This clear and engaging introduction is the first book to assess the ideas of Kwame Anthony Appiah, the Ghanaian-British philosopher who is a leading public intellectual today. The book focuses on the theme of ‘identity’ and is structured around five main topics, corresponding to the subjects of his major works: race, culture, liberalism, cosmopolitanism, and moral revolutions.
This helpful book:
• Teaches students about the sources, opportunities, and dilemmas of personal and social identity—whether on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, or class, among others—in the purview of Appiah.
• Locates Appiah within a broader tradition of intellectual engagement with these issues—involving such thinkers as W. E. B. Du Bois, John Stuart Mill, and Martha Nussbaum—and, thus, how Appiah is both an inheritor and innovator of preceding ideas.
• Seeks to inspire students on how to approach and negotiate identity politics in the present.
This book ultimately imparts a more diverse and wider-reaching geographic sense of philosophy through the lens of Appiah and his intellectual contributions, as well as emphasizing the continuing social relevance of philosophy and critical theory more generally to everyday life today.
Table of Contents
Why Appiah? Key Ideas 1. African Epistemologies 2. Race 3. Culture 4. Liberalism 5. Cosmopolitanism 6. Moral Revolutions After Appiah
Christopher J. Lee is an Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies at Lafayette College, USA.
"Christopher J. Lee’s Kwame Anthony Appiah is more than overdue. Providing a rich and nuanced treatment of one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries, Lee’s book skillfully guides readers through Appiah’s philosophical work, helping them think through and historicize Appiah’s reflections on such themes as race, nationalism, culture, and identity. This is a must read."
Jeffrey S. Ahlman, Smith College, USA
"Christopher J. Lee’s insightful and critical analysis guides the reader through the many historical, cultural, and intellectual worlds where Kwame Anthony Appiah forged his philosophy. From a childhood lived during and after the Ghanaian nationalist struggle – as the son of an African father and an English mother – to the halls of British and American academia, Lee shows how Appiah has reflected upon and analyzed his diverse experiences to craft a philosophy that can help us navigate the moral and political dilemmas of the twenty-first century."
Esperanza Brizuela-Garcia, Montclair State University, USA