Trying to challenge some of our settled assumptions
November 25, 2016 8:31 AM   Subscribe

Reith Lectures 2016 by Kwame Anthony Appiah. 'I hesitate to disagree with even the Gandhi of legend, but I believe Western civilization is not at all a good idea, and Western culture is no improvement.'

Discussions on Creed, Country, Colour and Culture, with downloadable mp3s and transcripts in PDF format. Also available on BBC iPlayer for those who can use that.
posted by asok (9 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
I would like to read the transcript for "Culture" but cannot find it. Any help?
posted by Emma May Smith at 9:31 AM on November 25, 2016

Link is from all the way at the bottom of this page, so maybe the other lectures have transcripts on their little home pages too.
posted by thelonius at 9:38 AM on November 25, 2016

I think you can’t be a civilized person if you only care about the culture of one place, one class, one gender for that matter.

Just finished reading the PDF for "Culture." I think I like this Kwame Anthony Appiah guy! Looking forward to reading "Creed, Country & Colour." Thank you for posting this!!
posted by pjsky at 11:08 AM on November 25, 2016

Thank you for this; I've read a couple of Appiah's books -- Cosmopolitanism and In My Father's House. Looking forward to listening to the lectures.
posted by bertran at 2:22 PM on November 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

I was all spoiling to be cross with this, but I think it's great! The pull quote, if you forgive me, I think mis-represents the thrust of his argument: I inferred it was going to be "Western culture sucks" when really it was "there is no such thing as Western culture, just (good) culture available to any human who wants it and not owned by Europeans and their colonists.".
posted by alasdair at 12:12 PM on November 26, 2016

Appiah is really good. He's one of the few around who do good work in both philosophy of language/core and social/political.

I heard these lectures on the BBC and enjoyed them.
posted by persona au gratin at 2:44 PM on November 26, 2016

Thanks for posting this. I wasn't aware of Appiah, and I liked his approach very much, as well as learned a few things.
posted by motdiem2 at 4:01 PM on November 26, 2016

That was wonderful!

Though his interlocutor got increasingly jetlagged, to be polite. The questions and interjections got increasingly weird as the series went on. There were a couple of moments in the last Q&A where, honestly, it seemed like she had slept through the entire lecture. I only wish that I had Appiah's grace and good humor in that kind of situation.
posted by Kattullus at 4:25 PM on November 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

I thought she might be playing devil's advocate at first, but then not so much.

Glad you all liked it! I found the lectures to serve as a mental balm against the chafing that recent political events have caused. Appiah is on the right side of history.
posted by asok at 5:55 AM on November 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

« Older Opt Outside with REI and get out in state parks...   |   All of them. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments