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On Private Property
TATEIWA Shin'ya 1997

_______ translation by Tsuyako Miyasato ________

Instead of raising questions "who am I?" or "where do I come from?"... I wish to think on the "ethical sanction," on what is mine, and what do I choose to be mine? Let me list some of the doubts, contradictions, and resistances first, and then examine where these questions have come from.

1. One healthy organ is to be transferred to two persons for the sake of extending one life, at least, on the presumption that one person should extend his/her life. Even from one person to another person, the number of persons should extend his/her life. Even from one person to another person, the numbers of persons who survive and do not survive are the same. Nevertheless, this process of organ transplants will not be accepted in society. Why? Is this because the organ belongs to that particular person? If that is so, how may one say that this organ belongs to a certain person? Nevertheless, if the organ belongs to him/her, transplants or exchanges of the organs should be accepted under mutual agreements. However, it is not so in the normal case. Again, I wonder, why is that so?

2. Regarding a contract on the surrogate mother, I do not blindly agree on this matter of contracts. This is because there should be some sort of protection that allows the surrogate mother to exercise, her self-decision whenever she decides to "change her mind." Sadly enough, in general, this action of a surrogate mother changing her mind is not allowed in society. After all, the virtue of power of self-decision making has not been reviewed or granted to surrogate mothers.

3. There is a question on decision-making as to when an individual's life should not be terminated. Previously, I hesitated to pursue the self-decision making in a logical manner. However, in this special situation, I think a woman's "decision-making" should be take into consideration.

4. It is obvious that we accord a man and woman the privilege of existence. Nevertheless, why do we give ourselves this privilege? I myself cannot help asking the question, is that because a human poses non-human traits in themselves? However, do we really think in this way? If that is the case, how does this question relate to the question that I raised in #3? Alternatively, those two do not relate to each other.

5. When an individual's capability in business is small, profits from sale item decline. This is obvious, but this does not totally explain that person's weakness as a whole. I wonder if judging this person as having no ability in doing business is an example of "discrimination." In a word, should we not be getting rid of this discrimination? At least, is it not better that all of us try to get rid of discrimination?

6. On the other hand, I affirm meritocracy. First, I do not purchase a product that has no value to me. Second, this means that evaluations should be made solely based on a person's potential ability. Likewise, is the principle of ability better than the principle of attribution. If that is so, why is it so? In addition, are the first and second examinations saying the same thing?

7. There is a technology of diagnosis exercised on the disabled (possibility) child before its birth. In reality, when the unborn child is likely to be born with a disability (possibility), it is lumped with optional abortion processes. Even we cannot protest to those optional methods as a bad decision; there may be some resistance to that action.

8. There is a field of "eugenics." This is a means of standardizing hereditary (gene) to make a human better than he/she is likely too be. If that is possible, is it not a good thing? These topics, it seems to me, make evaluations a little difficult.

These questions appear to be unrelated and scattered, but I will carefully examine them in a systematic manner to help you understand the contents of this book. All the questions raised in this book follow the same systematic arguments throughout. Because of that exactness, the questions in ethics remain in my study, and I decided to sum them up in this book. My major questions are: on what grounds can a person make a decision based on property? What is to be acquired? By what means do they make the transfers available? In addition, what is exchangeable? At the same time, I raised the question whether there are arguments that would negate all the things I have just mentioned. If the negations are there, why do they negate all the questions that I have just raised? Within my examinations, what we see are: I make something, the things I control are the things that belong to me, and this power of capable being is "I." However, what is the underlying make-up of these answers? In this book, I will elaborate "on private property" that may treat timeworn topics in the history of ethics. However, these themes of "I," "property," and "private property" are yet, or all the moreover, the basic main subjects for scholars who think about society. The items I have mentioned previously are exactly what I think important in social themes.

Next, I will discuss the theme on contradictions. Many contradictions are found in the questions I have already raised. For example, #5 and #6 do not seem to fit nicely together. Let us assume that there are no problems in using and managing one's own body under her will. By this self-made decision, theme #3, artificial abortions are granted. When this acceptance is realized, theme #2, acceptance of the contract as a surrogate mother is justified. At the same time, accepting artificial abortion is to accept abortion under her own choice. Such being the case, we seem to face several contradictions. Even then, again, there seem to be arguments besides these contradictions of thought that permit the contradictory thoughts. What are they, then? I will search for the answers in this book. By doing that, I will think, what are the basic senses, which make us understand or not understand processes of human thinking.

