Based on the concept that "the urge to contribute is a human instinct", to seek human ways of living and how they can be put into practice.

From Hisatake Kato, President

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  • From Hisatake Kato, President

When we can shed new light on the good in human beings, people will say that our research has been successful.


   Often in the course of a joint research project, a young researcher will rush into my office, face flushed with excitement, declaring, “I’ve found a good document!” His or her face shows the exhilaration that comes from making a contribution to a common goal. Our respected forebears knew that every person has such feelings.

   Similar to the urge to contribute, there are the desire for recognition and the spirit of self-sacrifice. When we explore in and around the urge to contribute, avoiding feelings unduly shaped by the hardened molds of rhetoric, we will see a feeling which naturally makes human beings satisfied by achieving an objective shared with others. By identifying and affirming a realm in which we empathize and communicate with others, we can free ourselves to improve the direction of our lives.

   Here is a question for Adam Smith: “Self-interest may be what motivates people, but isn’t there any other better incentive?” In the field of economics, the logic of incentives seems to get increasing attention, but we do not want the notion that self-interest is the only effective incentive to grow independently. Surely it should be the economists’ task to look for more admirable incentives.

   The study of the mind may be approached in various ways. Ever since it became possible to read the workings of the brain using the devices of modern technology, one of the questions always asked is: “What part of the brain is the mind?” On the other hand, some people argue that there is no way of knowing the mind other than sensing it with the mind.

   If I were asked what method I would prefer for knowing the mind, I would say any approach might be possible through literature, brain physiology, religion, psychology, and so on. By studying the urge to contribute I hope that we will be able to clarify the features of some of the various paths to better knowledge of the mind.

   One of the rules that we must follow is that delicate things must be treated with great care. We must treasure the subtleties of feelings and their slightest wavering. We should watch for different levels of certainty, from the surest to the most tentative. We should describe things simply, avoiding difficult language. Knowing that facts, whatever they are, can be explained in such a way that anyone can understand, we should cherish a passion for plain speaking.

   When we can shed new light on the good in human beings, people will say that our research has been successful.

From Hisao Taki, Chairman and representative director
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