Religion and Theology
Pages 5 (1255 words)
To understand this article The Case for Contamination, it helps to know that Kwame Anthony Appiah is an advocate of Cosmopolitanism, a global ethics which aims ‘to establish universality and shared values as a determinant or common denominator.”
Cosmopolitanism is still a brewing concept, although the idea has been traced to the cynic Diogenes of Ancient Greece (410 B.C.) who claimed world citizenship and to the 2nd century stoic Hierocles who drew the Concentric Circle Model of the “self” opening out for concern to family, local group, citizens, countrymen and humanity. Whether it is simply an idea, an ethical way-of-life or a movement, Cosmopolitanism is still to gain wider acceptance by present-day thinkers, moralists, and ideologists. In his book Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers,” Appiah clarifies that Cosmopolitanism is basically an ethical principle. Still, he forewarns, not every ethical principle, inclusive of religion, which claims universality, is Cosmopolitanism. To understand this mind-set, Appiah’s aforesaid article deserves examination. Unlike his book Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Stranger, the article under consideration focuses less on Cosmopolitanism and more on the phenomenon of cultural change. Through personally drawn examples, expressed in a descriptive narrative way, Appiah shows that cultural assimilation takes various forms. And in his own home place in Asante, Ghana, Appiah finds exotic traditional customs being observed by fellow-Ghanaians, even as they show signs of modern 21st century living, wearing Western suits and using technology gadgets like cellphones. ...