Helen Lauer was appointed a full professor in June 2013. She served as the head of the Department of Philosophy in 2008 and served the transition to Philosophy and Classics beginning 2010, during which time she focussed on building the department’s graduate studies capacity through links with universities and faculties abroad. In 2012 she devoted her sabbatical to building the department’s library resources using a grant from UG ORID.
She received BA degrees in comparative religion (summa cum laude) from City College and Hunter College in New York (1976) and in mathematics from University of Ghana at Legon (2000). This involved a year of travel for religious studies in India and Nepal. Her MA (1983) and PhD (1986) are in philosophy from the City University of New York Graduate and Research Center. She began teaching full time at Legon and has been serving the University of Ghana continuously since 1988, after a post doctoral year with the Sub Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford, UK. In 1994 she was accepted for a National Endowment of the Humanities award to study philosophy of mathematics at University of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She also won financial support later in 1994 to attend seminars in CR and Italy to study philosophy of mathematics with Michael Dummett and Godel scholars. From 2002 to 2006 she was a part time journalist, opinion columnist and features editor for the independent newspaper The Statesman (Accra).
Current research interests include: philosophy of development theory, social ontology, ethics of Ghana’s public health policies, global justice, postcolonial critical social theory, foundations of social sciences. Lauer has compiled and edited several cross disciplinary anthologies in African arts, humanities, and philosophy natural and social sciences financed by the World Bank, the Embassy of Switzerland, UNESCO, and UG research fund.
Monograph – peer reviewed
Tradition and Modernity: reappraisal of a false dichotomy., Hope Library of Liberal Arts series no. 2. Ibadan: Hope Publications. (2004) pp. 41.
Book chapters – blind, peer reviewed
(2012) “Who is an African?” Essays in Honour of Ama Ata Aidoo at 70: A Reader in African Cultural Studies. Ed. Anne Adams. London: Ayebia Clarke Publishing (2012) pp. 98-109.—blind reviewed anthology
(2011) “Manufacturing Sexual Crisis: The HIV AIDS Industry and the Forsaking of Science,” The Crisis of the Human Sciences. (ed.) Thorsten Botz-Bornstein, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2011) pp. 111-130.
(2009) “A Worldly View of Worldview Metaphysics.” Worldviews and Cultures, (eds.) Nicole Note, D. Aerts, et al. Dordrecht: Springer Science (2009) pp. 103-128.
(2010) “Negotiating pre-colonial history and future democracy: Kwasi Wiredu and his critics,” Identity Meets Nationality: Voices from the Humanities. Eds.H. Lauer, N.A.A. Amfo, J. A. Anderson, Accra: Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2010, pp. 174-189.
(2007) “The Modern Scientific Tradition and its Contribution to Economic Regression in Africa,” Philosophy and Social Change (ed) Temisan Ebijuwa. Ibadan: Hope Publications, (2007) pp. 121-146.
(2006) “The contribution of women’s traditional leadership to enlightened governance and national development in Ghana, Chieftaincy in Ghana: Culture, Governance and Development. (eds.) Irene K. Odotei, Albert K. Awedoba. Accra: Sub-Saharan Press (2006) pp. 621-650.
(2002) “Knowledge on the Cusp,” in The Third Way in African Philosophy: Essays in Honour of Kwasi Wiredu, ed. Olusegun Oladipo, Ibadan: Hope Publishers, pp. 171-214.
(2003) “African women in the public sphere” in Critical Gender Discourse: Cross Cultural Perspectives, ed. Christopher Ukhun. Ibadan: Hope Publishers, pp. 13-30.
(2003) “The Right Touch: Conceptual adjustments for development planning in Ghana” in Remaking Africa: Challenges of the 21st Century (ed.) Olusegun Oladipo, Ibadan: Hope Publications, pp. 44-64. First edition 1997.
Journal articles – blind and peer-reviewed only
(2015) Lauer, Helen (2015) “Talking Global Justice: The importance of critical social theory in the African business paradigm,” in Corporate Social Responsibility and Governance, (eds.) S.O. Idowu, C.S. Frederiksen, A.Y. Mermod, M.E.J. Nielsen. Switzerland: Springer International, pp. 287-302.
(2013) Lauer, Helen (2013) “Global Justice as a Process, the Individual, and Welfare at Home,” in A Holistic Approach to Human Existence and Development, (eds.) Kolawole A. Olu-Owolabi, Adebola B. Ekanola. Ibadan: Hope Publishers, pp. 185-198.
(2013) “The practical utility and explanatory adequacy of applied linguistic relativism,” Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del linguaggio (December) Vol. 7, N.3, special issue: Linguistic relativity pp. 71-86.
(2013) “ ‘Social identity’ and ‘shared worldview’: free riders in explanations of collective action,” Abstracta online philosophy journal. vol 7, no. 1, pp. 49–67.
(2013) “African and non-African concepts of time: to contrast or not to contrast? The geo-political convenience of dichotomization,” Thought And Practice: Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya (June) vol. 5 no. 1, pp. 1-24.
