Kwame A. Appiah, Exploring Questions of Ethics and Identity

Published on16 AUG 2018

Philosopher Kwame A. Appiah – writer of the weekly “Ethicist” column in The New York Times Magazine – discusses how he thinks about some of the toughest questions of morality and human identity shaping society today.

On identity shaping conflict: “I think one context in which people become hostile to others is where their identity has become important to them as a basis for solidarity in competition in circumstances of severe economic or political competition.”

On why fiction informs morality: “Every moral challenge is about the future. It’s about something that hasn’t happened. And the only access we have to the future is the same as the access we have to fiction. It’s the imagination. So fiction – I think – trains the imagination.”

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