a presentation.
The final report is about 3000 characters. Participants will discuss their own "philosophy of life".
I hope them to participate in the class with sincerity.

Student learning outcomes

The objective of this course is to acquire the following abilities.
1) Recognize the role of language as a sign and language as a meaning.
2) Acquire philosophical reading skills about "life" and "death" or "evil".
3) Gain a starting point for linguistic expressions based on one's own experiences and emotions.


Philosophy, language, Life and Death, Good and Evil, meaning of life

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Each time important sentences of the book are pointed out, having time for writing essay.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Class guidance Explanation of whole seminar
Class 2 Read the words of Victor Frankl 1 Think about the wisdom of crisis
Class 3 Read the words of Victor Frankl 2 Think about the wisdom of crisis
Class 4 Consideration over what is "life" and "death" or”good” and "evil" Think about the wisdom of crisis
Class 5 Read the words of Victor Frankl 3 Think about the wisdom of crisis
Class 6 Read the words of Victor Frankl 4 Think about the wisdom of crisis
Class 7 Summary, Q&A Summary, Q&A

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


Victor Frankl's “Man's Search For Meaning” (translated by Kayoko Ikeda, Misuzu Shobo) and “I still say Yes to life” (Shunju Publishing). Be sure to bring these two books to the lecture.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

None required. Handouts will be given if necessary

Assessment criteria and methods

Interim report (50%)
Final report (50%)

Related courses

  • LAH.H315 : Human Studies C

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

No prerequisites.

Contact information (e-mail and phone)    Notice : Please replace from "[at]" to "@"(half-width character).


Office hours

Contact by e-mail in advance.


No classes will be given on April 10 (Wed).
Seven total classes will be held for this course: April 15 (Wed), April 22 (Wed), May 13 (Wed), May 20 (Wed), May 27 (Wed), June 3 (Wed), ※ June 3 (Wed) 7-8 period.
※Please take note that on June 3 (Wed), after the regular class, the seventh class will be held in the 7-8 period.

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