The Graduate School of Letters is one of the few graduate schools in the country that offers a specialized program in ethics in addition to philosophy. Keio has the largest number of academic staff in ethics among any domestic university and is a center for ethics research in Japan.

Since its establishment in 1951, the Ethics Program within the Department of Philosophy and Ethics has conducted research and education on the western tradition, in particular modern German, French, British, American, and Russian moral philosophy. The fields of research covered by a course in Ethics include normative ethics, metaethics, applied ethics, history of ethics, philosophy of religion, and social philosophy. Every year we invite leading scholars from beyond those fields to give lectures that provide students with additional opportunities to delve deeper into ethics.

Around 10 students are enrolled in our program, each pursuing specialized research on issues of their own interest. An emphasis on small-group education helps students to write academic papers and become comfortable in interacting with other researchers.



Department/Specialty/Research Interest/Publication

  • ERTL, Wolfgang

    History of Ethics, Metaphysics, Modern Ethics, Immanuel Kant's Philosophy

    I am interested in topics situated at the intersection of metaphysics and ethics, mainly, but not exclusively in Kant. These topics include the multifaceted debate on free will and determinism, the question of objectivity and realism in ethics, Kant’s transcendental idealism and his approach to moral philosophy, as well as the conception of natural practical law in Aquinas and Scotus. Currently, I am working on a monograph on the relevance of Luis de Molina's thought for Kant’s theoretical and practical philosophy. Molina is a 16th century Scholastic philosopher and theologian, and in my opinion, Kant's revolutionary ideas about free will are to a large extent inspired by this remarkable predecessor of his.

    • Kants Auflösung der“dritten Antinomie”: Zur Bedeutung des Schöpfungskonzepts für die Freiheitslehre(Freiburg, München: Alber, 1998)
    • David Hume und die Dissertation von 1770: Eine Untersuchung zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der Philosophie Immanuel Kants(Frankfurt/M.: Lang, 1999)
    • “Ludewig”Molina and Kant's Libertarian Compatibilism, in Matthias Kaufmann and Alexander Aichele (eds), A Companion to Luis de Molina (Leiden, Boston: Brill 2014), pp. 405-445.
    • The Guarantee of Perpetual Peace (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2020).
    • Preparing the Ground for Kant’s Highest Good in the World. In: Philosophia (2021, online pre-edition),
  • TSUGE, Hisanori

    History of British Ethical Thought

    I have been doing research in the fields of history of ethics, theory of ethics and applied ethics. In history of ethics, I have been trying to trace the history of modern British ethical thought and to understand its whole story; in theory of ethics, trying to examine main theories of contemporary ethics and to show their possibilities and limitations; and in applied ethics, trying to consider ethical problems in economy and to analyze their causes.

    • 『良心の興亡:近代イギリス道徳哲学研究』(ナカニシヤ出版、2003/増補版、山川出版社、2016)
    • 『イギリスのモラリストたち』(研究社、2009)
    • 『プレップ倫理学』(弘文堂、2010/増補版、2021)
    • 『プレップ経済倫理学』(弘文堂、2014)
    • 『近代イギリス倫理思想史』(ナカニシヤ出版、2020)
  • NARA, Masatoshi (Tetsuro)

    Contemporary French Philosophy, Biomedical Ethics

    I am interested in contemporary French philosophy and biomedical ethics. I am currently engaged in two research projects: the genealogy of French spiritualism and the virtue ethics approach to the ethical issues in medicine.

    • 『シリーズ生命倫理学 第12巻 先端医療』(共著、丸善出版、2012)
    • The Future of Bioethics: International Dialogues(共著、Oxford University Press, 2014)
    • 『救急・集中治療における臨床倫理』(共著、克誠堂出版、2016)
    • 『入門・倫理学』(共著、勁草書房、2018)