published: 2012-06-01Japanese

What does suffering mean for people?

It means pain of a person's body, luck of money, loneliness etc…it depends.

My suffering is to have a bitter feeling of how this could happen to me.

This kind of suffering occurs when (people feel that) they suffer something unreasonable. A special thing about this suffering is in that they position themselves as victims. In other words, this suffering is “suffering of victims”. I have conducted my research in order to clarify why this “suffering of victims” befalls and how it can be resolved.

What I have been focusing on in my research is suffering of criminal victims. There are two reasons for this. First, criminal victims are victims who are suffered by victimizers. Second, some of the criminal victims more or less feel why they themselves had to be suffered.

In the literature review, suffering of criminal victims have been explained from the viewpoints of economic loss and psychological burden. Thus, “suffering of victims” has been told as psychological burden, that is, experiences within individuals. However, in that viewpoint, “unreasonably suffered” feeling and suffering with the feeling are interpreted only as individuals' psychological burden. Suffering as victims in that what they did not want was added in a way they did not want is abstracted in this framework.

Therefore, I examine “suffering of victims” by focusing on the relationship between assault and damage which is based on the premise of the situation of damage. What I have found out is that victims have inconvenience which is determined by assault since the relationship between assault and damage lucks symmetry. Due to this inconvenience, victims try to look for reasons why they are suffered. Then, it reminds them of assault. That is, why do they as victims have to look for reasons? Who makes this situation? In my opinion, the inconvenience as victims is “suffering of victims”.

In this way we find the two kinds of suffering of victims. The first one is the essence of suffering (i.e., economic loss, psychological burden etc.) and the second one is what I consider “suffering of victims”. Now in my research I try to clarify the relationship of these in order to resolve the suffering of victims.

I strongly believe that the reason I could stick to the awareness of my research question and critically analyze questions and respond to the questions to a certain extent is because I have been involved in research activities of the Research Center for Ars Vivendi.

At the Center there are many people who stick to the awareness of their own research questions concerning life and keep considering it in a cross disciplinary way. I have learned their sincere attitude toward their own research. They faced their own academic interests, created questions using a cross disciplinary approach. I am lucky because I have made connections with such people here at the Center.

The study groups I have been involved in at the Center are the Study Group on Norm & Order and the Study Group on Care. We have had meetings to discuss and thus deepen questions. After connecting the contents inspired at the meetings with our own interests we have participated in very events or partly contributed to various such publications as the Report Issued by the Research Center for Ars Vivendi. So far I have partly contributed to No.11 and 17. I also participated in the International Conference “Catastrophe and Justice” in March 2012 and had presentation by my own interest with corrective justice.

 I am in a process of writing my doctoral dissertation. When I reflect the process, I realize that the process is the work I write what I have learned from research activities at the Center. While I keep writing my dissertation, I will participate in research activities at the Center when circumstances allow.



OTANI Michitaka

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