(2013) “Prospects for creating global justice consensually: suggestions from models of indigenous African governance,”African Journal of Governance & Development (June) vol. 2 no. 1, pp. 15-27.
(2013) “Reasons for treating global economic justice as an essentially contestable concept,” European Scientific Journal (ESJ June) special edition no. 1, pp. 610-623. Online at <http://eujournal.org/index.php/esj/index>.
(2012) “Wiredu and Eze on Good Governance,” Philosophia Africana vol. 14.1 (September) pp. 41-60.
(2007) “Worldviews & Identities: How Not to Explain Collective Human Behaviour,” Legon Journal of International Affairs vol. 4.1 (May), pp. 43-65.
(2004) “A Self Defeating Dichotomy,” Legon Journal of International Affairs vol. 1 (December) pp. 179-204.
(2007) “Must We Share True Beliefs to Understand Each Other’s Intentions?” Universitas Legon. pp. 157-170.
(2006) “Rethinking Tradition vs. Modernity: The Social Construction of the ‘HIV/AIDS crisis’ in Africa,” Culture Today (Journal of Cultural Studies, African Cultural Institute, Lagos) vol. 7 no.1, pp. 1-21.
(2007) “Depreciating African Political Culture,” Journal of Black Studies vol. 38 no.2 (November) pp. 288-307.
(2007) “The Womb as Target: Linking Procreative Sex with Premature Death and Epidemics in Modern Day Ghana,” Studies in Gender and Development in Africa 1.1 Sept pp. 1-20.
(2008) “Can an Africentric Paradigm Be the Basis for Solving Ghana’s Social and Economic Problems?” International journal of multi-disciplinary scholarship, vol. 2. no.1, pp. 236-245.
(2007) “The Logical Limits to Misunderstanding” Legon Journal for the Humanities vol. XVIII pp. 107-118.
(2006) “Cashing in on Shame: How the Popular ‘Tradition vs. Modernity’ Dualism Contributes to the ‘HIV/AIDS Crisis’ in Africa,” Review of Radical Political Economics (SAGE), vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 90-138.
(2004) “Cause and Effect between Knowledge Traditions: Modern Scientific Discourse and the Regression of Science and Technology in Ghana” Transactions of the Ghana Historical Society, vol. 8, pp. 261-280.
(2003) “Correcting distortions in the politics of ‘development’: historians and Nanas in the international arena.” Transactions of the Historical Society of Ghana vol. 7, pp. 193-204.
(1996) “Treating Race as a Social Construction,” Journal of Value Inquiry vol. 30, (September), pp. 445-451.
(1995) “Two Dogmas of Modernity: Potential Impediments to Enlightened Development in Ghana,” Legon Journal of the Humanities vol. 8, pp. 37-53.
(1997) “Complementarity Principle in Development Diplomacy,” Time and development in the thought of Sub Saharan Africa, eds. Souleymane Bachir Diagne and Heinz Kimmerle. Studies in Intercultural Philosophy, vol. 8 pp. 31-38.
(1998) “Keeping Fallibility in Mind,” African Philosophical Inquiry, Ibadan, vol. 1, pp. 53-62.
(1992) “Causal Facts as Logical Entailments of Action Statements,” Indian Philosophical Quarterly vol. 19, no.4 (October), pp. 283-292.
(1991-1992) “Grounding Causalist Assumptions in the Grammar of Actions Sentences,” Philosophical Studies, Ireland, vol. 33, pp. 143-152.
(1992) “A Remark about ‘Valid’ [A critique of its use in introductory logic texts]” International Journal of Moral and Social Studies, Oxford, vol. 7, no.1 (Spring), pp. 57-60.
(1992) “Saying is not believing: Some Fallacies of Fundamentalism,” Quest vol. VI, no. 2 (December), pp. 5-23.
(1993) “Realities of Social Constructs: Reply to Anthony Appiah’s Illusions of Race, Ch. 2 in In My Father’s House by Anthony Kwame Appiah, Quest (December), pp. 9-15.
(1994) “True Faith,” Legon Journal of the Humanities vol. 7, pp. 57-71.
(1992) “An Alternative Look at US Foreign Policy and Africa,” LECIA Bulletin vol. 2. no.1 (March), pp. 96-99.
(1981) “Descartes’ Concept of Number,” Studia Cartesiana vol. 2, pp. 137-143.
(2012) Reclaiming the Human Sciences and Humanities through African Perspectives Two volumes, 85 chapters. Eds. Helen Lauer and Kofi Anyidoho, Accra: Sub- Saharan Press, online African Books Collective, volumes I & II (2012) pp. 1,682.
(2013) Translation of Reclaiming the Human Sciences and Humanities through African Perspectives in its entirety into Portuguese by the Alexandre de Gusmão Foundation, under the auspices and funding of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brazil (forthcoming; 2013, contract presented).
