Christopher J. LeeJul 28, 2021
Kwame Anthony Appiah
Kwame Anthony Appiah is among the most respected philosophers and thinkers of his generation. In Kwame Anthony Appiah (Routledge, 2021), Christopher Lee introduces the reader not only to the contributions that Appiah has made to some central debates of our time, but also to the complex personal and intellectual history that shaped his ideas. Born in Ghana to an African father and a British mother, Appiah has spent his life straddling multiple worlds. He was educated as a philosopher at Cambridge University and later moved to the United States where he has occupied several prestigious academic positions. As Lee explains, Appiah’s major contribution has been to critically question the ideologies and identities that may enable or prevent individuals to operate in a world where one is constantly moving across geographic and cultural boundaries. What is identity? What are the historical and ideological underpinnings of concepts such as race and culture? How do they affect our decisions about how to live in the world? What do we owe people who are not like us? In addition to being a clear and concise guide through Appiah’s ideas, Lee offers a rich and nuanced intellectual biography, locating Appiah in the broader history of African thinkers, moral philosophy and liberalism.
Esperanza Brizuela-Garcia is an associate professor of history at Montclair State University.