The purpose of the present article is to analyse South African listed companies' public reporting in order to contribute to our understanding of how and why companies consider human rights. The empirical analysis is placed in the context of the increasing prominence of human rights as a business issue, premised in part on the activities of the United Nations (UN) Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) on human rights and business. On the basis of a content analysis of the (...) public reports of the top 100 companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), we test hypotheses focused on the antecedents of companies' demonstrated human rights due diligence, with particular reference to assumptions or findings of the SRSG and institutional theory. Some of our results are unexpected: there is little influence exerted by the sector and size of companies in our sample, and there is also an unexpectedly insignificant impact of company participation in the UN Global Compact and the JSE Socially Responsible Investment Index. On the other hand, a key predictor of human rights due diligence is an explicit leadership commitment, and important roles are also played by government regulations and stock exchange listing rules. (shrink)
Johann Georg Hamann (1730-1788) is a major figure not only in German philosophy but also in literature and religious history. In his own time he wrote penetrating criticisms of Herder, Kant, Mendelssohn, and other Enlightenment thinkers; after his death he was an important figure for Goethe, Hegel, Kierkegaard, and others. It was only in the twentieth century, however, that the full and radical extent of his 'linguistic' critique of philosophy was recognized. This volume presents a new translation of a (...) wide selection of his essays, including both famous and lesser-known works. Hamann's enigmatic prose-style was deliberately at odds with Enlightenment assumptions about language, and a full apparatus of annotation explains the numerous allusions in his essays. The volume is completed by a historical and philosophical introduction and suggestions for further reading. (shrink)
This paper deals with the relation between Nicholas of Cusa and the Dutch philosopher Heymericus de Campo. Nicholas is celebrated for his rather positive attitude towards Islam. In De pace fidei (1453) he presents the vision of una religio in rituum varietate and in his Cribratio Alkorani (1460/61) Nicholas tries to prove Christian dogmas on the basis of the Koran. This idea he had discussed with his Dutch friend several decades earlier. In his Disputatio de potestate ecclesiastica (1433/34) Heymeric scrutinizes (...) the question, whether the highest authority in the church belongs to the pope or the council, on the basis of the Koran. He presents ten arguments in favour of the council and one in favour of the pope. This shows that Nicholas developed parts of his exceptional thought in conversation with Heymeric and suggests that a closer examination of Heymeric's texts will reveal a new side of the young Cusanus. (shrink)
We explore some topics in the model theory of sheaves of modules. First we describe the formal language that we use. Then we present some examples of sheaves obtained from quivers. These, and other examples, will serve as illustrations and as counterexamples. Then we investigate the notion of strong minimality from model theory to see what it means in this context. We also look briefly at the relation between global, local and pointwise versions of properties related to acyclicity.
Recent investigations and theorising about category-specific deficits have begun to focus upon patients with progressive brain disease such as semantic dementia and Alzheimer's disease. In this commentary we briefly review what insights have been gained from studying patients of this type. We concentrate on four specific issues: the sensory/functional distinction, correlation between features, neuroanatomical considerations, and confounding factors.
In this chapter I shall examine some of Johann Georg Hamann’s claims about how philosophers misuse, misunderstand, and are misled by language. I will then examine how he anticipates things that Friedrich Nietzsche and Ludwig Wittgenstein say on this topic.
An American essayist, poet, and popular philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) began his career as a Unitarian minister in Boston, but achieved worldwide fame as a lecturer and the author of such essays as “Self-Reliance,” “History,” “The Over-Soul,” and “Fate.” Drawing on English and German Romanticism, Neoplatonism, Kantianism, and Hinduism, Emerson developed a metaphysics of process, an epistemology of moods, and an “existentialist” ethics of self-improvement. He influenced generations of Americans, from his friend Henry David Thoreau to John Dewey, (...) and in Europe, Friedrich Nietzsche, who takes up such Emersonian themes as power, fate, the uses of poetry and history, and the critique of Christianity. (shrink)
Ralph Cudworth (1617-88) was one of the Cambridge Platonists. His major work, The True Intellectual System of the Universe, was completed in 1671, a year after Spinoza published (anonymously) the Tractatus Logico-philosophicus. It was published a few years later, in 1678. Cudworth offers a spirited attack against the materialism and mechanism of Thomas Hobbes. His work is couched as a search for truth among the ancient philosophers, and this paper examines his use of the Presocratics as a tool for (...) discussing the issues of his day. (shrink)
Ralph Johnson's Manifest Rationality (2000) is a major contribution to the field of informal logic, but the concept of argument that is central to its project suffers from a tension between the components that comprise it. This paper explores and addresses that tension by examining the implications of each of five aspects of the definition of ‘argument’.
