Kwame Appiah

Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers Publication date : February 28, 2008

With the rise of terrorism and fundamentalism, we have become used to thinking that the world is divided into different beliefs and cultures separated by mutual incomprehension. Confronted with these imaginary frontiers, Kwame Anthony Appiah proposes a veritable ethical manifesto for our age of globalisation and reminds us of everything that links and brings together religions, cultures and nations.

The Greeks of Antiquity first expressed the idea that all human beings were citizens of the world. It is this ideal of cosmopolitanism, which inspired the Enlightenment, the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man, and Kant's concept of a league of nations, that we must rediscover today.

The son of a British mother and a Ghanaian father, the philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah asks such questions as: How can we regard the world as a moral community when there is so much disagreement as to the nature of morality? He examines the repercussions in various sectors of the celebration by many intellectuals of “diversity”, “the other” and “difference”. In a world of multiplicity, where there are so many subjects of conflict, how can we live together?

In these troubled times in which numerous experts and politicians exaggerate our differences and exacerbate conflict, Kwame Anthony Appiah proposes an ethics for the age of globalisation inspired by the Greek ideal of cosmopolitanism.

“An important work about the great human project of trying to live together,” Kofi A. Annan, former secretary general of the United Nations.

In this book, political philosophy addresses one of the major problems of our times.

Kwame Anthony Appiah was raised in Ghana, educated at Cambridge University, and is now a professor of philosophy at Princeton University.