In this paper I argue that although the Confucian idea of 'minben' is not synonymous with democracy, some its tenets are conducive to the promotion of a regime in which citizens are politically and economically empowered. In particular, I focus on the way that Confucius, Mencius and Jia Yi stress that government should meet the basic needs of its people. Material well-being is an important precondition of democracy that is often overlooked in contemporary discussions of Chinese government, which usually focus (...) on negative rights or the authoritarian state. (shrink)
Today, ethics has become an important dimension for businesses. Broadly, there are two lines of thought on this issue. The first one suggests that ethical issues have to be resolved through development of appropriate ethical standards at personal or organizational level. The second one emphasizes the process of developing ethical standards rather than the standards themselves. This paper argues that the latter line of thought, when taken forward, implies that ethical dimension is essentially challenging businesses to transform themselves and their (...) people at a very fundamental level in order to evolve continuously to higher levels of perfection. The deeper significance is that in future, businesses will play a dominant role in bringing forth the human spirit, an aspect that is hitherto perceived to be in the purview of other human activity systems like the Church or family. This restructuring at the societal level is probably the most fundamental message of this age of growing interdependence. (shrink)
There are varying opinions about whether or not the field of business ethics has a history or is a development of more modern times. It is suggested that a book by a Dominican Friar, Johannes Nider, De Contractibus Mercatorum, written ca. 1430 and published ca. 1468 provides a basis for a history of over 500 years. Business ethics grew out of attempts to reconcile Biblical precepts, canon law, civil law, the teachings of the Church Fathers, and the writings of early (...) philosophers with the realities of expanding economic activity. Nider's background is discussed as well as his book as an example of incunabula.Nider was one of the Scholastics who provided a link between Aristotle and later Reformation thinkers. In Nider we find caveat venditor as his moral guide to merchants as well as other surprisingly modern ideas such as justice in exchange; restitution for defective goods; the market as the final arbiter of value; and the importance of creating utility in products. (shrink)
Introduction : Zhang Taiyan and Chinese modernity -- Zhang's critique of Kang Youwei : anti-Manchuism, the national essence, and revolution -- Buddhist epistemology and modern self-identity : Zhang Taiyan's "On establishing religion" -- Transfiguring modern temporality : Zhang Taiyan's critique of evolutionary history -- Daoist equalization against the universal principle : Zhang Taiyan's critique of late Qing political theory -- Conclusion : Zhang Taiyan, Lu Xun and Wang Hui : the politics of imagining a better future.
Against Danto's recent argument that the causation internal to basic actions is not a special, immanent causation, it is objected that (i) he introduces a notion of truncated action that involves a fallacious use of the Equals-subtracted-from-equals axiom, (ii) his version of the Identity Thesis turns upon a misleading notion of co-referentiality, and (iii) he falls into what, by his own theory of meaning, amounts to a category mistake concerning intentions as causes within actions. Hence Danto's arguments do not warrant (...) his materialist claim that causation is a univocal concept. (shrink)
Halfway down one wall of the Wren Chapel at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, is a plaque in honor of Bishop James Madison, who is often confused with his more famous cousin, James Madison, author of the U.S. Constitution, co-author of the Federalist Papers, and the fourth President of the United States. Though they pursued separate careers—Bishop Madison as an Anglican minister, a leading scientist, and an extraordinary academic administrator, and Founder Madison as a secular (...) reformer, a superb statesman, and one of the most sophisticated democratic theorists in history—the plaque could hardly honor one without the other, so interlinked were both their legacies to the College, religious freedom, and American democracy. (shrink)
This chapter argues that the standard conception of Spinoza as a fellow-travelling mechanical philosopher and proto-scientific naturalist is misleading. It argues, first, that Spinoza’s account of the proper method for the study of nature presented in the Theological-Political Treatise (TTP) points away from the one commonly associated with the mechanical philosophy. Moreover, throughout his works Spinoza’s views on the very possibility of knowledge of nature are decidedly sceptical (as specified below). Third, in the seventeenth-century debates over proper methods in the (...) sciences, Spinoza sided with those that criticized the aspirations of those (the physico-mathematicians, Galileo, Huygens, Wallis, Wren, etc) who thought the application of mathematics to nature was the way to make progress. In particular, he offers grounds for doubting their confidence in the significance of measurement as well as their piece-meal methodology (see section 2). Along the way, this chapter offers a new interpretation of common notions in the context of treating Spinoza’s account of motion (see section 3). (shrink)
Bruno Latour equates criticism with an iconoclastic urge that is underpinned by the project of modernity. Latour's attack on iconoclastic criticism is therefore closely linked to his rejection of the modern framework. This paper examines Latour's analysis of modernity and the ways in which he connects criticism to the project of modernity. Through our analysis of Latour's reading of an episode from U.R. Anantha Murthy's novel Bharathipura, we argue that critique is actually an integral part of a truly democratic (...) knowledge-making process as well as politics. (shrink)
Before Jonathan Wren's study came out BMJ, April 12, 2005 ) we knew that open-access (OA) copies of scientific journal articles published in non-OA journals were a fairly small subset of the overall journal literature. Wren studied just which subset it was, and found that papers from high-impact journals were more likely to have free online copies at other locations around the web than papers from low-impact journals.
