Japan and the Enemies of Open Political Science by David Williams

By David Williams

The crucial argument of Japan and the Enemies of Open Political Science is that Eurocentric blindness isn't an ethical yet a systematic failing. during this wide-ranging critique of Western social technological know-how, Anglo-American philosophy and French conception, Williams works at the premise that Japan is crucial political approach of our time. He explains why social scientists were so prepared to disregard or denigrate Japan's achievements. If social technological know-how is to fulfill the desires of the `Pacific Century', it calls for a sustained act of highbrow demolition and next renewal.

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It is he who must be appeased. Such dependence not only breeds anti-European resentment, it also subverts the pursuit of Asian excellence. But the hurt is real. It encourages Asian thinkers on politics to mimic the psychology of a son of a father who neglects his child’s small victories. The paternal recognition that is sought is never given. The superiority of European tradition has spawned an apparently callous complacency, which has littered the Western canon of philosophic and political analysis with traps and humiliations for the thoughtful Asian.

Only then might the way be opened to a classicism that would stand as the finest realization in Western thinking about modern Japan of Blake’s commitment to ‘the holiness of minute particulars’. THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL APPROACH Blake’s Ontology and the prospect of significant Japanese influence on the methods and ambitions of a Western science—this classic opportunity—compels a return to the first principles of the great anthropologists of the European tradition. They teach us that we must bend to the truth.

An ontological shudder or metaphysical free-fall may result from a vigorous encounter with an alien totality, as dreamily captured in Gauguin’s 1897 Tahitian masterpiece, D’Où venons-nous? Que sommes-nous? Où allonsnous? (Where are we from? What are we? ). Finally, and most arresting of all, cross-cultural understanding may penetrate the researcher’s womb of native assumption and belief. Certainly, when the object of the anthropological approach is an advanced industrial society, as is most emphatically the case with Japan, the research process may exhibit a kind of ‘feed-back’ loop, in which spokesmen for the object culture will scrutinize how the Westerner or other researcher has collected and ordered his data, and what abstractions he has drawn from them.

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