Kwame Anthony Appiah, the Laurence S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University, will deliver the 28th Annual Alfred P. Stiernotte Lecture, “The Value of Studying Philosophy,” at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 4, in the Grand Courtroom of the School of Law Center.
Appiah is often called a postmodern Socrates because he asks probing questions about identity, ethnicity, honor and religion during a time when these difficult notions continue to shift. Appiah challenges audiences to look beyond the real and imagined boundaries that divide them and to celebrate their common humanity.
Named one of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 public intellectuals, Appiah also is president of the PEN American Center, the world’s oldest human rights organization. In 2012, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal by The White House.
Appiah’s book, “Cosmopolitanism,” is a manifesto for a world where identity has become a weapon and where difference has become a cause of pain and suffering. “Cosmopolitanism” won the Arthur Ross Book Award, the most significant prize given to a book on international affairs. In his latest book, “The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen,” Appiah lays out how honor propelled moral revolutions in the past-and could do so in the future.
Appiah was born in London to a Ghanaian father and a white mother. He was raised in Ghana, and educated in England, at Cambridge University, where he received a Ph.D. in philosophy. As a scholar of African and African-American studies, he established himself as an intellectual with a broad reach. His book, “In My Father’s House,” and his collaborations with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., including “The Dictionary of Global Culture and Africana,” are major works of African struggles for self-determination. In 2009, he was featured in Astra Taylor’s documentary “Examined Life,” alongside Martha Nussbaum, Slavoj Zizek, and other leading contemporary philosophers.
Appiah’s lecture is the 26th in a series of annual endowed philosophy lectures named for Stiernotte, who initiated philosophy at Quinnipiac some 50 years ago. These lectures are usually the university’s first academic event of the year. This year’s Stiernotte lecture will inaugurate the university’s new philosophy major.
This event is free and open to the public.
For more information, call 203-582-8652.