Critics of Time in Modernity By Yusuke Maki

Monday, July 14, 2014: 4:30 PM
Room: 304
Oral Presentation
Shingo TORIGOE , Graduate School of Keio University, Japan
This presentation thematizes the series of works of Yusuke Maki, which is the pen name of Munesuke Mita. He is one of the most prominent sociologists in Japan. In this presentation, I would like to focus on the works of Yusuke Maki, and to define their significance and limitations.

  For the abovementioned purpose, first of all, I will try to consider Yusuke Maki’s series of works as a unified process in which his project of critics about “time in modernity (characterized as irreversibility and linearity; Newton’s absolute time)” has been gradually deepening. Maki’s critics of his initial works were based on Marxism, or strictly speaking, on theory of reification. For example, in Gendaisyakai-no-Sonnritsu-Kouzou (Existential Structures of Contemporary Society) (1977), Maki carefully examined Marx, and in Ninngen-Kaihou-no-Riron-no-Tameni (Toward The Theory of Human Liberation) (1971), he criticized the difficulties of analytical reason on the basis of theory of reification. However, after that, the color of Marxism had gradually faded away from his works and he employed the perspective called “comparative sociology”. As a result, it seems to us that his critics of time in modernity became more and more consistent. It is simply illustrated in the fact that he thoroughly relativizes even the Marxism view of time, depended on which his initial works were written, which is obvious in his Jikan-no-Hikaku-Syakaigaku (Comparative Sociology of Time) (1981), which is a fruition of his inquiry from the perspective of comparative sociology.

  Furthermore, I would like to examine the terminal point of Maki’s inquiry. In doing so, I will employ the view of time of “vertically accumulating time”, which has been developed in phenomenological perspectives. This process aims to articulate the significance and limitations of Maki’s works, and to find a way of developing his insight.