The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast
The Partially Examined Life is a philosophy podcast by some guys who were at one point set on doing philosophy for a living but then thought better of it. Each episode, we pick a short text and chat about it with some balance between insight and flippancy. You don't have to know any philosophy, or even to have read the text we're talking about to (mostly) follow and (hopefully) enjoy the discussion. For links to the texts we discuss and other info, check out www.partiallyexaminedlife.com.

On De Anima or On the Soul (350 BCE), books 1 and 2, after some listener mail. What can this ancient text tell us about biological life? What counts as a scientific explanation? A. describes life as "the first actuality of a natural body which has organs," so bodies express their nature only when they're growing and reproducing and all that stuff that bodies do. The body is potential, and life is its actuality. So what the heck kind of explanation is that, and how does it tie into Aristotle's convoluted metaphysics?

End song: "Intermission Song" by Mark Lint from Spanish Armada: Songs of Love and Related Neuroses (1993).

Direct download: PEL_ep_130_12-6-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

Mark is joined by numerous previous guests to catch up and engage the musical part of PEL's past episodes by introducing and playing the entirety of Mark Lint's "Songs from the Partially Examined Life," which you can own, along with the 2016 PEL wall calendar.
Direct download: PEL_Xmas_Special_2015.mp3
Category:Nakedly Self-Examined Music -- posted at: 12:44am CST

Continuing on the the reasonableness of religious belief with many short readings and guests Nathan Gilmour and Rob Dyer.
Direct download: PEL_ep_129pt2_11-22-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

Nathan Gilmour (Christian Humanist podcast) and Rob Dyer (God Complex Radio) join Mark and Wes for to discuss the reasonableness of religious belief reading Antony Flew's "The Presumption of Atheism," Norwood Russell Hanson's “The Agnostic’s Dilemma," Steven Cahn's "The Irrelevance of Proof to Religion," Alvin Plantinga's “Is Belief in God Properly Basic?" Merold Westphal's "Sin and Reason," Basil Mitchell's “Faith and Criticism," Peter van Inwagen's "Clifford's Principle," William Alston's "Experience in Religious Belief," Richard Swinburne's "The Voluntariness of Faith" and “The World and Its Order," and Paul Helm's "Faith and Merit." Read synopses of all these at partiallyexaminedlife.com.

End song: "Let Us Meet" by Mark Lint, setting an old poem by Kim Casey Linsenmayer.

Direct download: PEL_ep_129_11-22-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

Continuing on "The Meaning of Meaning" (1975). We finish giving Putnam's positive theory for "meaning" something, talk about stereotypes and indexicals, and try to find connections to pragmatism.
Direct download: PEL_ep_128pt2_11-8-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

On "The Meaning of Meaning" (1975). If meaning is not a matter of having a description in your head, then what is it? Hilary Putnam reformulates Kripke's insight (from #126) in terms of Twin Earths: Earthers with H20 and Twin Earthers with a substance that seems like water but is different have the same mental contents but are referring to different stuff with "water," so that word is speaker-relative in a certain way. With guest Matt Teichman. 

End song: "In the Boatyard" by Mark Lint & the Madison Lint Ensemble (2004, finished now).

Direct download: PEL_ep_128_11-8-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

Continuing on Experience and Nature (1925), through ch. 4. We focus here on how philosophy supposedly gets warped by fear and desire in human nature, how we pretend that abstractions we've created are metaphysically real and basic. So how do the objects of our experience, then, relate to those of science? And can we talk about "ends" (teleology) when doing science? Learn more. Listen to part one first, or get the ad-free Citizen edition.
Direct download: PEL_ep_127pt2_10-25-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

On Experience and Nature (1925), through ch. 4. What's the relationship between our experience and the world that science investigates? Dewey thinks that these are one and the same, and philosophies that call some part of it (like atoms or Platonic forms) the real part while the experienced world is a distortion are unjustified.

End song: "Uncontrollable Fear" by The MayTricks from So Chewy! (1993).

Direct download: PEL_ep_127_10-25-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

Continuing on Naming and Necessity (1980). What's the relationship between language and the world? We try on Kripke's ideas and see what this makes us think about natural kind terms (like "tiger"), about physical objects, about substances identified by science, about heat vs. the feeling of heat, and about pain. Listen to part one first or get the Citizen Edition. Read more about the topic and get the book. End song: "Reason Enough" by Mark Lint. Read about it.
Direct download: PEL_ep_126pt2_10-11-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

On Naming and Necessity (1980). What's the relationship between language and the world? Specifically, what makes a name or a class term pick out the person or things that it does? Saul Kripke wanted to correct the dominant view of his time (which involved a description in the speaker's mind), and used talk of "possible worlds" to do it! With guest Matt Teichman.

