Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Theory and Criticism


Dr. Antonio Calcagno


The main purpose of this work is to provide a critique of Kwame Anthony Appiah's liberal cosmopolitan theory. To do this I will be providing a theoretical account of the initial moment of cross-cultural perception, that instant in which one perceives another as one who is from a cultural background other than one's own. This account will be constructed using concepts taken from and inspired by the work Georg Simmel and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. The purpose of the critique is to illustrate one of the major shortcomings of Appiah's theory, which is that it does not take into account any research on the social-psychological dynamics of cross-cultural perception. It is because of this that he can only tell us what attitude individuals should adopt in order to be considered cosmopolitan, rather than what social conditions must be altered in order for individuals to actually want to become cosmopolitans.



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