Faculty Profile

OKUBO Kunihiko

Research Topics

Civil Law (particularly contract, tort and restitution) and Methodology in Jurisprudence

Research Introduction and Message

Invitation to the world of learning

   I like cooking, but when I tried cooking 'Spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino', I didn't get good results. It was always too oily and too salty. I had a recipe that told me to add some of the water that was used to boil the spaghetti noodles to the skillet with the garlic and oil, but that didn't turn out well either. I was in the habit of adding tomatoes, and that ended up tasting good.

   One day, as I was looking at recipes online, the word "emulsification" leapt out at me. An emulsification is a mixture of water and oil, like mayonnaise. Water is necessary in order to add saltiness since salt won't dissolve in oil, and the oily consistency was caused by the fact that I wasn't succeeding in creating an emulsification. The tomatoes and flour in the boiling water spur on the emulsification process. By using the concept of emulsification, I was able to explain my past experiences, and clearing up my previous misunderstandings gave me a good feeling.

   The undertaking of jurisprudence, too, takes as its objective the search for principles that can be used to explain numerous laws and judgments. At root, learning consists of explaining things we can see with our own eyes (experience) with things we cannot see (natural laws, dogma, principles, structures, etc.). But it's no easy task to discover these things. Many of you have no doubt watched the television program "Justice with Michael Sandel". In the initial presentation of the trolley problem, it is difficult to explain the seemingly contradictory conclusions (in which students who agreed in the first case that the life of one person should be sacrificed to save the lives of five others but then expressed opposition in the second case). Are you ready to dive into this world of learning, and clear your minds?

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