An Introduction of Professor Jarvie


Makoto KOGAWARA

June 24, 1995

Gentlemen!

It is my pleasure to introduce my friend, professor Ian C. Jarvie. He is a distinguished professor of York University in Toronto and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He has taught at universities on three continents, and now teaches sociology as a visiting professor in Doshi-sha university. So he came here today by train from Kyoto.
Although he was born in Great Britain in 1937, he is now a Canadian by naturalization. In 1950s and early 1960s he studied with Karl Popper in London School of Economics, where he met his life long friend, professor Josef Agassi whose comments, as we see on our Popper Letters of this month, in a critical and friendly manner point out the significance of our lecturer's paper. In LSE, he first studied anthropology and soon felt the poverty of theories in this field. He attacked it in his first book: The Revolution in Anthropology in 1964. After this challenging book, he wrote many books. Indeed he is one of the most productive authors in the Popperian school. I can only mention some of his books.

Movies and Society, 1970
Concepts and Society, 1972
Movies as Social Criticism, 1978
Philosophy of the Film,1987
Rationality and Relativism: In Search of a Philosophy and History of Anthropology, 1984
Thinking about Society, 1986
Hollywood's Overseas Campaign, 1992. (This book won a very big prize in England in January 1994, 7000 pounds!)
Please allow me to add some words about the Philosophy of the Film. I am now translating this interesting book with my collaborator. This book treats with epistemology, ontology, aesthetics and philosophy by means of the film. After having read this book, one can even say that, for example, the so called Plato's metaphor of the cave and Berkeley's idealism are, in a sense, precursors of the philosophy of the film, though I don't know whether professor Jarvie admits my interpretation. At any rate, I am completely persuaded that the film illustrates various kinds of philosophical ideas.
Generally speaking it is very difficult, as you know, to explain to the students what philosophy is, by using only words and books. On the contrary, this book teaches us and also the students how interesting and amusing to play with philosophical ideas, by using many classical films, for example, Casa Blanca, Citizen Kane, Rashomon, and what not. In fact, this book contains plenty of devices to introduce and to illustrate philosophy in generall. But alas I am not given a time to speak about the charm of this book.So, let's return to my job to introduce professor Jarvie.
He has worked mainly in the three fields; Anthropology, Movies and the Methodology of Social Sciences including the theory of rationality. This width of his erudition makes him an able and qualified managing editor of the Philosophy of the Social Sciences, a world famous quarterly issued in Canada. This journal began in 1971 and is one of few English journals that shows friendliness to Popper's philosophy. Professor Jarvie is one of the founding members of this leading journal and since the first issue manages it substantially.
He is now writing a book about Popper and his philosophy. Today's lecture is planned to constitute the third chapter of it.
From now on, he will present us an interesting interpretation, that is, a 'social reading' of his mentor's magnum opus, The Logic of Scientific Discovery and will discuss the main purport and significance of Popper's methodology in our age of science.
Now, Professor, Your turn.