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eBook The Ethics of Identity ePub

eBook The Ethics of Identity ePub

by Kwame Anthony Appiah

  • ISBN: 0691130280
  • Category: Humanities
  • Subcategory: Other
  • Author: Kwame Anthony Appiah
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; F First Edition edition (January 22, 2007)
  • Pages: 384
  • ePub book: 1215 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1349 kb
  • Other: azw lit txt rtf
  • Rating: 4.6
  • Votes: 594

Description

Kwame Anthony Appiah, Winner of the 2011 National Humanities Medal" "Kwame Anthony Appiah undertakes to combine a form of liberalism that aspires to universal validity with a full recognition and substantial acceptance of the important cultural and ethical.

Kwame Anthony Appiah, Winner of the 2011 National Humanities Medal". The Ethics of Identity is wonderfully straightforward. Kwame Anthony Appiah undertakes to combine a form of liberalism that aspires to universal validity with a full recognition and substantial acceptance of the important cultural and ethical diversity that characterizes our world. --Thomas Nagel, New Republic. thorough exploration of moral concepts such as authenticity, tolerance, individuality, and dignity, and how they are all connected to the task of making a life.

In The Ethics of Identity, Anthony Kwame Appiah (2005) argues for understanding identity in terms of autonomy . Appiah's book is a stimulating introduction to many important contemporary discussions on identity, as well as a presentation of his own view ("rooted cosmopolitanism").

In The Ethics of Identity, Anthony Kwame Appiah (2005) argues for understanding identity in terms of autonomy, drawing on John Stuart Mill and liberalism. Appiah's position is informed primarily by classical liberalism, but many competing views are also presented (with varying degrees of generosity, but never unfairly, in my opinion).

Appiah was the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University, before moving to New York University (NYU) in 2014

Kwame Anthony Appiah is Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy and the Center for Human Values at Princeton University

Kwame Anthony Appiah is Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy and the Center for Human Values at Princeton University.

Are we, I wondered after reading Kwame Anthony Appiah’s The Lies That Bind, entering a new phase of European . Being a philosopher, and a very erudite one at that, Appiah doesn’t so much answer these questions as pose them in newly lucid ways

Are we, I wondered after reading Kwame Anthony Appiah’s The Lies That Bind, entering a new phase of European Romanticism? A repeat of the era in which leaders sought to distil the idea of the volk – these days expressed as Brexit’s will of the British people. Being a philosopher, and a very erudite one at that, Appiah doesn’t so much answer these questions as pose them in newly lucid ways. In the storytelling tradition of his craft, he gives us 19th-century Trieste, a place whose history I was only remotely familiar with until I heard his 2016 Reith Lectures, which also served as the genesis for this more detailed work.

Francis Fukuyama’s Identity and Kwame Anthony Appiah’s The Lies That Bind  . Appiah and Fukuyama seek out answers.

Francis Fukuyama’s Identity and Kwame Anthony Appiah’s The Lies That Bind examine the role of personal identity in our modern ag. Both books belong to one of today’s most important genres: the rump, or . There is a hunger to understand this moment, but from a remove. We think of ourselves as part of monolithic tribes up against other tribes, whereas we each contain multitudes.

The source's identity is kept secret by the company, Whois Privacy Protection Service, Inc. 1 year.

Kwame Anthony Appiah has always sought to take seriously both the individual and the context in which . The Ethics of Identity" is an ambitious attempt to make liberal political theory safe for the discourse of identity, and vice-versa.

Kwame Anthony Appiah has always sought to take seriously both the individual and the context in which she is embedded. In this book, Appiah takes a hard look at the ways we shape ourselves as distinct individuals, and he continues to defend the right of the individual to forge a plan of life over and against her community's tug of conformity - but, he insists, not with indifference to the community's influences and interests.

Race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, sexuality: in the past couple of decades, a great deal of attention has been paid to such collective identities. They clamor for recognition and respect, sometimes at the expense of other things we value. But to what extent do "identities" constrain our freedom, our ability to make an individual life, and to what extent do they enable our individuality? In this beautifully written work, renowned philosopher and African Studies scholar Kwame Anthony Appiah draws on thinkers through the ages and across the globe to explore such questions.

The Ethics of Identity takes seriously both the claims of individuality--the task of making a life---and the claims of identity, these large and often abstract social categories through which we define ourselves.

What sort of life one should lead is a subject that has preoccupied moral and political thinkers from Aristotle to Mill. Here, Appiah develops an account of ethics, in just this venerable sense--but an account that connects moral obligations with collective allegiances, our individuality with our identities. As he observes, the question who we are has always been linked to the question what we are.

Adopting a broadly interdisciplinary perspective, Appiah takes aim at the clichés and received ideas amid which talk of identity so often founders. Is "culture" a good? For that matter, does the concept of culture really explain anything? Is diversity of value in itself? Are moral obligations the only kind there are? Has the rhetoric of "human rights" been overstretched? In the end, Appiah's arguments make it harder to think of the world as divided between the West and the Rest; between locals and cosmopolitans; between Us and Them. The result is a new vision of liberal humanism--one that can accommodate the vagaries and variety that make us human.

Comments

Andronrad Andronrad
Kwame Appiah has given us a new paradigm for the discussion of ethics, basing it on the dynamics of identity.

In my 1987 book on gay identity, I showed how all identity is a social artifact, the result of the interaction between the individual and the possible identities presented by society

Appiah calls this process, "soul-making." Today it could be called "self-making," the way that we cobble together a personality for ourselves from various roles and occupations available in society.

