Kwame Anthony Akroma-Ampim Kusi Appiah, an Anglo-Ghanaian American philosopher, is a cultural theorist and novelist whose interests include political and moral theory, the philosophy of language and mind, literary studies, and African and African-American intellectual history. He teaches at New York University’s department of philosophy and school of law, but has also taught at Yale, Cornell, Duke, Harvard and Princeton universities, and lectured at other prominent universities throughout the world.
He has written widely on philosophy of mind and language, ethics and political philosophy, the philosophy of art, culture, the social sciences and literary studies. His current research focuses on questions about the connection between theory and practice in moral life. From 2008 to 2011, he was Chairman of the Board of the American Philosophical Association; in 2009 to 2012, he was President of the PEN American Center; and in 2016 he was President of the Modern Language Association.
He is the author of three novels and more than a dozen works of philosophy, including the prize- winning In My Father’s House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture. His recent publications include Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers, The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen and Lines of Descent: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Emergence of Identity. His three novels are entitled Avenging Angel, Nobody Likes Letitia, Another Death in Venice. Most recently, he published The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity. Since 2015, he has written The Ethicist column for the New York Times. He has also chaired the juries for the Berggruen Prize in Philosophy and the Man-Booker Prize for Fiction.
Professor Appiah was educated at schools in Ghana and England, and trained at Clare College, Cambridge University, where he received a doctorate in philosophy.