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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Cosmopolitanism \Cos`mo*pol"i*tan*ism\ (k?z`m?-p?l"?-tan-?z'm), n. The quality of being cosmopolitan; cosmopolitism.


n. The idea that all of humanity belongs to a single moral community.


Cosmopolitanism is the ideology that all human beings belong to a single community, based on a shared morality. A person who adheres to the idea of cosmopolitanism in any of its forms is called a cosmopolitan or cosmopolite. A cosmopolitan community might be based on an inclusive morality, a shared economic relationship, or a political structure that encompasses different nations. In a cosmopolitan community individuals from different places (e.g. nation-states) form relationships of mutual respect. As an example, Kwame Anthony Appiah suggests the possibility of a cosmopolitan community in which individuals from varying locations (physical, economic, etc.) enter relationships of mutual respect despite their differing beliefs (religious, political, etc.).

Various cities and locales, past or present, have or are defined as "cosmopolitan"; that does not necessarily mean that all or most of their inhabitants consciously embrace the above philosophy. Rather, locales could be defined as "cosmopolitan" simply by the fact of being where people of various ethnic, cultural and/or religious background live in proximity and interact with each other.

Usage examples of "cosmopolitanism".

Under cosmopolitanism, if it comes, we shall receive no help from the earth.

He prepares the way for cosmopolitanism, and though his ambitions may be fulfilled, the earth that he inherits will be grey.

Increased communication, increased cultural intercourse, and a prolonged vigorous campaign for cosmopolitanism, had changed the mentality of Europe.

And so strong by now was the will for cosmopolitanism that the upshot would almost certainly have been a triumph of sanity, had there not occurred in England an accident which tilted the whole precarious course of events in the opposite direction.

This kind of cosmopolitanism was regarded by Asia and Africa without sympathy.

But the basic traits are there in Humbert Humbert: the immense culture and the exhibitionist pedantry, the fastidiousness and snobbery, the inability to align himself with any nationality - a fatal cosmopolitanism.

I on the other hand had ostentatiously ordered in Swahili: mogo, otherwise known as cassava, served with a tamarind chutney, brinjal curry, karahi karela, tarka dhal and rotis to show my cosmopolitanism.

All this keeping pace with the times, this immersion in the results of modern discoveries, this speeding-up of existence so that it was all surface and little root--the increasing volatility, cosmopolitanism, and even commercialism of his life, on which he rather prided himself as a man of the world--was, with a secrecy too deep for his perception, cutting at the aloofness logically demanded of one in his position.

The Jews were all Sephardim who, unlike the Ashkenazim of eastern Europe, had a long tradition of cosmopolitanism.