Moral philosophy is at its best when it takes human psychology seriously. Such are the instincts of Thomas Wren. His engaging book Caring About Morality is an attempt to offer an account of human motivation that is true to human psychology, but which captures the spirit of Kantian morality without Kantian metaphysics. I argue that there are some fundamental psychological considerations which Wren does not take into account, and which are an obstacle to the success of his project. (...) Moral motivation, 1 suggest, is much more tied to the psychological histories of persons than Wren allows. (shrink)
Recent discussions of the nature of mind, emotion, and self have often intersected with renewed interest in the sources of morals and morality. In this article l examine proposals on these matters by Charles Taylor and two of his interlocutors, Thomas Wren and Justin Oakley. I describe and compare the “holistic” epistemological approaches of these three in their searches for the “moral self,” and then evaluate the adequacy of their correlative ontological proposals. Finally, I discuss the meta-ethical implications of (...) these emotive views of selfhood in terms of the objective or subjective status of moral values to determine whether these views meet the philosophers’ own criteria for moral plausibility.Les discussions récentes sur la nature de la pensée, de l’émotion et du Soi correspondent souvent à un regain d’intérêt pour les sources de la morale et de la moralité. Dans cet article, je lais l’examen des positions soutenues, dans ce domaine, par Charles Taylor et deux de ses interlocuteurs, Thomas Wren et Justin Oakley. Je décris et compare leurs approches épistémologiques «holistes» dans larecherche d’un «Soi moral», pour énsuite evaluer la pertinence de leurs positions ontologiques connexes. Je termine cet article en discutant les implications méta-éthiques de ces vues émotionnelles sur l’individualité sur la base du statut objectif ou subjectif des valeurs morales, afin de déterminer si ces vues satisfont aux critères de plausibilité morale retenus par ces mêmes philosophes. (shrink)
Macromodels based on microfoundations represent the dominant approach in macroeconomics. These models appear to adopt a clear methodological approach, which promotes internal consistency above external consistency as a necessary condition of admissibility. This paper develops two arguments. The first is that internal consistency makes the development of microfounded macromodels dependent on the pace of theoretical innovation. This had led to an internal debate between ?pragmatists? who argue for limited departures from internal consistency, and ?purists? who claim that this would compromise (...) methodological integrity. The second argument is directly relevant to this debate. It is that the inclusion of price rigidity into these models via short-cuts like Calvo contracts has required a key modification of the microfoundations methodology, such that internal consistency can only be claimed indirectly by appeal to theory developed elsewhere. This modification has repercussions that imply that the microfoundations project is not as unblemished as the ?purists? imagine. (shrink)
The mathematician John Pell was a member of that golden generation of scientists Boyle, Wren, Hooke, and others which came together in the early Royal Society. Although he left a huge body of manuscript materials, he has remained an extraordinarily neglected figure, whose papers have never been properly explored. This book, the first ever full-length study of Pell, presents an in-depth account of his life and mathematical thinking, based on a detailed study of his manuscripts. It not only restores (...) to his proper place in history a figure who was one of the leading mathematicians of his day; it also brings to life a strange, appealing, but awkward character, whose failure to publish his discoveries was caused by powerful scruples. In addition, this book shows that the range of Pell's interests extended far beyond mathematics. He was a key member of the circle of the 'intelligencer' Samuel Hartlib; he prepared translations of works by Descartes and Comenius; in the 1650s he served as Cromwell's envoy to Switzerland; and in the last part of his life he was an active member of the Royal Society, interested in the whole range of its activities. The study of Pell's life and thought thus illuminates many different aspects of 17th-century intellectual life. The book is in three parts. The first is a detailed biography of Pell; the second is an extended essay on his mathematical work; the third is a richly annotated edition of his correspondence with Sir Charles Cavendish. This correspondence, which has often been cited by scholars but has never been published in full, is concerned not only with mathematics but also with optics, philosophy, and many other subjects; conducted mainly while Pell was in the Netherlands and Cavendish was also on the Continent, it is an unusually fascinating example of the correspondence that flourished in the 17th-century 'Republic of letters'. This book will be an essential resource not only for historians of mathematics, science, and philosophy, but also for intellectual and cultural historians of early modern Europe. (shrink)
Central to Kuhn's notion of incommensurability are the ideas of meaning variance and lexicon, and the impossibility of translation of terms across different theories. Such a notion of incommensurability is based on a particular understanding of what a scientific language is. In this paper we first attempt to understand this notion of scientific language in the context of incommensurability. We consider the consequences of the essential multisemiotic character of scientific theories and show how this leads to even a single theory (...) being potentially 'internally incommensurable'. We then discuss Kuhn's lexicon-based approach to incommensurability and the problems associated with it. Finally we argue that this approach by Kuhn has interesting overlaps with the problem of meaning associated with multisemiosis, particularly the challenge of understanding the process of symbolization in scientific theories. (shrink)