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Renowned Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah to Present Convocation on the Social Power of Honor and Morality

April 6, 2012
By Jacob Cohn '13

Kwame Anthony Appiah, a professor at Princeton University and world-famous philosopher and author, will deliver Carleton College’s convocation address on Friday, April 13. Appiah’s presentation, “The Honor Code: Making Moral Revolutions,” will focus on the social power of honor and shame and how such social norms can spark more moral behavior. Convocation is held from 10:50-11:50 a.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel, and it is free and open to the public.

Appiah has been described as a post-modern Socrates; his philosophical writings have focused on the nature of identity and ethics in an uncertain, ever-changing world. Raised in Ghana, Appiah is a graduate of Cambridge University and has taught at a number of prestigious universities in Ghana and in the United States. Appiah is the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. He also serves as president of the PEN American Center, a literary society designed to foster literary fellowship and defend free expression. In his book, The Honor Code: Making Moral Revolutions (W.W. Norton, 2011), on which his Carleton convocation address will be based, Appiah explores the history of what he sees as the moral evolution of ordinary people.

Appiah’s is also the author of the critically acclaimed Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (W.W. Norton, 2007), which advances the theory that human beings are destined to unite in pursuit of their common goals, as well as eleven other books including three novels. He has been referred to as “one of the most relevant philosophers today” by the New York Times Book Review and Foreign Policy magazine has named him one of its “Top 100 Global Thinkers.”

For more information about this event, including disability accommodations, contact the Carleton College Office of College Relations at (507) 222-4308. Skinner Memorial Chapel is located on First Street between College and Winona Streets in Northfield.