Kwame Anthony Appiah

New York University
Philosopher; Cultural studies scholar; Educator
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Sociology, Demography, and Geography

Kwame Anthony Appiah is Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University. He previously was a member of the Princeton University faculty, where he had appointments in the Philosophy Department and the University Center for Human Values. Professor Appiah has published widely in literary and cultural studies, with a focus on African and African-American culture. His current interests range over African and African-American intellectual history and literary studies, ethics, the connections between moral philosophy and psychology, and political philosophy and the philosophy of the social sciences. His current work looks at the connection between theory and practice in moral life, explores some of the many ways in which we now think about religion, and examines the ethical and political consequences of the changing nature of work. His publications include In My Father’s House, which won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award as well as the Herskovits Award of the African Studies Association; Color Conscious: The Political Morality of Race (with Amy Gutmann); the Dictionary of Global Culture (coedited with Henry Louis Gates Jr.); The Ethics of Identity; Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers, which won the Arthur Ross Award of the Council on Foreign Relations; Lines of Descent: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Emergence of Identity; The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen; and The Lies that Bind: Rethinking Identity. He has served on the Boards of the PEN American Center, the National Humanities Center, the New York Public Library, the Public Theater, and the American Academy in Berlin. His numerous honors include the Phillip L. Quinn Prize from the American Philosophical Association; the Spinozalens Prize of the Spinoza Prize Foundation; a National Humanities Medal; and the first Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize awarded by Brandeis University. He is an Honorary Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Philosophical Society, and the Royal Society of Literature. In 2022, he was elected President of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1995 and serves a member of the Academy’s Board.

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