This study of Ralph Pred’s Onflow (MIT Press, 2005) expands on Pred’s arguments and raises doubts about the viability of phenomenology. Showing that Pred’s method is indeed phenomenological, I validate his interpretations of William James as phenomenologist and his critique of John Searle in light of James, which documents the extent to which the role of habit in the constitution of experience is neglected by philosophers. In explaining habit, however, Pred himself reverts to non-phenomenological models drawn from James’ postulate (...) of psycho-physical parallelism. Habit, like causation, poses an unmet challenge to phenomenological methods. In his critique of Gerald Edelman, Pred notes that Edelman falls prey to a metaphysical bias inherent in modern Indo-European languages. But Pred’s acuity in exposing a latent linguistic bias in phenomenological data is a two-edged sword. Revealing an invisible dependence of appearance on language, it casts doubt on the project of getting beyond language to "appearances-in-themselves.". (shrink)
This is an important book historically, documenting the long friendship and correspondence of Emerson and Carlyle. It should be noted that there is a more up-to-date edition, done in the 20th century (edited by Joseph Slater, Columbia U.P. 1964). Many of the common themes and interests of the two thinkers are indicated in the correspondence, and often enough, one can also see evidence of the differences and how they approached them.
In what follows, I analyze Ralph Strode's treatise on obligations. I have used a hitherto unpublished edition of the text (based on 14 manuscripts) made by Prof. E.J. Ashworth. I first give a brief description of Strode's text, which is all the more necessary given that it is not available to the average reader; I also offer a reconstruction of the rules proposed by Strode, following the style of reconstruction used in my analysis of Burley's and Swyneshed's rules elsewhere—that (...) is, essentially based on the idea that obligationes can be viewed as logical games. In the second part, I address Strode's explicit arguments contra Swyneshed. In the third part, I discuss Strode's epistemic and pragmatic approach to obligationes. (shrink)
In his lifetime, Ralph Waldo Emerson became the most widely known man of letters in America, establishing himself as a prolific poet, essayist, popular lecturer, and an advocate of social reforms who was nevertheless suspicious of reform and reformers. Emerson achieved some reputation with his verse, corresponded with many of the leading intellectual and artistic figures of his day, and during an off and on again career as a Unitarian minister, delivered and later published a number of controversial sermons. (...) Emerson’s enduring reputation, however, is as a philosopher, an aphoristic writer (like Friedrich Nietzsche) and a quintessentially American thinker whose championing of the American Transcendental movement and influence on Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, William James, and others would alone secure him a prominent place in American cultural history. (shrink)
Twentieth century philosophy and psychology have been peculiarly averse to mental images. Throughout nearly two and a half millennia of philosophical wrangling, from Aristotle to Hume to Bergson, images (perceptual and quasi-perceptual experiences), sometimes under the alias of "ideas", were almost universally considered to be both the prime contents of consciousness, and the vehicles of cognition. The founding fathers of experimental psychology saw no reason to dissent from this view, it was commonsensical, and true to the lived experience of conscious (...) thinking. However, early in this century, just about when the behaviorist revolution in psychology was loudly declaring the scientific illegitimacy of any attempt to study consciousness, and the concomitant non-existence of imagery (Watson, 1913; see Thomas, 1989), philosophy was undergoing its "linguistic turn", a turn to seeing philosophy as essentially about language rather than the world, even the 'inner' world. For decades, the very concept of the mental image was suspect, and it was certainly banished from playing any major role in theories of mind and of thinking. Ralph Ellis' Questioning Consciousness, together with the recent speculations of certain influential neuroscientists (Edelman, 1992; Damasio, 1994), may be signaling the end this unusual era. (shrink)
(1999). Reviews: Managing the Unknowable: Strategic Boundaries Between Order and Chaos in Organizations, Ralph D. Stacey; Complexity and Creativity in Organizations, Ralph D. Stacey. Emergence: Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 129-138.