(2010) Identity Meets Nationality: Voices from the Humanities. Eds. Helen Lauer, Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, Jemima Asabea Anderson, Accra: Sub-Saharan Press, pp. 297.
(2013) The One In The Many: Nation building through cultural diversity. Eds. Helen Lauer, Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, Joanna Boampong, Accra: Sub Saharan Press, pp. 255.
(2000) Ghana: Changing Values/Changing Technologies. Washington DC: Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (2000) pp. 317.
(2003) History and Philosophy of Science for African Undergraduates, 3 vols. Ibadan, Nigeria: Hope Publications, authored the preface, chapters 1, 20, & 46 part II) pp. 375.
(2003) History and Philosophy of Science Course Reader, BSc, commissioned by the UG Faculty of Science, Legon. Accra: Livog Printers pp. 285. (authored Introduction to Part II, Chapters 0, 1.1, 4, 6, 13, 14, 15.2, 17.1, 29, 20.2, 24)
Posthumous edited works—blind peer-reviewed
(2012) “Amo’s Philosophy of mind and Cartesian epistemology,” Charles Benjamin Kwabena Archampong. Posthumous ed. H. Lauer. Journal on African Philosophy 5 pp. 59-76.
(2013) “The Philosophical Significance of Einstein’s Relativity Theory,” Charles Benjamin Kwabena Archampong. Edited posthumously H. Lauer. A Celebration of Philosophy & Classics (eds.) M.C Simpson, H.M. Majeed, K.E. Ackah, E.I. Ani. London: Ayebia Clarke Publishing
(2009) Critical Notice (in two parts) of Philosophy and Organization eds. Campbell Jones and René ten Bos. New York: Routledge (2007) commissioned by Editor in Chief IN Management & Organisation Journal of the University of Ghana Business School vol 1(1): 115-120 and vol 1(2): 93-99.
(1999) Critical Notice of Tradition and Modernity by Kwame Gyekye © 1997 in Philosophical Books Virginia Commonwealth University (Autumn).
(1996) Science, Mind and the Universe by H. Moritz © 1995 in Philosophical Books (July) v.37.3, pp. 222-224.
(1996) The Many Faces of Science by S. Byerly and F. Stevenson © 1995 in Philosophical Books (April) 37.2, pp.142-144.
(1995). Yorick’s World: Science and the Knowing Subject by Peter Caws © 1993 in Philosophical Books (July 1995) 36.3, pp. 221-222.
(1992) The Philosophy of Science by James Fetzer © 1992 in Philosophical Books (December), pp. 220-222.
(1992) Philosophical Logic by. Sybil Wolfram © 1989 in Journal of Symbolic Logic (December) vol. 57 no.4, pp. 1482-1484.
(1989) The Norm of Truth by Pascal Engel © 1989 in Philosophical Books (Spring) vol. 34. no2, pp. 103-104.
(1993) Integrity: A philosophical inquiry by Mark Halfon © 1989 in Noûs—A philosophical quarterly (Spring), pre-press copy available.
(2012) Logic for Law Students Commissioned by the UG Law Faculty Dean, required general education course 1st edition pp. 168.
(2012) HIVM 612: Ethical Issues in the Management of HIV and AIDS. (2012) Commissioned by TALIF project co-coordinator Dr. Michael Tagoe, Masters Degree Programme of University of Ghana, ICDE, pp. 410 plus 25 appendices of published scientific articles.
(2012) University of Ghana Required Course 150 Course Reader: Critical Thinking and Practical Reasoning (2010) Commissioned by the University of Ghana for required general education 100 level course. Authored 95% of the material: Units 1-10 & 12, of 12 Units total, plus front matter and compilation of entire manuscript. Edited with committee chaired by UG Vice Dean of Social Studies Abena Oduro, (2010) pp. 438.
Published conference proceedings
(2013) “Higher education beyond the labour market” Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences Founder’s Week plenary speaker, November 18-24, Accra: British Council (in press).
(2011) “Manufacturing Sexual Crisis: The HIV/AIDS industry and the forsaking of science,” The Crisis of the Human Sciences: Proceedings of the Conference held at the Gulf University for Science and Technology, Kuwait, March 6-8 (2011). Eds. Thorsten Botz-Bornstein and Ayman Bakr, pp. 275-285. Reprinted as book chapter in #4 above.
(2005) “Kant’s Transcendent Imperative: Why it doesn’t work,” Two Hundred Years after Kant. Allameh Tabatabaii University, Tehran, Iran (2005). Published conference proceedings, Nov. 20-22, 2004.
Works in progress
Ways of Analysis: Methodological encounters with contemporary African philosophy. Completion June 2013. Cambridge Scholar Publishers, Newcastle Upon Tyne. With successful application for funding from U.Ghana Office of Research and Innovative Development Grant 2012-2014 27,000 Ghana cedis (= US$13,500)
Philosophical foundations of the humanities through post colonial perspectives (co-edited with Helen Yitah, UG HoD English Dept.)