Philosophers spend lots of time thinking about what is right and wrong, and some time thinking about how to get people to see what is right and wrong—but almost no time thinking about how to get them to do what they know is right. Anthony Appiah has spent the last decade thinking about what it takes to turn moral understanding into moral behavior. In this talk, he explores one of the keys to real moral revolution: mobilizing the social power of honor and shame to change the world for the better.
Named one of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 public intellectuals, Kwame Anthony Appiah teaches at New York University. He previously taught at Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Duke, and the University of Ghana. He is the President of the PEN American Center, the world’s oldest human rights organization and is second vice-president of the Modern Languages Association. In 2012, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal by The White House. 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 an English mother, was raised in Ghana, and educated in England, where he received a Ph.D. in philosophy. As a scholar of philosophy, African and African-American studies, he has established himself as an intellectual with a broad reach.
Sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities and by the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; the Philosophy Department; the Africana Studies Department; and the Global Studies Program.
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