Identity always entails membership in a group. Like language itself, it is not of our making, but made available to us to use.

Appiah takes it for granted that the goal of a liberal society is to assure the autonomy of the individual in this process. He spends much of the work, however, in discussing the intrinsic conflict between the liberal view of that personal freedom and the demands of one's various identities.

The critical point of the book is that ethics has its origins in those identities, each of which has its own demands and rules. Our life goals and meanings come from those identities. We measure our success in life by how well we have performed the tasks set out by our various identity/role/memberships. Identity is the framework of ethics.

This leads Appiah to examine the role of the state in soul making and creating one's identity.

Taking cue from Plato, who wrote that "politics is the art of caring for souls," Appiah holds that the state has a radical interest in ethics, in protecting the autonomy of the individual both in creating an identity and pursuing it.

Everything the state does, he writes, should be governed by how it affects the freedom, intelligence, and virtue of individuals pursuing their identities.

Appiah's argument that identity, as our chosen life-path, is the source of obligations is weak. He seems to abstract identity from our identification with the various groups we choose to be part of.

The whole notion of "ought," like "must," is an implied passive construction meaning, "is obligated." Who, we must ask, is the obligator?

The obvious answer is not the individual nor the identification itself but the other members of the groups which we have joined. They have set the standards against which we measure our performance.

We live in an ocean of mutual obligations. The voice of our consciousness is always speaking in the imperative mood. In our heads, we are naturally teachers, telling others what to do. Our ethical obligations are always created by those others whom we have chosen to join.

Also missing in this erudite discussion was any of the work on deviant identity done by Becker, Goffman, Sagarin, and Matza and many others of an earlier generation. They changed the field sociology to benefit millions.

Deviant identities are very special and bring their own demands that further limit autonomy by avoiding the "anxiety of choice." In becoming gay, for example, "one chooses not to choose"

Appiah suggests that one who experiences homosexual desires has little choice about adopting the gay role. This ignores the great disconnect between the behavior and the identity noted in the Kinsey studies.

Most people who have homosexual experiences do not adopt the identity, while there are many who adopt the identity with very little and even no homosexual experience.

There are also many who deny the label and are able to enjoy the autonomy of living without it.

There are many African-Americans, Native Americans, and others who surmount the limitations of the roles that society has created for them.

Parents living in the inner city, for example, struggle daily to keep their children from hating in response to the enraging humiliations they face in a segregated city. They do this by living, thinking, and acting in such a way as if the oppression and domination did not exist. They try to define how a human being should act in such circumstances, what it is to be a normal human being, or, in Appiah's word, a cosmopolitan, a citizen of the world. In this effort, many have been remarkably successful.

Appiah states regarding deviant identity on p. 112: "Each of these categories has served as an instrument of subordination, as a constraint upon autonomy, a proxy for misfortune. Some identities, we can show, were created as part of a classificatory system for oppression."

Yet, he goes on to say: "...categories designed for subordination can also be used to mobilize and empower people as members of a self-affirmative identity.... As a parameter, identities provide for choosing, for defining the shape of our lives, but they also provide a basis for community, for positive forms of solidarity."

A second weakness in the book is the lack of attention given to work identity. In any society, what one does for a living plays a major role in defining the self.

As Marx told us, it is work that ennobles us and defines our unique position in the universe. Work is always at the heart of both ethics and identity.
Arthunter Arthunter
As for the content, it's quite philosophical, and very challenging in the first chapter. If you stick with it through the first 13ish pages you'll find that it gets much more understanding and hitting home.
Perfect e-book excluding the fact that it doesn't have page numbers. It's like any other books out there if you've gotten them before.
Whitehammer Whitehammer
Excellent!
Peles Peles
Kwame Anthony Appiah, a name not well known in a subject equally lacking in general popularity, however Appiah's books are surprisingly readable, offering challenging concepts in an digestible prose style.
saafari saafari
Reading this book is like taking a walk with a familiar-looking stranger through a misty landscape. It's a meandering walk when you sometimes lose sight of each other only to meet again at the next bend.
Appiah was born in Ghana where his father was a well-known member of the opposition. Steeped in the heritage of the Enlightenment Kwame Anthony Appiah is a defender of liberal values which, contrary to popular wisdom, he doesn't regard as something typically "Eurocentric". He is a true cosmopolitan but at the same time critical of many multicultural views, including Kymlicka's efforts to bridge the gap between individual rights and group autonomy. In his eyes, the notion of "cultural identity" warrants an especially critical scrutiny.
Some of his discussions take you places where a limited knowledge of classical as well as contemporary philosophy leaves you wanting. One critic jokingly described Appiah as splitting hairs where others aren't aware any hair could grow. At times it is a demanding read but ultimately, not least due to his fluent and relaxed style, a very rewarding one as well. Like writers as Stephen Jay Gould, who would make it a habit of bringing you the latest news on baseball, Appiah is not all highbrow. His satire of an imagined "hug-a-Dyspeptic-today initiative" is positively hilarious (p. 140). He uses this device to drive home the point that it's not all that obvious what actually constitutes a cultural group; and to question that if such a group exists, it therefore automatically deserves recognition and respect.
Ethics of Identity is not for the faint of heart. Chock-full of ideas and references to anybody, or so it seems, who has anything to say on the subject, plus a dense section of notes, it's a weighty contribution to the thorny discussion on cultural pluralism versus individual autonomy.