End song: "Reason Enough" by Mark Lint.

Direct download: PEL_ep_126_10-11-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

On Isaac Asimov's "The Last Question," Albert Camus's "The Fall," Karl Jaspers's "Truth and Symbol," C.S. Peirce's "The Fixation of Belief," Bertold Brecht's "Theatre for Pleasure or Theatre for Instruction," and Thomas Sheehan's Stanford lectures on the Historical Jesus.

These are snippets covering topics we haven't had time to cover on the podcast proper. Brief yourself via these 10–15 minute bursts, or become a PEL Citizen to listen to the full discussions.

Direct download: PEL_Not_School_Digest_2015.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:56pm CST

Continuing on The Human Condition (1958), focusing on the rise of "the social," how that erodes the private sphere (unless you post it on Facebook, it's not real!), yet leads to feelings of loneliness and meaninglessness. The audience at this live Pittsburgh event then joins us in the latter of this release to help us try to figure out what Arendt's positive picture is. Listen to part one first or get the full, ad-free Citizen edition. Support PEL!
Direct download: PEL_ep_125pt2_9-26-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

On The Human Condition (1958), Prologue and Sections 1 and 2. How has our distinction between the private and public evolved over time? Arendt uses this history, and chiefly the differences between our time and ancient Athens, to launch a critique of modern society. The fab four conducted this podcast live at the Pittsburgh Continental Philosophy Conference

End song: "Space" by Mark Lint. Read about it.

Direct download: PEL_ep_125_9-25-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

What is it like to do philosophy in public? As prelude to our ep. 125 appearance at the Pittsburgh Continental Philosophy Network Conference on theory and public space, Mark, Seth, Wes, and Dylan sat down for questions by moderator Erica Freeman, conference host Justin Pearl, and numerous attendees.
Direct download: PEL_Pittsburgh_QA_9-25-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

More on the Manual of Epictetus, aka The Enchiridion, from around 135 CE. We discuss elements of E's program including making your will "conformable to nature," the connection between controlling your emotions and seeing truth, what exactly about our mentality we're supposed to be able to control, engaging other people (or not), and how to behave at parties. Listen to part one first or get the Citizen Edition. Please support PEL!
Direct download: PEL_ep_124pt2_8-30-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

On the Manual of Epictetus, aka The Enchiridion (135 CE). What's a wise strategy for life? Stoicism says that the secret is mastering yourself. Nothing external can break your spirit unless you let it. So, how weird and misguided is that advice? With guest Alex Fossella.

End song: "But I Won't" by Mark Lint from Spanish Armada: Songs of Love and Related Neuroses (1993).

Direct download: PEL_ep_124_8-30-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:55am CST

Continuing our discussion of Amartya Sen's On Ethics and Economics (1987) with some comparisons to F.A. Hayek and his essay "The Use of Knowledge in Society" (1945), with guest Seth Benzell. Listen to Seth B's introduction and part one first. Learn more.
Direct download: PEL_ep_123pt2_8-17-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

On F.A. Hayek's "The Use of Knowledge in Society" (1945) and Amartya Sen's On Ethics and Economics (1987). Is economics a pseudoscience? Are its assumptions by necessity too over-simplifying? Hayek objects to the idea of planning an economy, because the planners aren't in a position to know enough. With guest Seth Benzell, who starts us off with a "precognition" of the material.

End song: "People Who Throw Away Love" by Mark Lint.

Direct download: PEL_ep_123_8-17-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

Haven't had enough Augustine? Danny Lobell and Wes Alwan welcome Augustine scholar James Wetzel and PEL Citizens Terra Leigh Bell, Amogh Sahu, and Scott Anderson to discuss our Augustine episodes, covering humility, love, desire, grief, sex, misogyny, degrees of reality, and how love of God fits with relating to other people. Minimally edited, recorded the same day it's being posted, we present a full Aftershow on our public feed for the very first time. (The last?) What do you think?
Direct download: PEL_Ep121122_Augustine_Aftershow_9-6-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 9:37pm CST

Concluding on The Confessions (400 CE), books 10–13. More on memory and how it relates to Plato's "recollection," Augustine's take on will (Do we pursue something we take to be the good per Plato or do we intentionally pursue evil?), what it meeans to live as hooked up with God, and the kinds of answers Augustine gives to tricky questions like the origin of the universe and the nature of time. Listen to part one first, and ep. 121 before that.
Direct download: PEL_ep_122pt2_7-28-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

Yet more on The Confessions, now on books 10–13. What is memory and how does it relate to time and being? Augustine thinks that memory is a storehouse, but it contains not just the sensations we put in it, but also (à la Plato's theory of recollection) all legitimate knowledge. It's our route to God, to real Being. Mark, Wes, and Dylan also discuss time, language, knowledge, the existence of evil, and more.

