• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Cosmopolitanism is not an easy term to define, given its long conceptual history and shifting contexts. The first known usage of the term is by the Cynic Diogenes in the 4th century BCE. An itinerant from Sinope who lived on the streets of foreign city-states, Diogenes, when asked where he was from, replied, “I am a citizen of the world [kosmopolites].” Etymologically, the term is derived from the Greek kosmos (universal order) and polis (city-state), which together give rise to the notion of a community that is of the world. This emphasis on worldliness and a sense of belonging to a shared community, as opposed to the narrowly construed sense of family, tribe, and nation, has influenced thinkers as diverse as the Roman Stoics, Augustine, ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles