•  714
    Is the Post- in Postmodernism the Post- in Postcolonial?
    Critical Inquiry 17 (2): 336-357. 1991.
    Sara Suleri has written recently, in Meatless Days, of being treated as an "otherness machine"-and of being heartily sick of it.20 Perhaps the predicament of the postcolonial intellectual is simply that as intellectuals-a category instituted in black Africa by colonialism-we are, indeed, always at the risk of becoming otherness machines, with the manufacture of alterity as our principal role. Our only distinction in the world of texts to which we are latecomers is that we can mediate it to our f…Read more
  •  330
    Xv*—how to decide if races exist
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 106 (3): 363-380. 2006.
    Through most of the twentieth century, life scientists grew increasingly sceptical of the biological significance of folk classifications of people by race. New work on the human genome has raised the possibility of a resurgence of scientific interest in human races. This paper aims to show that the racial sceptics are right, while also granting that biological information associated with racial categories may be useful
  •  313
    “Group Rights” and Racial Affirmative Action
    The Journal of Ethics 15 (3): 265-280. 2011.
    This article argues against the view that affirmative action is wrong because it involves assigning group rights. First, affirmative action does not have to proceed by assigning rights at all. Second, there are, in fact, legitimate “group rights” both legal and moral; there are collective rights—which are exercised by groups—and membership rights—which are rights people have in virtue of group membership. Third, there are continuing harms that people suffer as blacks and claims to remediation fo…Read more
  •  300
    Race
    In Frank Lentricchia & Tom McLaughlin (eds.), Critical Terms for Literary Study, University of Chicago. pp. 274-87. 1989.
  •  271
    African studies and the concept of knowledge
    Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 88 (1): 23-56. 2005.
    This article summarizes my views on epistemological problems in African studies as I have expressed them previously in different contexts, mainly my book In My Father's House (1992), to which I refer the reader for further details. I start with an attempt to expose some natural errors in our thinking about the traditional-modern polarity, and thus help understand some striking and not generally appreciated similarities of the logical problem situation in modern western philosophy of science to t…Read more
  •  223
    Multiculturalism
    with Charles Taylor, Jürgen Habermas, Stephen C. Rockefeller, Michael Walzer, and Susan Wolf
    Princeton University Press. 1994.
    A new edition of the highly acclaimed book Multiculturalism and "The Politics of Recognition," this paperback brings together an even wider range of leading philosophers and social scientists to probe the political controversy surrounding ...
  •  220
    Experimental Philosophy
    Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 82 (2). 2008.
    Some three score years ago, the Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess found himself dissatisfied with “what are called ‘theories of truth’ in philosophical literature.” “The discussion has already lasted some 2500 years,” he wrote. “The number of participants amounts to a thousand, and the number of articles and books devoted to the discussion is much greater.” In this great ocean of words, he went on, the philosophers had often made bold statements about what “the man in the street” or “Das Volk” or…Read more
  •  184
    Abusua do funu. The matriclan loves a corpse. AKAN PROVERB My father died, as I say, while I was trying to finish this book. His funeral was an occasion for strengthening and reaffirming the ties that bind me to Ghana and “my father's house' ...
  •  172
    Here is a thorough, vividly written introduction to contemporary philosophy and some of the most crucial questions of human existence: the nature of mind and knowledge, the status of moral claims, the existence of God, the role of science, and the mysteries of language, among them. In Thinking It Through, esteemed philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah shows us what it means to "do" philosophy in our time and why it should matter to anyone who wishes to live a more thoughtful life. Opposing the common…Read more
  •  102
    More Experiments in Ethics
    Neuroethics 3 (3): 233-242. 2010.
