Event Canceled

April 14, 2010 (Wednesday) / 5:00 pm6:30 pm

Rainey Auditorium, Penn Museum, 3260 South Street


Kwame Anthony Appiah

Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy and the University Center for Human Values
Princeton University

Kwame Anthony Appiah’s acclaimed study, Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers, is a response to the hostility and fears surrounding globalization, which conjure a world with a McDonald’s on every corner and monetary gain the universal goal. In this lecture, Professor Appiah considers whether the worldwide homogenization of products and values is necessarily a bad thing.

Raised in Ghana and educated in England at Cambridge, where he took his BA and PhD in philosophy, Kwame Anthony Appiah is an internationally renowned scholar of moral and political philosophy, African and African-American studies, and issues of personal and political identity, multiculturalism, and nationalism. In 2004, he was named one of world's 25 great “public philosophers” by the weekly French newsmagazine, Le Nouvel Observateur.

Appiah’s writings on cultural and social theory include numerous scholarly books, essays, short fiction, novels, poetry, and an annotated collection of proverbs from Ashanti, Ghana, on which he collaborated with his mother. He is the author of the award-winning Color Conscious: The Political Morality of Race (with Amy Gutmann), In My Father’s House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture, The Ethics of Identity, and Experiments in Ethics. He is also co-editor, with Henry Louis Gates Jr., of Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African-American Experience.

His essay, "The Case for Contamination," adapted from Cosmopolitanism, was published in the January 1, 2006 issue of the New York Times Magazine. He is currently at work on a book, "The Life of Honor: An Essay in the Genealogy of Morals," in which he explores the role of ideas of honor in a number of historically important moments of moral change.

Before joining Princeton in 2002, Prof. Appiah taught at Yale, Cornell, Duke, and Harvard universities and has lectured at many other institutions in the United States, Germany, Ghana, and South Africa, as well as at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.