The English Neoplatonic philosopher Ralph Cudworth introduced the term ‘consciousness’ into the English philosophical lexicon. Cudworth uses the term to define the form and structure of cognitive acts, including acts of freewill. In this article I highlight the important role of theological disputes over the place and extent of human freewill within an overarching system of providence. Cudworth’s intellectual development can be understood in the main as an increasingly detailed and nuanced reaction to the strict voluntarist Calvinism that is (...) typified in the thought of his near contemporary William Perkins. At the heart of Cudworth’s rejection of Calvinism is the dilemma over whether God is understood primarily in terms of will or justice. In this fleshing-out of the power of consciousness Cudworth moves from an instrumental account of the working of the human mind towards an account of human consciousness that is intrinsic to his definition of human agency. (shrink)
Un fait divers, l'apparition en 1764 d'un homme prétendument sauvage dans les forêts de Königsberg, fournit à Kant et Hamann l'occasion d'une confrontation de leurs points de vue sur l'intelligibilité de la naturalité et de la f actualité humaines. Parue dans la Gazette politique et littéraire de Königsberg sous la forme de deux articles (que nous traduisons), cette confrontation dépasse vite l'anecdote pour conduire à la divergence de deux voies, celle implicite de Hamann, l'interprétation théologique, et celle encore (...) « en germe » de Kant, l'application de la méthode expérimentale à l'anthropologie. A singular event — the appearance in 1764 of a so-called “savage man” in the forests of Königsberg — gave Kant and Hamann the opportunity to taste their points of view concerning the intelligibility of both naturality, and human factuality. This confrontation, which appeared in the Political and Literary Gazette of Königsberg in the form of two articles (translated here), goes rapidly over the anecdote to arrive at a parting of the ways — that of Hamann: the theological interpretation; and that of Kant (although still in germination) the application of experimental methodology to anthropology. (shrink)
Ralph Burhoe developed his proposals for a social reformation at a time when the “two cultures” debate was still active. It is suggested here that Burhoe, sharing with his contemporaries an understanding of culture that was Western and normative in character, overlooked the distinction between the culture of the elites and popular culture, and consequently between religion as presented by theologians and church officials and popular religion. Therefore, his proposals for the revitalization of traditional religions, even if implemented, would (...) not work. Some contradictions within his own program are pointed out, and the social role of the sciences after World War II, as well as the ambiguities of their presence in the so-called underdeveloped nations, is analyzed. As a positive conclusion, it is suggested that Burhoe's main contribution should be sought, not in his outline for a social reformation, but in his role as an organizer of the dialogue between religion and science. (shrink)
Ralph Wedgwood’s The Nature of Normativity significantly advances our understanding of metaethical realism. After briefly reviewing the overall structure of Wedgwood’s argument for a Platonist realism about normativity, this critical notice focuses on three of the central metaphysical and epistemological claims that he defends. I first explain and raise difficulties for Wedgwood’s core claim that the intentional is normative. I then argue that his innovative attempt to finesse the supervenience problem that faces metaethical Platonists fails. Finally, I critically examine (...) his attempt to explain how his Platonism is compatible with an acceptable epistemology of the normative. (shrink)
In 1828, G. W. F. Hegel published a critical review of Johann Georg Hamann, a retrospective of the life and works of one of Germany’s most enigmatic and challenging thinkers and writers. While Hegel’s review had enjoyed a central place in Hamann studies since its appearance, Hegel on Hamann is the first English translation of the important work. Philosophers, theologians, and literary critics welcome Anderson’s stunning translation since Hamann is gaining renewed attention, not only as a (...) key figure of German intellectual history, but also as an early forerunner of postmodern thought. Relationships between Enlightenment, Counter Enlightenment, and Idealism come to the fore as Hegel reflects on Hamann’s critiques of his contemporaries Immanuel Kant, Moses Mendelssohn, J. G. Herder, and F. H. Jacobi. Hegel on Hamann also includes an introduction to Hegel’s review by Anderson, as well as an essay on the role of friendship in Hamann’s life, in Hegel’s thought, and in German intellectual culture more broadly. Rounding out the volume are its extensive annotations and bibliography, which facilitate further study of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century philosophy in English and German. This book is essential both for readers of Hegel or Hamann and for those interested in the history of German thought, the philosophy of religion, language and hermeneutics, or friendship as a philosophical category. (shrink)
