授業の目的・方法／Course Objectives and method
This seminar class is for those students who intend to work on a global scale. Self-renewal is the indispensable ability to survive in the rapidly changing world today. We will study the conditions for self-renewal and growth at the individual, organizational, and societal levels. Students will be able to achieve the following:
To learn and practice English in class room discussions.
To become an individual who can renew oneself for a rapidly changing world.
To learn the importance of versatility, creativity, and life-long learning
To learn the mechanism of self-renewal in the individual, organization, and society
To learn what is really necessary for Japan to renew itself for future prosperity
The object of this seminar is to educate ourselves on how to practice continuous self-renewal. It will enable you to become a global talent who can live and work anywhere in the world. What you will learn from this seminar class (the ability for self-renewal) has a universal applicability: it will help you whatever path you will take in the future.
2. Growth, Decay and Renewal
6. Obstacles to Renewal
7. Tyranny without Tyrant
8. Organizing for Renewal
9. Individuality and Its Limits
10. Commitment and Meaning
11. Attitudes toward the Future
12. Moral Decay and Renewal
John W. Gardner, Self-Renewal: The Individual and The Innovative Society,Revised Edition, W. W. Norton & Co Inc., 1995 (originally published in 1963).
John W. Gardner, Excellence: Can We Be Equal and Excellent Too? Revised Edition, W. W. Norton & Co Inc., 1984 (originally published in 1961).
This book emphasized the importance of high standards for achieving Excellence. But high standards are not enough. We also need continuous Self-Renewal to maintain Excellence
John W. Gardner, On Leadership, The Free Press, 1990.
This book discusses Leadership that is necessary for achieving Excellence and Self-Renewal in the context of a group, organization, and society.
The final grade will be based on class attendance, participation in discussions, and an essay on self-renewal.
This seminar will be particularly useful for those students who have high English skills and high ambitions for career and learning. The seminar will be conducted mainly in English.
The Essentials of
John W. Gardner, Self-Renewal: The Individual and The Innovative Society
by Hiroshi Shibuya (May 18, 2015: updated June 20)
1. The Inescapable Reality of Change as the Fundamental Fact of the World and Life
Life and the world keep changing and evolving.
Failure to face the realities of change brings heavy penalties: decay and death.
Yet decay and death are not inevitable. There is also renewal.
This book is about the decay and renewal of individuals, organizations, and societies.
Individuals produce the decay and renewal of organizations and societies.
The factors that produce deterioration are powerful and universally applicable
Deterioration sets in most quickly where success seems most secured:
Success => Rigidity => Maladjustment => Decay (apathy, moral emptiness) => Renewal
Obstacles to Renewal
(1) Individual narrowing (closed and narrow minds)
(2) Straightjacket of written and unwritten rules (rigid formula, procedures, and method)
(3) Vested interests
Renewal depends on many factors, but the most important factor is Motivation.
If people are apathetic, defeated in spirit, or unable to imagine a future worth striving for, the game is lost.
Q: How can we spare ourselves such a collapse of spirit and will?
A: By individual attitudes and institutional arrangements fit for continuous renewal
(cf. Vilfredo Pareto's "Mind and Society")
2. Individual Attitudes and Values (Mind)
(1) Tough-minded Optimism ( =><= Weak-minded Pessimism =「バカの壁」)
The future is shaped by men and women with a steady, even zestful, confidence that on balance their efforts will not have been vain.
(2) Staying Power ( =><= Giving up easily,「仕方ない」)
Stamina is an attribute that keeps us going.
We need a hardbitten morale that enables us to face the truth of hard life, and still strive with every ounce of our energy to prevail in the world. (cf. Spinoza's conatus).
