Princeton Philosopher Appiah to Speak Tonight

Princeton philosophy professor Kwame Anthony Appiah will speak about his recent book, ‘Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers,’ today in Kemper Auditorium at 7 p.m. Students can meet informally with Appiah prior to his speech and a faculty reception will follow Appiah’s speech.

Kevin O’Connor, Instructor in English, proposed the idea to invite Appiah to speak.

O’Connor said that Appiah is part of a Global Perspectives Discussion, which brings a series of speakers to campus to discuss global issues.

“Phillips Academy is committed to the idea of global education for [Andover] students and I believe Mr. Appiah is the ideal speaker to enlighten our community about worldwide issues,” said O’Connor.

Appiah’s main message is to analyze how people from different backgrounds can navigate across culture barriers and talk to one another. Appiah will talk about the differences and similarities of the human race and focus in on the dialogue people use in social settings.

Appiah has a world of experience when dealing with cultural barriers and backgrounds.

Appiah is the product of a diverse family, with his father coming from Ghana and his mother from England. Before Appiah became a philosophy teacher and Director of the Center for Human Values at Princeton, he taught philosophy and African-American studies at Harvard, Cornell, Cambridge, Duke and Yale.

O’Connor hopes that Appiah’s visit to Andover can generate discussion amongst students and faculty.

“Mr. Appiah is one of the most important thinkers of global ethics. I hope his message is well received by the students and can start a revolution of thinking,” said O’Connor.

O’Connor added, “I want him to infuse within us a challenge for people to re-examine their own assumptions about cultures and take on a new perspective.”

O’Connor said that he believes Appiah’s message applies directly to Andover students.

“Phillips Academy produces the future leaders of the country and global revolutionists. It is important for [students] to be exposed to the issues Mr. Appiah explores and strives to explain,” said O’Connor.

He continued, “[Appiah] strives to convey the message of finding common ground with someone different from you, and discussing the differences in your culture, values, religions, race and maybe even gender.”