The Examined Life

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This article is about the 1989 philosophical book. For other uses, see The Examined Life (disambiguation).
The Examined Life
The Examined Life, first edition.jpg
Cover of the first edition
Author Robert Nozick
Country United States
Language English
Subject Philosophy
Published 1989 (Simon & Schuster)
Media type Print
Pages 308
ISBN 0-671-72501-7

The Examined Life is a 1989 collection of philosophical meditations by Robert Nozick.[1]


Nozick's book is an attempt to "tackle human nature, the personal, 'the holiness of everyday life' and its meaning."[2] Nozick expresses his concerns with libertarianism and proposes some form of inheritance taxation.[3][4]


Denis Donoghue, writing in The Wilson Quarterly, praised The Examined Life but stated that it had some passages that weren't as strong as others.[5] In contrast, a journalist for the Guardian called the work "disappointingly schmaltzy."[2]


  1. ^ Capaldi, Nicholas (1998). The Enlightenment Project in the Analytic Conversation. Springer. p. 371. ISBN 9780792350149. 
  2. ^ a b O' Grady, Jane (January 26, 2002). "Robert Nozick: Leftwing political philosopher whose rightward shift set the tone for the Reagan-Thatcher era". The Guardian. 
  3. ^ Wolff, Jonathan (1991). Robert Nozick: Property, Justice and the Minimal State. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. p. 156. ISBN 0-8047-1856-3. 
  4. ^ Guido Erreygers, Toon Vandevelde (1997). Is Inheritance Legitimate?: Ethical and Economic Aspects of Wealth Transfers. Springer. p. 8. ISBN 9783540627258. 
  5. ^ Donoghue, Denis (Spring 1990). "The Examined Life: Philosophical Meditations by Robert Nozick (review)". The Wilson Quarterly 14 (2): 92–94. Retrieved 24 March 2014.