    This paper responds to the four critiques of my book Experiments in Ethics published in this issue. The main theme I take up is how we should understand the relation between psychology and philosophy. Young and Saxe believe that “bottom line” evaluative judgments don’t depend on facts. I argue for a different view, according to which our evaluative and non-evaluative judgments must cohere in a way that makes it rational, sometimes, to abandon even what looks like a basic evaluative judgment beca…Read more
  •  85
    Noah Feldman’s elegant essay contains many attractive suggestions, especially in its final compelling discussions of various conceptions of Cosmopolitan Law. Less importantly for your purposes, dear Reader, than for mine, it also provides a fair and clear account of some of my own discussions of cosmopolitanism (in the course of which I have made a few suggestions that may be of relevance for the law). In this brief response, I should like to focus on clarifying one of the conceptual distinction…Read more
  •  84
    Liberalism, Individuality, and Identity
    Critical Inquiry 27 (2): 305-332. 2001.
  •  82
    The limits of being liberal
    Philosophia Africana 8 (2): 93-97. 2005.
  •  68
    In defence of honour
    with Julian Baggini
    The Philosophers' Magazine 53 (53): 22-31. 2011.
    The object of the exercise is to understand what we can do to stop something bad. It would be better if people stopped for the purest of motives, but it’s best if they stop. And if the choice is between their stopping for the wrong reasons and their not stopping I favour their stopping for the wrong reasons. Kant may be right that people ought to stop killing because they see that it’s wrong. That ought to be enough, but it may not be, and if it isn’t, if there’s something else that can actually…Read more
  •  67
    Racisms
    In David Goldberg (ed.), Anatomy of Racism, University of Minnesota Press. pp. 3-17. 1990.
  •  66
    Cosmopolitism and Issues of Ethical Identity
    Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry 5 (12): 54-57. 2010.
  •  60
    Color Conscious: The Political Morality of Race
    with David B. Wilkins and Amy Gutmann
    Princeton University Press. 1996.
    In America today, the problem of achieving racial justice--whether through "color-blind" policies or through affirmative action--provokes more noisy name-calling than fruitful deliberation. In Color Conscious, K. Anthony Appiah and Amy Gutmann, two eminent moral and political philosophers, seek to clear the ground for a discussion of the place of race in politics and in our moral lives. Provocative and insightful, their essays tackle different aspects of the question of racial justice; together …Read more
  •  53
    Misunderstanding cultures: Islam and the West
    Philosophy and Social Criticism 38 (4-5): 425-433. 2012.
    This article aims to explain why the idea of the West is, for historical and philosophical reasons, an obstacle to dealing with the dangers posed by radical Islamists. Every proposed theory of the West has to account for the great internal cultural diversity both of European cultures and of those influenced by them around the world; and every serious historical account both of Europe and of Islam has to recognize the long-standing, substantial and ongoing interdependence of their intellectual an…Read more
  •  38
    Reply to Gracia, Moody-Adams and Nussbaum
    Journal of Social Philosophy 37 (2). 2005.
  •  38
    Editors' Introduction: Multiplying Identities
    with Gates
    Critical Inquiry 18 (4): 625-629. 1992.
    A literary historian might very well characterize the eighties as the period when race, class, and gender became the holy trinity of literary criticism. Critical Inquiry’s contribution to this shift in critical paradigms took the form of two special issues, ”Writing and Sexual Difference,” and “‘Race,’ Writing and Difference.” In the 1990s, however, “race,” “class,” and “gender” threaten to become the regnant clichés of our critical discourse. Our object in this special issue is to help disrupt …Read more
  •  37
    What Is a Science of Religion?
    Philosophy 93 (4): 485-503. 2018.
  •  23
    Only-ifs
    Philosophical Perspectives 7 397-410. 1993.
  •  22
    Anthony Appiah’s essay on liberal education in the United States begins by identifying a distinctive feature of classical liberalism – namely, that the state must respect substantial limits with respect to its authority to impose restrictions on individuals, even for their own good. Nevertheless, Appiah points out, the primary aim of liberal education is to ‘maximize autonomy not to minimize government involvement’. Most of the essays in this volume, including Appiah’s, are attempts to address t…Read more
  •  21
    Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry
    with Michael Ignatieff, David A. Hollinger, Thomas W. Laqueur, and Diane F. Orentlicher
    Princeton University Press. 2001.
    "These essays make a splendid book. Ignatieff's lectures are engaging and vigorous; they also combine some rather striking ideas with savvy perceptions about actual domestic and international politics.