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“Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers” is topic for fall Kenan lecture to be given by Kwame Anthony Appiah

AppiahLEXINGTON, Ky.—The fall Kenan Lecture at Transylvania University will be delivered on Wednesday, October 20, by Kwame Anthony Appiah, Laurence S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. The title of his presentation is “Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers.” His book by the same title won the 2007 Arthur Ross Award from the Council on Foreign Relations.

Cosmopolitanism is the name given to Appiah’s new system of ethics, which examines competing philosophical claims of various civilizations on the one hand, and groundless moral relativism on the other. He then arrives at an ethics that celebrates our common humanity while offering practical ways of managing our differences.

Appiah holds an appointment in Princeton’s University Center for Human Values and is associated with the Center for African American Studies, the programs in African studies and translation studies and the departments of comparative literature and politics. He has taught at Yale, Cornell, Duke and Harvard. He joined the faculty of Princeton in 2002.

Born in London, but raised in Ghana by his African father and English mother, he earned B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in philosophy from Clare College, Cambridge University. He is the author of numerous articles and books, notably “Color Conscious: The Political Morality of Race” (1996), “The Ethics of Identity” (2005), “Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers” (2006) and “Experiments in Ethics” (2008).

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be in Haggin Auditorium in the Mitchell Fine Arts Center at 7:30 p.m.

The William R. Kenan Jr. Lecture Series is funded by a grant from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust.  

Transylvania, founded in 1780, is the nation’s sixteenth oldest institution of higher learning and is consistently ranked in national publications as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country.