(cross posted at A Ku Indeed!)
Most of the books I get shipped to me by publishers are ones that will never get their spines cracked — a motley assortment of logic, ethics and introduction to philosophy textbooks that I have no need (nor the time) to read. Every once in a while, however, I get one that does actually look interesting. Like today: waiting for me at the University Post Office was The Examined Life by James Miller (at the New School for Social Research).
I haven’t read any of it, but I have thumbed through it and it seems like an interesting possible read for an Introduction to Philosophy class, actually. Miller writes the book as a biography of 12 thinkers from Socrates and walking though history to Nietzsche. From what I can tell, Miller basically tries to capture how each thinker attempted to pursue the project of “examining life” and in the process how each crafted an idiosyncratic project (Kant’s is built around the importance of “autonomy” for instance). Miller crafts each story while also talking about the actual private and public lives of each thinker, exposing not only larger reasons why each thinker may have pursued their specific project, but also in order to highlight how each thinker’s philosophical project and their actual life didn’t exactly mesh perfectly.
Sounds interesting, and it looks like an easy read. Has anyone out there read it or heard anything about it? (The WSJ has a review here.)