Appiah Essay

In: English and Literature

Submitted By bbackiel
Words 1243
Pages 5
Brianna Backiel
Professor Brian French
ENC1102
February 25, 2016

In “Cosmopolitanism,” Kwame Appiah uses this term to explain the responsibility that each member of the universe has to one another; a responsibility that goes beyond just country borders. He believes that in this day in age we separate ourselves from others with whom we do not share the same nations, opinions, customs, etc.. Appiah says, “In the wake of 9/11, there has been a lot of fretful discussion about the divide between us and them” (72). In the world today humans have a tendency to be fearful and hesitant when it comes to things we do not understand or that are different. This may be partially human nature; however, this intolerance was definitely heightened drastically after the events of 9/11. In our post 9/11 world the state of cosmopolitanism, if adopted, would greatly improve communication with other nations and lead to a progression of knowledge.
In this reading Appiah really explores the way we humans communicate with each other and the problems that arise. He concludes that in many ways we might hear each other but we do not listen. Our preconceptions of other’s ideas, cultures, and beliefs cloud the conversations that we have with individuals with whom we do not share coinciding beliefs. Appiah also says, “conversations across boundaries can be fraught, all the more so as the world grows smaller and the stakes grow larger” (68). This means that the stricter we humans affiliate only with our niche and community the less meaningful our conversations become. It is impossible for new ideas and knowledge to be exchanged when we only communicate with those who agree with us. Our intense fear of other cultures that stems from 9/11 has closed off communication and conversation with many parts of the world. Our border and airport security is over the top and there is an overwhelming…...

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