Born in London to a Ghanaian Father and English mother in 1954, Prof. Appiah grew up in Ghana with three younger sisters. He was educated at the University Primary School at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, and completed the rest of his education in the UK in Gloucestershire, Dorset, and finally, at Clare College, in Cambridge University (both his BA, 1975, and PhD, 1982, degrees were in the philosophy department).

Since leaving Cambridge, he has excelled in numerous academic spaces, teaching at several prestigious institutions including Yale, Cornell, Duke, and Harvard in the US, and lectured at many other institutions in the United States, Germany, Ghana and South Africa, as well as at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He was a member of the Princeton University faculty for over a decade (2002-2013), where he had appointments in the Philosophy Department, the University Centre for Human Values, as was associated with the Centre for African American Studies, the Programmes in African Studies and Translation Studies, and the Departments of Comparative Literature and Politics. By 2014, he had taken up an appointment as Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University, where he teaches both in New York and in Abu Dhabi and at other NYU global centres.

His has given several talks on a range of issues ranging from African and African-American intellectual history and literary studies, ethics, political philosophy, to the philosophy of the social sciences and African traditional religions. He is also working on a larger project exploring some of the many ways in which we now think about religion.

He has published extensively in African and African-American literary and cultural studies. His dissertation at Cambridge exploring the foundations of probabilistic semantics, bringing together issues in the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind was published by Cambridge University Press as Assertion and Conditionals. His book "In my Father's House exploring the role of African and African-American intellectuals in shaping contemporary African cultural life won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award as well as the Herskovits Award of the African Studies Association for “the most important scholarly work in African studies published in English.” He has authored 3 novels, won the Arthur Ross Award of the Council on Foreign Relations in 2007, been highlighted on the Forbes Magazine List of the seven most powerful thinkers in 2016, and has had many, many more academic honours.

For more information on this illustrious Black Cantab, please refer to the following resources:
Official Website -