Along with arguments, I will demonstrate by a search for the answers in a detailed manner. I came to these conclusions because I have been unsatisfied in these areas of study. One good example is, one may just point out the difficult problems and keep on listing them, taking positions without saying anything and leading us without arriving at answers. Another good example is writing with no meaning. For instance, there are contrapositions on the thoughts of part-to-the total and individual-to-the whole. One stream of school insists that there are no distinctions in two opposite categories. This thought indicates that they are all the same, and the human lives are equal. However, in reality, we do distinguish them. The problem lies in where we draw the line of demarcation, and why we draw the line. At this point in the argument, however, it is too evident that not many of them take time to explain in detail. Still, more contend on possessions and decision-makings, but again, they see no problems I have in these examinations. Because I have been dissatisfied with those representing schools of thought, I decided to write this book.

There is something out there. This something is vague, and seems to be filled with contradictions. Why do these contradictions exist? I know I am having a hard time expressing my thoughts in language. We soon start to perceive difficulty in understanding the existing logic, which is presented in language and interpreted in language so that both speakers and listeners can understand. Nevertheless, some of us fail in explaining by use of this existing logic. Rather, there are concepts and an accumulation of conceptual practices in the history of understanding. However, there are reasons for our failure to understand. Simply, when we trace back the conceptual accumulation of experiences, we will be able to see how these experiences followed certain paths and where they diverged from those paths of logic. Let me trace back assertions on doubts that do not make doubts in doubting, criticisms made in a familiar way, and criticism that left the practice of things unfinished, etc. In these examinations, I will try to find instances in which the authors omit prerequisites that should be included in their rhetoric. From studies like mine, I cannot help touching upon another theme of studies. I do not intend to "invent" something new, however. What I intend to do is proceed by removing carefully layers that make us unable to understand logic. I will try to make apparent the concepts separate from accumulations of language used to discuss them. Nevertheless, many short cuts are taken between the abstract concept and its implementation. Based on these short-cut logical explanations, assertions have been made in oversimplified fashion. Nevertheless, there may be logic in what the assertions are made of. However, placing the "senses/intuitions" and "logic" face to face are, I think wrong. Above all, the senses are logically sufficient. The core of the logic is probably not so complicated as we tend to think. After all, in general, I do not believe we think in a too complicated manner.

Regarding explaining "other things," I am not particularly thinking about using a certain person's ideas as my basis for examination of thought. Most thinking processes are applied "hands-on," manually. Things written down in this book do not rely on a special group or school of "thought." For the time being, I have no need to belong to any particular "faction." If I refer to an idea, I need to confirm my differences. In order to do that, first, I must know what the author is saying. Doing this, the annotations increase, and will only mean much more tedious work for me. Works like this must be beneficial in most cases. There will be something that I will gain from others. However, before I give attention to gaining important things, from others, I should focus on my own work.

A purpose of this book is to create, not writes reality, in itself. Instead, I have tried to limit myself to important ideas. However, I have a need to explain the reasons for my choices of topics and style. What was the basis for writing about certain ideas? What is the object I am trying accomplish? I have held to a minimum actual relationship in the bibliography. Moreover, some of the discussions regarding the theme in this book are also introduced in annotations. For the convenience of readers, I have introduced references in detail. Although I have condensed the notation; the book became quite thick with content. A few notations need detailed explanations in one or two reports. I wish to take another opportunity to discuss that matter. Individual notations relate to one another in different areas. I have tried to explain their relationships in this book as well. The index should be also used as a reference. This book might be enjoyable for certain readers. The readers may start to understand why the book is written in this manner, confrontational with the themes that are related to the contents of the book, yet to see them outside of the realms, and the arguments; the avenues divide and expand into various stems.

I have gathered the information to a certain extent, but it is not nearly what I have wished. Because reality altered every day, it became impossible to keep up with daily changes without creating another volume. The enlarged book would be too costly to attract a sufficient number of readers. For that reason, I have introduced the Home Page called Life, Humanity, and Society, to deliver the rest of the information.

Starting in June 1996, I have been offering information to friends and public followers that I have gathered. Actual words that I use are ten times greater than the body of this book. I have amplified them in annotation and bibliography within this book. For example, some of the quotations in Chapter 3 and Chapter 9 cannot include complete information. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have therefore reduced the quantity of information in this book. The basis of the Home Page is a collection of related quotations and information. In my Home Page, I have also offered "incidental" information that is not mentioned in this book. I am thinking about gathering various types of partial writings and complete works so that I do not infringe upon copyrights. Likewise, those articles, reports, and other writings that have no copyright restrictions, I would like to print on the Home Page. In the near future, this Home Page will become accessible to all people who share the same ideas and/or areas of information that such as I have mentioned in this book. I would sincerely appreciate if readers would take time to direct me to other studies in this field, provide information, and point out errors in this book.

REV: 20161030
On Private Property TATEIWA Shin'ya
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