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Keywords:

  • information;
  • self-organizing system;
  • methodology of science

Abstract

This paper outlines the life and academic accomplishments of the largely internationally unknown but foremost innovative and leading sociologist of Japan considered as the “unknown master” of Japanese sociology, Tamito Yoshida. (i) Emphasizing originality and creativity, Yoshida's success was free from the existing sociological frameworks and he liberated theoretical study from the yoke of historical perspectives that had long governed Japanese theoretical sociology. (ii) Yoshida's uniform scientific approach that used the keywords of information, selection, and variation based on evolutionist ideas was consistent throughout his life from proposing the “design of information science” in his mid-thirties to proposing the concept of “program sciences” in his later years. (iii) One of Yoshida's major sociological contributions was in identifying the close relationship between subjectivity and the structure of possession. (iv) Yoshida's “A Historical Perspective on the Forces and Relations of Production” is an original and critical re-creation of the Marxist possession theory located within his own theoretical framework, and is an excellent critique of the central arguments of Marxism. It successfully illustrates Yoshida's superlative critical and creative skills of theoretical dialogue.