Monday, June 12, 2006

PUSH - K. Anthony Appiah

K. Anthony Appiah
Everything is more complicated than you think.
Ghanaian Proverb: “If you throw something in the trash and go back to get it that’s just fine.” Retrieve what you need from the past.

Cosmopolitanism. Useful concept in addressing many of the major issues we are facing in the world. This isn’t the only thing that is necessary and even by itself its very complicated.

Cosmopolitanism is a metaphor, as it doesn’t make sense in a world that has many different states.
  1. We don’t need to argue for world government.
  2. We can think of ourselves as citizens of the world without being or wanting to be citizens of a world government. But we do have to care about all of the world’s citizens rather than just those in our community or family.
  3. We will all do better if we care about the fate of everyone.
Ironically Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism grew together. It was good for people to live in communities but to care about other communities. Therefore it is congruent to support other people in the development of their communities. However, nationalism in isolation gets out of control.

This involves tolerance for choice about how other people choose to live and humility. If you accept that you live in a world with lots of other kinds of people then you need to understand them even if you don’t agree.

Globalization has made this metaphor of Cosmopolitanism applicable to our current world. Through our technology capabilities we can know about each other and we have the power to impact each other. This makes cosmopolitanism attitudes mandatory for successfully living in our modern world.

Retrieving what we need from the past to make sense of the present and future.

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