About the Book

Examined Life

Examined Life

Excursions With Contemporary Thinkers
June 2009
Trade Paperback · 240 Pages
$18.95 U.S. · €13.99 E.U.
ISBN 9781595584472
The New Press

 

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Description

Examined Life boldly takes philosophy out of the dark corners of the academy and into the streets, reminding us that great ideas are born through profound engagement with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, not in isolation from it.

A companion to Astra Taylor’s documentary film, the book features interviews with eight iconoclastic and influential philosophers, conducted while on the move through places that hold special resonance for them and their ideas. Peter Singer’s thoughts on the ethics of consumption are amplified against the backdrop of Fifth Avenue’s posh boutiques. Michael Hardt ponders the nature of revolution while surrounded by symbols of wealth and leisure. Judith Butler and a friend stroll through San Francisco’s Mission District questioning our culture’s fixation on individualism. And while driving through Manhattan, Cornel West — perhaps America’s best-known public intellectual — compares philosophy to jazz and blues, reminding us how intense and invigorating the life of the mind can be.

Offering exclusive moments with great thinkers in fields ranging from moral philosophy to cultural theory, Examined Life reveals philosophy’s power to transform the way we see the world around us and imagine our place within it.

About the Author

Astra Taylor directed Žižek! which was chosen as one of the top ten documentaries of 2007 by Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian and rated a “must see” by the Chicago Reader. She holds an MA in liberal studies from the New School for Social Research and has taught at the University of Georgia and the State University of New York, New Paltz. Her writing has appeared in Adbusters, The Nation, and Salon. She lives in New York.