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Bruce Robbins, Paulo Lemos Horta, and Kwame Anthony Appiah

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781479829682

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479829682.001.0001

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Cosmopolitan Prejudice

Cosmopolitan Prejudice

(p.153) 12 Cosmopolitan Prejudice

Paulo Lemos Horta

NYU Press

Paulo Lemos Horta provides a novel perspective of cosmopolitanism in the service of empire through the works of the famous Richard Francis Burton, self-described “cosmopolite” and Kwame Anthony Appiah’s prime example of his cosmopolitan imperative to be open to cultural difference. The Victorian explorer, diplomat, and translator considered cosmopolitan experience—his conception of which was somewhat similar to Bender’s—essential to the success of the British Empire, both politically and culturally. Yet, as Horta argues, Burton and his notion of a properly cosmopolitan empire pose problems for Appiah’s cosmopolitanism, for Burton failed Appiah’s second imperative, to recognize the equal respect of reason and moral choice in every human being. Through Burton, Horta suggests the difficulty of disentangling cosmopolitan from counter-cosmopolitan impulses in the context of empire.

Keywords:   prejudice, cosmopolitan bias, counter-cosmopolitan, empire, Burton

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