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In this lecture, philosopher, cultural theorist, and author Kwame Anthony Appiah rejects the idea that cross-cultural conversations often lead to the discovery of irreconcilable differences.
The argument holds that conversations across groups about ethical questions breakdown because each culture has different and incompatible ethical starting points. Appiah maintains such an argument is mistaken. Because, he says, many people have found cross-cultural encounters to be among the most rewarding experiences in their lives and without them, we have little chance of solving the global problems that we face.
Tricia Johnson is editorial director of public programs at the Aspen Institute.