The Complex Question of Identity

Kwame Anthony Appiah: How does the fact that I’m an American, or of Anglican origin, or gay, or a philosopher, or a Democrat, how do these things fit properly into the shaping of a decent life for me?  And what significance does that have for others, including governments who want to regulate me?  What significance does it have for them that these things matter to me and for me?  And how much freedom should I be allowed to explore and express those things myself? 

And that’s sort of what my book “The Ethics of Identity” was about.  Well it was about the ethics of identity.  It was about how these questions of identity fit into the big ethical question, which is, “What’s a good life?”

Recorded on: July 31 2007

Appiah talks about how his many identities come together to define him.

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