The Examined Life

Jan 14 2013 @ 8:43pm

Jane Shilling contemplates it:

The writer and philosopher Julian Baggini has argued that the Socratic maxim about the examined life is profoundly elitist. "The bulk of humankind, today and in history,” he writes, "has been far too busy struggling for survival to engage in lengthy philosophical analyses. So if an examined life is one in which more than just a little investigation takes place, by implication, huge swaths of humanity are ignorant beasts."

How that has changed:

[A]nyone with access to the internet (and that is a vast number of even the otherwise most severely impoverished members of the world’s population) can indulge in public acts of self-examination, whether blogging clandestinely from a country in the grip of a tyrannical political regime, or soliciting sympathy on Facebook for what might once have been an anxiety or grief too intimate to mention to any but the closest of friends, or tweeting updates on one’s changing frame of mind. Self-examination has become one of the most democratic of all activities.