Kwame Anthony Appiah
Kwame Anthony Appiah is the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University and President of the PEN American Center, the internationally acclaimed literary and human rights association. Born in London, raised in Ghana, and educated in England, he established himself as a wide-ranging intellectual with such critically-acclaimed books as In My Father’s House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture (1992), Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (2006), and, most recently, The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Are Made (2010).
Appiah asks profound questions about identity and ethics in a world where race, ethnicity, religion, and nationalism continue to realign and reform. In this lecture, he offers a moral manifesto grounded in a new cosmopolitan ethics which celebrates our common humanity and proposes practical ways to address our differences.
Research Colloquium: The Social Power of Honor and Shame
May 24, 2011 – 10:00 am
Philosophers spend lots of time thinking about what is right and wrong and some thinking about how to get people to see what is right and wrong, but almost none thinking about how to get them to do what they know is right and to stop doing what is wrong. Professor Appiah has spent the last decade thinking about what it takes to turn moral understanding into moral behavior. This means taking psychological evidence about moral attitudes seriously (Experiments in Ethics). And it requires recognizing that one of the keys to real moral revolution is mobilizing the social power of honor and shame (The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen).