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Would you save a baby or keep your Prada shoes?

SmartPlanet reexamines The Examined Life, a mind-blowing film featuring prominent philosophers in unexpected urban landscapes.
Written by Sonya James, Contributor on

Filmmaker Astra Taylor approached eight prominent philosophers and asked them to speak in a setting of their choice. The Examined Life (2008) tackles the burning questions of a globalized world - and it is a film well worth reexamining.

Peter Singer is an Australian-born moral philosopher best known for his canonical book Animal Liberation (1975). While this text jump-started the animal rights movement, his work transcends discussions about our relationship to animals.

Applied ethics, Singer's specialization, harnesses logic to dislodge our common beliefs - beliefs that seem entirely logical.

"There are people who have the money to buy at these stores, and don't see any kind of moral problem about that," Singer says as he strolls down New York City's infamous Fifth Avenue.

"But what I want to ask is, 'Well, shouldn't they see some sort of moral problem about that? Isn't there a question about what we should be spending our money on?'"

Luckily for Singer, being a radical philosopher no longer ends in hemlock. Remember Socrates? He also asked some pretty basic questions.

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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