The Ethics of Identity

Kwame Anthony Appiah


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Princeton University Press
3 October 2023
ISBN: 9780691254074
392 pages

From the publisher

A bold vision of liberal humanism for navigating today's complex world of growing identity politics and rising nationalism

Collective identities such as race, nationality, religion, gender, and sexuality clamor for recognition and respect, sometimes at the expense of other things we value. To what extent do they constrain our freedom, and to what extent do they enable our individuality? Is diversity of value in itself? Has the rhetoric of human rights been overstretched? Kwame Anthony Appiah draws on thinkers through the ages and across the globe to explore such questions, developing an account of ethics that connects moral obligations with collective allegiances and that takes aim at cliches and received ideas about identity. This classic book 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.