Life Examined is an anthology of carefully edited readings designed to serve as an introduction to many of the fundamental concepts of ethical and socio-political thought. It includes primary sources from a variety of traditions, with selections that range chronologically from ancient times through to the present day. These readings have been thoughtfully selected, edited, and contextualized to provide students with opportunities to sharpen their capacities for critical and theoretical reflection. The book begins with three key texts that frame the historical discourse. Subsequent chapters are organized around ethical themes and theoretical questions that have animated debates throughout the ages, including the nature of practical rationality, scientific reasoning, wisdom, the law, equality, power, violence, and identity.
“Life Examined comprises an astoundingly wide range of material, appropriate not only for a variety of introductory philosophy courses but also for intermediate and more advanced courses in everything from ethics and economics to political theory and social criticism. The admirably diverse and well balanced selection includes readings by authors from Siddhartha Gautama to Naomi Klein, representing various disciplines and eras, numerous countries and continents, different cultures and languages, and widely differing value systems and moral perspectives. This is an ideal textbook, and a resource that readers will want to return to for years to come.” — Jeff Mitscherling, University of Guelph
“This anthology will help students to escape the horizons of their own settled ways of life by presenting them with a diversity of historical, cultural, political, and philosophical perspectives. The selections are drawn from Western and Eastern philosophical traditions as well as indigenous and radical voices deeply critical of the canon and the values it champions. At the same time, the selections are not fashionably eclectic but chosen with clear philosophical purpose, concisely explained in the overview essays by the editors which begin each chapter. The text should stand out in a very crowded field.” — Jeff Noonan, University of Windsor