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Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah presents What is the Point of the Humanities?

Date: 11/3/2015

Kwame Anthony Appiah, an internationally renowned philosopher and cultural theorist, and also one of The Ethicists at The New York Times will deliver the 18th Annual Seymour Riklin Memorial Lecture at 4 p.m. on Nov. 13 at Wayne State University. His presentation is titled: "What is the Point of the Humanities?"

Appiah, a philosophy professor at New York University, will draw on various historical sources from Cicero to Montaigne to the 19th Century English essayist William Hazlitt to address this timely yet perennial question. He also will confront the question, Why do we not see the same sort of progress in the arts as in the sciences? and discuss some of the distinctive features of humanistic understanding, which great thinkers have seen as critical to a free and flourishing life.

"We are thrilled to have someone of Professor Appiah's stature addressing our campus," says John Corvino, chair of Wayne State's Department of Philosophy. "We expect to draw a large crowd from the greater Detroit community. Notwithstanding Wayne State's strength in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields, we have a lively tradition of quality humanistic inquiry and a renewed attention to its value and importance."

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Wayne State's Community Arts Auditorium. Refreshments will follow.

This event is sponsored by the Riklin Fund of the WSU Philosophy Department. Co-sponsors include: the African American Studies program; Department of English; Department of Anthropology; the Center for the Study of Citizenship; Department of Physics and Astronomy; Sociology Department; the Humanities Center; Department of History; Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; Department of Urban Studies and Planning; Department of Criminal Justice; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Irvin D. Reid Honors College; and Office of the Provost.