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Essay 1; Conversation When you think of the term conversation, the first thing that comes to mind is two or more people talking with one another. Author Kwame Anthony Appiah sees conversation as more than just face-to-face talking. In the articles Making Conversation and The Primacy of Practice, Appiah views conversation as any type communication even simply just seeing how other countries/cultures operate. Basic understanding of one another is Appiahs view of conversation. Kwame Anthony Appiah states his belief that the world is separated by unnecessary lines and communication is a way that we can break those lines and possibly achieve cosmopolitanism. Cosmopolitanism, as Appiah describes it, is the challenge of the world acting as one community and with the first step of conversation, we can all ‘live together as a global tribe.’ Conversation will help us challenge ourselves to see the importance in our own actions, along with developing the understanding to see what others do as important as well. Once we understand the good that can come out of conversation, as well as the limitations that it has, the future will be much more socially efficient and we will be able to have left conflict. We are all separated but at the same time we are all connected. In this century we have the ability to see what is going on across the globe. Already we are sharing in ways of communication over the internet and radio. Appiah states, “Only in the past couple of centuries, as every human community has gradually been drawn into a single web of trade and a global network of information, have we come to a point where each of us can realistically imagine contacting any other of our six billion conspecifics and sending that person something worth having: a radio, an antibiotic, a good idea.’ We have the ability to share so much with our ‘global tribe,’ as Appiah would say. Yet, with all of these ways to help, we still can harm one another, even from miles away just as easily as sending the good. Within simple conversation we can change the way that we live, ‘ Together, we can raise standards of living by adopting new policies on trade and aid, prevent or treat diseases with vaccines and pharmaceuticals, take measures against global climate change, encourage resistance to tyranny and a concern for the worth of each human life.’ Appiah believes that we can do all of that just by making conversation.
The first step is to understand other cultures the best we can. While we may not be able to completely have the same mind set as those other people, we could still understand, we could still make conversation. Once we develop an understanding with one another, we will be able to converse even better about more in depth stuff and, as Appiah suggests we could develop something great. For example, if you are working with a group on a project, you must get to know each other first. Even you all only know how each other thinks, that is a great start. Then, just because you understand each other you can develop better ideas. If you do not understand the way something works, then how do you expect to improve in it? Everyone across the globe may not agree on the same things, obviously we all have different beliefs, different religions and different values, but Appiah says that all we need to do is agree to behave morally among one another. We can do it among personal relationships with friends, or coworkers so as long as we all agree to behave morally, we can do it among larger scale relationships. You can be catholic and be friends with a Muslim, and the friendship would not be greatly affected. Eventually, we could possibly achieve this same respect for different countries over the world. We need to see the limitations that conversation has. Our differences are a big limitation, but once we take a step back and not only put aside obvious differences (such as the color of our skin or our religion), but embrace them, we can begin to coexist as one unit rather than a bunch of countries acting in our own interest. Once we begin to coexist, we can start helping each other more. We can help take care of one another in times of need, and lend a helping hand. Many nations over the years have begun to reach other to one another during tragic disasters, but it shouldn’t take a tragedy to bring people together. If we were already acting as one, we could lessen the opportunity that a tragedy occurs or prevent them all together. Appiah believes that we need to achieve a greater sense of respect for one another, and if we do that then why would we wish to have conflicts with each other? You would never wish to fight or have a conflict with someone you have respect and understanding for. Just developing simple respect is something we could achieve through conversation. While we embrace our differences, it make take a while to get around or over that limitation, there have been many past issues such as conflicts and arguments over our differences. Our differences in morals, for example may clash and cause conflict as it has in the past years. That is most likely our biggest limitation, but through Appiahs idea of conversation, we could fight through the differences and make something great. We may change our minds or have a change of heart. Through conversation we can communicate thorough these differences and understand why we are different. Many people have different views and different beliefs but by using conversation we can resolve many conflicts and break the barriers we have with other countries. We already have started to be more effective in communication across the world just by using the internet to see into other cultures and begin understanding. If we keep communicating and trying to understand one another, eventually we can achieve cosmopolitanism in the sense that we all agree to behave morally. Eventually leading to a sense of cosmopolitanism.

Works Cited
Appiah, Kwame Anthony. “Making Conversation.” and “Primacy of Practice.” Emerging: Contemporary Reading for Writers. Ed. Barclay Barrios. Boston: Bedford, 2013. Print

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