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.
Since 2006, the Carnegie Corporation has recognized the contributions of highly distinguished naturalized citizens such as Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Junot Díaz, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Johns Hopkins University president Ron Daniels, and designer Diane von Furstenberg as well as numerous Nobel Prize winners, entrepreneurs, judges, politicians, entertainers, and athletes.
This year’s other “Great Immigrants” include: actor Anthony Hopkins, Thai Lee, president and CEO of SHI International Corporation, Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen, and U.S. Representative Norma Torres, among others.
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 as a past board chair of the American Philosophical Association. He currently serves on the boards of the New York Public Library and the Public Theater.
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 coming to NYU, Appiah taught at Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Duke, and the University of Ghana. He attended Cambridge University, where he received a Ph.D. in philosophy.
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