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Renowned Philosopher Appiah to Join NYU Faculty

November 26, 2013

Will Teach in New York and at NYU Global Sites

Kwame Anthony Appiah, a renowned philosopher whose scholarship spans a range of academic disciplines, will join the New York University faculty in early 2014, holding appointments in the Department of Philosophy and at NYU’s School of Law.

He will spend half the year in New York teaching in the Department of Philosophy and School of Law; the other half of the year he will teach and lecture at NYU’s other global sites, principally Abu Dhabi.

“I am looking forward enormously to working with students and faculty in NYU’s global network as we seek to think together, across the boundaries of race, religion, and nation, about the ethical challenges that face us all,” Appiah said.

Appiah, currently the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy and a member of the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, has published in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, political theory, moral philosophy, and African and African-American literary and cultural studies. His prize-winning books include The Ethics of Identity and Cosmopolitanism; with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., he is the editor of Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African-American Experience.

“Kwame Anthony Appiah has been a seminal, driving intellectual force behind the new cultural scholarship about African and its Diaspora,” said Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University. “The rigor and breadth of his humanism have been an inspiration to his students and to his colleagues in the fields of philosophy, the law, cultural studies, and African and African-American Studies. His appointment is quite an impressive coup for NYU.”

His current work centers on the ways philosophical problems of individuality and identity are manifested in law as well as in the philosophical foundations of liberalism; he is also exploring questions of method in arriving at knowledge about values and the connection between theory and practice in moral life.

“Anthony Appiah’s appointment at NYU is an especially happy one: a world-leading theorist of culture, identity, and cosmopolitanism for a culturally plural and global university,” said Don Garrett, chair of NYU’s Department of Philosophy. “His extraordinary contributions across a wide range of fields are deeply influential, and rightly so; his work is a model of the way in which original and rigorous philosophy can contribute powerfully to the public good. He will join a distinguished tradition at NYU in moral, political, and legal thought that crosses departmental and school boundaries.”

“Professor Appiah was a visiting professor at the Law School in 1998, and we are delighted now to welcome him back,” said NYU Law Dean Trevor Morrison. “A scholar of great brilliance and tremendous breadth, Professor Appiah has long been a leading thinker on issues of race and society. His work on cosmopolitanism will be of particular interest here at the Law School, where careful attention to globalization is central to so much of what we do.”

Appiah has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society and, in 2008, was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has served as president of the PEN American Center and of the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division, as well as a trustee of the National Humanities Center and the American Academy in Berlin and as a past board chair of the American Philosophical Association.

Among his many honors, he was awarded a National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama in 2012, and Color Conscious, which he wrote with University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann, won the Ralph J. Bunche Award of the American Political Science Association. He is also the recipient of the Herskovits Award of the African Studies Association for his book In My Father’s House and the Arthur Ross Award of the Council of Foreign Affairs for Cosmopolitanism as well as the Joseph B. and Toby Glitter Prize from Brandeis University in recognition of his contributions to racial, ethnic, and religious relations. He is the recipient of numerous honorary doctoral degrees.

Prior to Princeton, Appiah taught at Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Duke, and the University of Ghana.

Born in London, Appiah grew up in Ghana and was educated at Cambridge University, where he received a Ph.D. in philosophy.

Editor’s Note:
Founded in 1831, NYU is one of the world’s foremost research universities and is a member of the selective Association of American Universities. NYU has degree-granting university campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai; has eleven other global academic sites, including London, Paris, Florence, Tel Aviv, Buenos Aires, and Accra; and sends more students to study abroad than any other U.S. college or university. Through its numerous schools and colleges, NYU conducts research and provides education in the arts and sciences, law, medicine, business, dentistry, education, nursing, the cinematic and performing arts, music and studio arts, public administration, social work, and continuing and professional studies, among other areas.


This Press Release is in the following Topics:
NYUToday-feature, Arts and Science, Research, School of Law, NYU Abu Dhabi

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: James Devitt | (212) 998-6808

Renowned Philosopher Appiah to Join NYU Faculty

Kwame Anthony Appiah, above, a renowned philosopher whose scholarship spans a range of academic disciplines, will join the New York University faculty in early 2014, holding appointments in the Department of Philosophy and at NYU’s School of Law.

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