"Ars Vivendi" As a New Field of Research
We all live with disabilities, sickness, and aging, as well as various kinds of differences. Any person may one day experience disabilities, sickness, aging, or various differences from other people with regard, for example, to sexual identity. Nevertheless, research has rarely been conducted from the perspective of those who have these disabilities, sickness, etc., nor has much information been collected about them.
The overall aim of medicine and rehabilitation as a research field is to cure diseases. This entails that people who have incurable diseases or disabilities are to some extent excluded from the scope of these disciplines. Certainly, social welfare studies may be beneficial to these people. However, people with incurable diseases or disabilities also have lives that extend beyond simply receiving welfare services. The purpose of our Ars Vivendi program is to create a new research field to study the ways people with diseases or disabilities have lived in the past, the ways in which they live today and to seek out ways for them to live in the future.
Ritsumeikan University Provides Resources for Ars Vivendi
Those who supply medical or welfare services have their own research and educational systems or professional associations. In contrast, those who suffer from diseases and disabilities cannot easily access similar systems or associations. Of course, they sometimes collaborate together and form their own groups (patients' groups are one such example); however, they are disadvantaged when it comes to collecting and exchanging information in order to plan their futures. In consequence the knowledge and techniques appropriate for those who live with diseases or disabilities were never united into a field of research.
In order to become a research field, however, this type of research must be able to organize long-term, systematic studies. A university can provide the resources necessary for this endeavour. This is why we have decided to create this research program.
Our research program includes various researchers, among others, philosophers, anthropologists, economists, sociologists, scholars of literature, psychologists, ecologists, as well as researchers working on such topics as human services, medical policy, bioethics and science and technology studies. We are thus able to conduct genuinely interdisciplinary collaborative research on any issue related to Ars Vivendi. We are confident that the scope of our approaches to these issues is broader than that of any other institution worldwide.
A Global Perspective
We are collaborating with a non-profit organization, the Africa-Japan Forum (AJF) on difficult issues in Africa, particularly on problems related with HIV and AIDS. In addition, we have been expanding a network of exchange with other East Asian countries. For example, we have already organized various inter-Asian projects regarding people with diseases and disabilities, including the "Discussion Group on the History of Social / Political Movements of Disabled People in South Korea and Japan" in collaboration with the members of International Organization of Disabled People in Korea (October, 2008), and the International Symposium called "Research on Home Care of Patients with ALS in East Asia" (February, 2009). We believe that once we have visible accomplishments in East Asia, we can also work with people from European and American countries to expand international collaborative research. Moreover, we are planning to provide information about our projects on our homepage using different languages, including English, Chinese and Korean.
Graduate Students at the Ars Vivendi Program
Education at Ars Vivendi has been organized mainly by the Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences at Ritsumeikan University. Among students at the graduate school three categories are of particular interest in relation to Ars Vivendi.
The first consists of people who have diseases and disabilities. These students have had the desire to know about their diseases and disabilities and to let others know about themselves, but have not been able to find appropriate schools outside our graduate school. Our graduate school has students with visual disabilities and students who use wheelchairs. Some of our students have difficult diseases, such as hemophilia, or have a family relation to a person with a difficult disease. Other students in our program have been working in institutions that support patients with difficult diseases.
In the second category are students who have experience in related professions. These students have jobs in areas such as medicine, public health, rehabilitation, social services and education, and some of them are already university faculty members and are teaching people who are going to become professional workers in these areas. These students came to our graduate school with the hope of finding solutions to some of the fundamental questions they are facing in their work.
The third group is that of newcomers. They belong to neither of the above two groups. They are new to the field, and started to consider making research only after entering the school and meeting people from the two groups mentioned above.
Graduate students collaborate with faculty members, outside researchers and persons involved in research projects. As a result, they gain the ability to pursue their own research. Moreover, we have held events, such as symposiums, with domestic and international researchers in the field and have presented these contributions through the Report Issued by the Research Center for Ars Vivendi or on our homepage.
We live with diseases, aging and disabilities. Through these experiences, we create the wisdom and techniques for living. The Ars Vivendi program collects experiences and stories of people with diseases, aging and disabilities and analyzes their relationships with society. It envisions the way they may live in the future and presents projects for an ideal society and world. We have been compiling a database of information that until now only existed dispersed and buried in various fields of the natural and social sciences, as well as the arts. We analyzed the collected information and made it accessible to society at large.
