- 名古屋大学人文学研究論集 (ISSN:2433233X)
- no.2, pp.65-88, 2019-03-31
A positive attitude toward life, particularly learned optimism, has been explained in the field of positive psychology as a major key to developing a fruitful life of our own. Hope theory, a branch of the psychology, affirms that we should hold a positive outlook even under negative circumstances, but warns against embracing excessively biased illusions insofar as they may undermine practical and resourceful ways of attaining goals. The theory encourages critical thinking, viewed as indispensable for assessing circumstances and events we encounter. Many college educators who are motivated to produce globally competent students seem to be possessed with heavily biased illusions about negative side-effects of global capitalism, entranced by the idea that their ultimate mission is to furnish students with major skills required to survive in the globalized world. Another group of highly optimistic educators, disenchanted with addiction to economic growth, privilege the importance of quality of life in motivating students to reconstitute their identity as a unique individual amid the uniformity brought by globalization. Recent research, however, shows that Japanese students' mindsets and behaviors have become more dehumanized or "animalized" in the sense that they are unable to look beyond the present moment and immediate circumstances. Symbolic or virtual reality has superseded what used to be considered real or hard facts, replacing students' perceptions and sense of reality with those more akin to animals. In this postmodern condition, educators at least ought to choose a group of students who awaken from a weakness of the will immersed in pleasant illusions and help them awaken to the hope of "being integrated into the universal order" (Gabriel Marcel). Educationalists need to instill a belief within students that their morals and behavior are guided by their natural connections with "the order."