Johann Georg Hamann, a contemporary of Kant and Herder, was an important German philosopher of the 18th century, whose significance, however, is not sufficiently recognized today. His cryptic and short writings full of allusions and deep scholarship do not make him an easily accessible writer. He was a sharp critic of sophistry maskerading as philosophy, thus taking over the role of Socrates for his time, connecting a defense of Christian beliefs with a radical re-interpretation of enlightenment, thereby trying to (...) enlighten enlightenment about itself. Hamann's concept of reason as language is an important contribution to the understanding of human nature as such, stressing the concreteness and historicality of human reason. Contrary to earlier interpretations, though, Hamann is no irrationalist, but a thinker who ridicules the absurdities of enlightenment rationalism and proved to be an important source of inspiration for writers like Sören Kierkegaard and Ernst Jünger. (shrink)
This new edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Society and Solitude reproduces the original 1870 edition—only updating nineteenth-century prose spellings. Emerson’s text is fully annotated to identify the authors and issues of concern in the twelve essays, and definitions are provided for selected words in Emerson’s impressive vocabulary. The work aims to facilitate a better understanding of Emerson’s late philosophy in relation to his sources, his development and his subsequent influence.
Many moral philosophers in the Western tradition have used phenomenological claims as starting points for philosophical inquiry; aspects of moral phenomenology have often been taken to be anchors to which any adequate account of morality must remain attached. This paper raises doubts about whether moral phenomena are universal and robust enough to serve the purposes to which moral philosophers have traditionally tried to put them. Persons’ experiences of morality may vary in a way that greatly limits the extent to which (...) moral phenomenology can constitute a reason to favor one moral theory over another. Phenomenology may not be able to serve as a pre-theoretic starting point or anchor in the consideration of rival moral theories because moral phenomenology may itself be theory-laden. These doubts are illustrated through an examination of how moral phenomenology is used in the thought of Ralph Cudworth, Samuel Clarke, Joseph Butler, Francis Hutcheson, and Søren Kierkegaard. (shrink)
We can distinguish between ambitious metanormative constructivism and a variety of other constructivist projects in ethics and metaethics. Ambitious metanormative constructivism is the project of either developing a type of new metanormative theory, worthy of the label “constructivism”, that is distinct from the existing types of metaethical, or metanormative, theories already on the table—various realisms, non-cognitivisms, error-theories and so on—or showing that the questions that lead to these existing types of theories are somehow fundamentally confused. Natural ways of pursuing the (...) project of ambitious metanormative constructivism lead to certain obvious, and related, worries about whether the ambitions are really being achieved—that is whether we really are being given a distinctive theory. I will argue that responding to these initial worries pushes ambitious metanormative constructivism towards adopting a kind of position that I will call “constructivism all the way down”. Such a position does see off most of the above initial worries. Drawing on the work of Ralph Walker and Crispin Wright, I argue, however, that it faces a distinct objection that is a descendent of Bertrand Russell’s Bishop Stubbs objection against coherentist theories of truth. I grant that the constructivist need not be a coherentist about truth. I argue, however, that despite this the constructivist cannot escape my version of the objection. I also distinguish between this objection and various traditional charges of circularity, regress, relativism, or psychologistic reductionism. (shrink)
Moral rationalism is the view that morality originates in reason alone. It is often contrasted with moral sentimentalism, which is the view that the origin of morality lies at least partly in (non-rational) sentiment. The eighteenth century saw pitched philosophical battles between rationalists and sentimentalists, and the issue continues to fuel disputes among moral philosophers today.