1. Accumulation and Thinking: Understanding the History and Current Condition of Ars Vivendi and Analyzing the Information Theoretically
We have been compiling a database of information that is dispersed and buried in various fields of the natural sciences, the arts and the social sciences, and after proceeding to a thorough analysis of this information we make it accessible through our homepage.
arsvi.com(http://www.arsvi.com/a/index.htm)(homepage) / Aging Studies / Sociology of Care / Ethics of Human Reproduction / History of Living Donor Organ Transplantation / Social Support for Patients with Incurable Diseases / International Researches on Labor Issues, Precarious Livelihood and Income Security
2. Reorganization of Studies: Creation of Opportunities and Networks for Forming Studies by Involved Persons and their Supporters
We will establish opportunities and ways that enable people with disabilities or diseases to work as leaders of research. Moreover, we will try to develop a scheme of research development based on the wisdom of involved persons and work as a bridge between these involved persons and the authorities.
Assistive Technology Led by Involved Persons / ALS-IT Project / Utilization of Digital Contents of Books / Assistance of Students with Disabilities / Research Ethics Involving People, etc.
3. Cooperation and Construction: Presentation of Ars Vivendi in the World
In order to improve the current standard of living, we will present ways of improving this standard through such methods as our homepage, books and reports. By focusing on activities of NPOs and NGOs as well, we envision necessary assistances and policies to help people who have difficulties in the current social organization because of regulations or lack of money, etc. and publicize these proposals through our homepage and other means.
Establishment of Network for Patients with Incurable Diseases in East Asia / Africa / HIV and AIDS Issues / NPO Supporting People with Disabilities and Patients, etc.
** Research Center for Ars Vivendi of Ritsumeikan University (http://www.ritsumei-arsvi.org/en/)
The Research Center for Ars Vivendi of Ritsumeikan University was established by Ritsumeikan University after our Ars Vivendi program had been adopted as a Global Center of Excellence (GCOE) Program by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology (MEXT) in Japan. It was set up at Ritsumeikan University's Kinugasa Campus with the aim of establishing a new world-wide educational and research center. The Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences and the Institute of Human Sciences of Ritsumeikan University collaborate to promote our Ars Vivendi program's goals.
Our Ars Vivendi program has three main goals:
1) Promote collaborative research projects with patients' advocacy groups, non-profit organizations, as well as domestic and international researchers
2) Apply for competitive research grants
3) Conduct research projects commissioned by governmental and private institutions
**Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences of Ritsumeikan University (http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/acd/gr/gsce/index-e.htm)
The Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences of Ritsumeikan University aims at renovating and integrating both the human sciences and the social sciences by developing new research areas in four main areas: "publicness," "life," "socio-cultural symbiosis" and "representation." The school has a five-year, project-based doctoral program in which students are encouraged to participate in various research projects and to work in association with researchers in different fields. The school also accepts applications from transfer students who have already earned a master's degree at another graduate school as well as working adults who wish to further their education.
**Program Members of the Global COE Ars Vivendi
*Project leader/**Group leader
Project Leader Shinya Tateiwa*, Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Sociology
G1:Accumulation and Thinking
Yoko Matsubara**, Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Science and Technology Studies
Yoshiyuki Koizumi, Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Philosophy/Ethics
Izumi Otani, Graduate School of Sociology, Bioethics
Akira Kurihara, Distinguished Invited Professor, Sociology
Masahiko Nishi, Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Comparative Literature
Kozo Watanabe, Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Cultural Anthropology
G2:Reorganization of Studies
Tatsuya Sato**, Graduate School of Letters, Psychology
Akira Endo, Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Biology
Tadashi Nakamura, Graduate School of Science for Human Services, Clinical Sociology
Akira Mochizuki, Graduate School of Science for Human Services, Psychology
G3:Cooperation and Construction
Josuke Amada**, Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Sociology
Reiko Gotoh, Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Economics
Paul Dumouchel, Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Political Philosophy
Tatsuo Hayashi, Distinguished Invited Professor, International Aid Theory
Ryozo Matsuda, Graduate School of Sociology, Comparative Medical Policy
Haruo Sakiyama, Graduate School of Sociology, Sociology
For information concerning events and research projects
Administrative Office, Research Center for Ars Vivendi
Research Office (Kinugasa), Ritsumeikan University
56-1 Kitamachi, Tojiin, Kita-ku, Kyoto 603-8577 Japan
TEL:+81-75-465-8475 (from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) FAX:+81-75-465-8342
For information concerning the Graduate School of Core Ethics & Frontier Sciences and entrance examinations
Administrative Office, Inter-Faculty Graduate Schools, Ritsumeikan University
56-1 Kitamachi, Tojiin, Kita-ku, Kyoto 603-8577 Japan
TEL: +81-75-465-8348 (from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) FAX: +81-75-465-8364
UP:20090413 REV:20091216, 20110603, 20111003, 20120111, 20160920