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Beyond Identity

Reasons for Hope
Thursday, March 7, 2019, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Please register using this link.

WELCOME REMARKS / Michael Ignatieff / President and Rector, CEU 

ABSTRACT / Race, class, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender and sexuality—the central social identities of our era—are now inevitably mobilized in the political life of states. In this lecture, Professor Appiah offers a general account of how this works, and offers a critical account of them all. He will focus, finally, on some of the misunderstandings about class that bedevil the anglophone North Atlantic world, arguing that there are deep philosophical errors in the way people in Britain and America think about the distribution of the rewards of social life. 

BIO / Kwame Anthony Appiah was born in London (where his Ghanaian father was a law student) but moved as an infant to Ghana, where he grew up. 

Professor Appiah was educated at the University Primary School at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi;  in Gloucestershire and in Dorset; and, finally, at Clare College, Cambridge University, in England, where he took both BA and PhD degrees in the philosophy department.

Since Cambridge, he has taught at Yale, Cornell, Duke, and Harvard universities and lectured at many other institutions in the United States, Germany, Ghana, and South Africa, as well as at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. From 2002 to 2013 he was a member of the Princeton University faculty, where he had appointments in the Philosophy Department and the University Center for Human Values, as well as being associated with the Center for African American Studies, the Programs in African Studies and Translation Studies, and the Departments of Comparative Literature and Politics. In January 2014 he took up an appointment as Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University, where he teaches both in New York and in Abu Dhabi, and at other NYU global centers.

Professor Appiah’s current work centers on the ways philosophical problems of identity and individuality are manifested in law, which he sees as a key question about the philosophical foundations of liberalism; he is also exploring how we arrive at knowledge about values, the nature of religion, and the connection between theory and practice in moral life.

CEU will provide simultaneous Hungarian interpretation.