Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah explains what the school of thought he advocates means for the way we view ourselves.
Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah is a philosopher advocating a school of thought he calls ‘cosmopolitanism’.
It is an idea and way of being that the highest circles in Washington decided to recognise last week when the professor was awarded the National Humanities Award by Barack Obama, the US president.
He tells Al Jazeera what cosmopolitanism means, describing it as: “A tradition of thought that tries to develop the metaphor of the idea that we are all citizens of the world.”
So, what does this mean for how one defines oneself in terms of race, religion, class or nationality? Are we heading towards the globalisation of culture? And, does the rise of the right in places like Europe signal that we are, in fact, moving backwards as some react against cosmopolitanism?
In this interview with Al Jazeera’s Sami Zeidan, Appiah offers answers to some of these questions and touches upon the theme of international intervention and the moral foundation for this.