NYU Law welcomes renowned philosopher Kwame Appiah to the faculty

Kwame Anthony Appiah, a renowned philosopher whose scholarship spans a range of academic disciplines, will join the NYU Law faculty in early 2014. He will also hold an appointment at NYU’s Department of Philosophy and will spend half the year in New York and half the year at NYU’s other global sites.

Appiah, currently the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy and a member of the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, has published in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, political theory, moral philosophy, and African and African-American literary and cultural studies. Among his many published works, he is – with Henry Louis Gates – the editor of Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African-American Experience.

His current work centers on the ways philosophical problems of individuality and identity are manifested in law as well as in the philosophical foundations of liberalism; he is also exploring questions of method in arriving at knowledge about values and the connection between theory and practice in moral life.

“Professor Appiah was a visiting professor at the Law School in 1998, and we are delighted now to welcome him back,” said Dean Trevor Morrison. “A scholar of great brilliance and tremendous breadth, Professor Appiah has long been a leading thinker on issues of race and society. His work on cosmopolitanism will be of particular interest here at the Law School, where careful attention to globalization is central to so much of what we do.” 

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 the American Academy in Berlin and as a past board chair of the American Philosophical Association.

Among his many honors, he was awarded a National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama in 2012; he is the recipient of the Herskovits Award of the African Studies Association for his book In My Father’s House, and he received 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 Princeton, Appiah taught at Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Duke, and the University of Ghana.

Born in London, Appiah grew up in Ghana and was educated at Cambridge University, where he received a PhD in philosophy.  

Posted on November 26, 2013