(3) Creativity (Openness, Independence, Flexibility, Capacity to Find Order in Experience)
(4) Self-Development (Learning => Self-Knowledge and Self-Actualization => Self-Confidence)
(5) Courage to Fail (If you want to keep learning, you must keep on risking failure - all your life)
(6) Love (Mutually fruitful relations with others => Cooperation => Development and Growth)
(7) Ideas and a Value System ( =><= Apathy, Nihilism)
Humans live by ideas that validate their striving, and ideas that say it’s worth living and trying, and ideas that give a meaning for life.
What makes a collection of people a society is the cohesiveness that stems out of shared values, purposes and beliefs.
3. Institutional Arrangements (Society)
A totalitarian regime may accomplish a spectacular burst of social change.
But there cannot be long-continued renewal without liberty, pluralism, and regard for the worth of the individual.
(1) Liberty requires the limiting and disciplining of power.
Constitution is designed to place constraints on power. Almost every historic shift in policy in the past century has come out of voluntary associations.
(2) Pluralism is a social strategy that encourages the existence of many sources of initiative, many kinds of institutions, many conflicting beliefs, and many competing economic units.
In a totalitarian society, there is one dominant sources of power and initiative, one ideology, one “correct” answer.
Within a pluralistic society, citizens can create new forms of associations.
A tradition of vigorous criticism (critical thinking) is essential to the renewal of a society.
(cf. Hannah Arendt’s conception of Plurality)
(3) High regard for the worth of the individual is important because people are fertile seedbed and ideas are seedlings.
The capacity to germinate is in the individual seed.
And the source of creativity for the society is in the individual.
4. The Main Theme of the Book
Renewal springs from the freshness and vitality of individual men and women. Therefore the individual’s capacity for lifelong learning is the most important factor for the self-renewal of individuals, organizations, and societies.
(1) If a society hopes to achieve renewal, it will have to be a hospitable environment for creative men and women. (Institutional Arrangements = Society)
(2) It will also have to produce men and women with the capacity for self-renewal. (Individual Attitudes = Mind)
(3) Unless we cope with the ways in which modern society oppresses the individual, we shall lose the creative spark that renews both individuals and societies. (a failure of Society => Alienation of Mind)
(4) Unless we foster versatile, innovative and self-renewing men and women, all the ingenious social arrangements in the world will not help us. (a failure of Mind => Stagnation of Society)
(5) Finally, we shall renew neither ourselves, nor our society, nor a troubled world unless we share a vision of the world and life worth striving for. (A Value System fit for innovative Mind and Society)
Appendix: Karl Popper's Method of Scientific Investigation
(Evolution, Self-Renewal, and the Structure of Open Society)
PS1 => TT1 => EE1 => PS2 => TT2 => EE2 => PS3 ・・・・
PS1 = Problem Situation 1(Tough-minded Optimism)
TT1 = Tentative Theories 1 (Liberty, Plurality, and the Individual)
EE1 = Error Elimination 1 (Staying Power)
PS2 = (New) Problem Situation 2 (New Tough-minded Optimism)
"In response to a given problem situation (PS1), a number of competing conjectures, or tentative theories （TT1), are systematically subjected to the most rigorous attempts at falsification possible. This process, error elimination (EE1), performs a similar function for science that natural selection performs for biological evolution. Theories that better survive the process of refutation are not more true, but rather, more "fit"—in other words, more applicable to the problem situation at hand (PS1). Consequently, just as a species' biological fitness does not ensure continued survival, neither does rigorous testing protect a scientific theory from refutation in the future. Yet, as it appears that the engine of biological evolution has, over many generations, produced adaptive traits equipped to deal with more and more complex problems of survival, likewise, the evolution of theories through the scientific method may, in Popper's view, reflect a certain type of progress: toward more and more interesting problems (PS2). For Popper, it is in the interplay between the tentative theories (conjectures) and error elimination (refutation) that scientific knowledge advances toward greater and greater problems; in a process very much akin to the interplay between genetic variation and natural selection." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Popper)
This process of scientific investigation is essentially the same as Gardner's idea of self-renewal.