‘Examined Life’ (2008)

Examined Life pulls philosophy out of academic journals and classrooms, and puts it back on the streets. In Examined Life, filmmaker Astra Taylor accompanies some of today’s most influential thinkers on a series of unique excursions through places and spaces that hold particular 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 a life of the mind can be. Offering privileged moments with great thinkers from 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 in it.

Directed by Astra Taylor

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  1. 'The Formation of Religio-Racial Identity' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Judith Weisenfeld 47:32
  2. 'What Was African American Marriage?' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Tera Hunter 44:59
  3. 'Before Cornel West, After Cornel West' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Cornel West 52:46
  4. 'An Insistence on Not Being Discouraged' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Chika Okeke-Agulu 55:19
  5. 'A Through Line for African American Studies' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Imani Perry 44:07
  6. 'Activism and Risk in the Face of Trump' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Asanni York, Destiny Crockett 43:02
  7. 'Langston Hughes, Religious Thinker' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Wallace Best 45:50
  8. 'Convergences and Dissonance' Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Keeanga-Yamahatta Taylor, Naomi Murakawa, & Imani Perry 60:08