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Examined Life Review

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A series of essays on the nature of contemporary society from a philosophical standpoint from 8 top intellectuals.

★★★★★

Eight intellectuals are given ten minutes each to riff on the interdependency of society — that’s the movie, as put together by philosophy-junkie Astra Taylor. Most compellingly, Cornel West establishes a link between democracy, Romanticism and the blues, while Peter Singer ingeniously dissects the ethics of consumerism, and Anthony Appiah outlines the urgent need for greater cosmopolitanism.

On the downside, Avital Ronell offers a ridiculously (and ironically) jargonised rant on meaning, while Michael Hardt’s rowing-boat rumination on revolution fittingly runs aground. Thus, for all its flashes of brilliance, too few will be inspired to reassess their place in society.

The ones that work, Cornel West and Peter Singer for example, are intriguing and compelling but they don't all hang together so effortlessly.

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