Examined Life

Dec 2, 2023 | Philosophy, Videos

Examined Life is a captivating documentary from filmmaker Astra Taylor that takes us on an intellectual journey with some of the modern world’s most influential thinkers. From New York to San Francisco, each thinker reflects upon their own field and unique perspective on our current social climate in relation to the environment, revolution, individualism and more.

The journey begins with renowned ethicist Peter Singer, who ponders upon the ethics of consumption as he looks out over Fifth Avenue’s luxurious boutiques. We then accompany Slavoj Zizek as he examines our current beliefs about the environment while rummaging through a garbage dump. Michael Hardt considers the nature of revolution while surrounded by symbols of wealth and leisure in Manhattan. Furthermore, Judith Butler and a friend walk through San Francisco’s Mission District to discuss our culture’s devotion to individualism before Cornel West—the renowned public intellectual—compares philosophy to jazz and blues while driving through the city.

Examined Life is an inspiring documentary that offers viewers exclusive moments with these philosophers as they consider deeper questions about our society today. While there are numerous documentaries that explore contemporary issues, Examined Life uplifts philosophy as a means to transform how we perceive our world and envision our potential futures—all while being visually stimulating and emotionally engaging for spectators alike. For anyone interested in gaining insight into moral philosophy, cultural theory or simply looking for thought-provoking entertainment, this film should not be overlooked!

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David B