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'Cosmopolitanism': Finding a Moral Middle Ground

Jan 23, 2006 (Talk of the Nation)

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An increasingly globalized world presents a dilemma: Accept the values of all cultures or seek a moral code that's absolute. Princeton professor Kenneth Appiah says there is a middle ground. The philosophy, "cosmopolitanism," is the subject of his new book.

Coca-Cola, baseball caps and episodes of Dallas are available almost anywhere in the world today, prompting cries of cultural imperialism that Appiah says are misplaced.

"I think what goes on is that people interpret these things and make sense of them in their own cultural context," Appiah says. "I would like a world in which there was more exchange, because I think some of the most vital cultural moments, human cultural moments, come when that exchange happens."

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