This continues our discussion from ep. 121. Listen to the Aftershow featuring James Wetzel!

End song: "The Past Is Not Real" by Mark Lint. Read about it.

Direct download: PEL_ep_122_7-28-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

Guest Seth Benzell outlines Hayek's "The Use of Knowledge in Society" (1945) and Sen's On Ethics and Economics (1987).
Direct download: PEL_Precog_for_ep123.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 9:25am CST

More on The Confessions, books 1–9. Love the world, but only insofar as you're really loving the creator, so don't get too carried away. What are the logical and not-so-logical-but-certainly-predictable implications of this view? Listen to part one first.
Direct download: PEL_ep_121pt2_7-16-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

On The Confessions (400 CE), books 1–9. The question is not "What is virtue?" because knowing what virtue is isn't enough. The problem, for Aurelius Augustinus, aka St. Augustine of Hippo, is doing what you know to be right.

End song: "I Still Want" by New People, from Impossible Things (2011).

Direct download: PEL_ep_121_7-16-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

Seth Paskin and Danny Lobell were joined by Dr. Gregory B. Sadler, David Buchanan, Erik Weissengruber, Tom Kirdas, Ken Presting, and Bill Coe. Recorded July 26, 2015. This is the first 15 minutes of a two-hour conversation, available in full to PEL Citizens or free on our YouTube page.
Direct download: PREVIEW-PEL_Ep119_Nietzsche_Aftershow_7-26-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 11:40pm CST

Continuing our dicussion of Un-Willing with the author. We explore and critique Eva's picture of the less-willfull life and try to figure out how her historically driven account relates to modern debates about free will. Listen to part one first.
Direct download: PEL_ep_120pt2_6-26-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

We discuss Un-Willing: An Inquiry into the Rise of Will's Power and an Attempt to Undo It (2014) with the author, covering Socrates, Augustine, Aquinas, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Sartre, compatibilism, the neurologists' critque of free will, and more.

End song: "I Insist" by Mark Lint. Read about it.

Direct download: PEL_ep_120_6-26-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

A highlight from our musician-packed breakdown of our songwriting episode. Featuring a third (ex-) member of Camper Van Beethoven, plus Chase Fiorenza, Mike Wilson, Maxx Bartko, Danny Lobell, Mark Linsenmayer, and (not heard on this preview) Adrian Cho and Fischerspooner's Warren Fischer. We discuss authenticity, the state of the music biz, humor in music, and more.
Direct download: PREVIEW-PEL_Ep118_Songwriting_Aftershow_7-12-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 11:55am CST

Pt 3 of 3 on Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy on the evils according to Nietzsche of "Socratism," i.e. scientific optimism: Everything useful, beautiful, and good must be reasonable, fodder for scientific investigation. Why would Greek tragedy show us that this Enlightenment ideal is somehow misguided? Attend Watch the Aftershow featuring Dr. Greg Sadler and Seth Paskin. Listen to parts one and two.
Direct download: PEL_ep_119pt3_6-15-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

Pt 2 of 3 on Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy. Why is ancient Greek tragedy supposed to push all of our buttons?
Direct download: PEL_ep_119pt2_6-15-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:38am CST

On Friedrich Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy (1872). Nietzsche thought that you could tell how vital or decadent a civilization was by its art, and said that ancient Greek tragedy was so great because it was a perfect synthesis of something highly formal/orderly/beautiful with the intuitive/unconscious/chaotic. But then Socrates ruined everything! With guest John Castro.

Includes a preview of the Aftershow feat. Greg Sadler.

End song: "Some Act" by Mark Lint and the Fake from "So Whaddaya Think?" (2000).

Direct download: PEL_ep_119_6-15-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:13am CST

Listen to or watch the Aftershow for Episode 117 on Antigone, with Danny Lobell, Wes Alwan, and a bunch of PEL listeners like you. Also, learn about our new Citizen feed: get the full Aftershow delivered right to your smartphone!
Direct download: PREVIEW-PEL_Ep117_Antigone_Aftershow_6-28-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 11:23am CST

Victor Krummenacher and Jonathan Segel join Mark and Wes to discuss songwriting and authenticity in the age of Internet consumerism. This episode prefigured Mark's Nakedly Examined Music podcast.

Includes a preview of the Aftershow featuring more musicians including ex-Camper Chris Molla.

End songs: "The Bastards Never Show Themselves" by the Monks of Doom and Mike Wilson's "RG."

Direct download: PEL_ep_118_5-25-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

Philosophically considering the ancient Greek tragedy, which we also performed with Lucy Lawless and Paul Provenza. Listen to Part One first or get the two parts combined without ads. Attend the aftershow on 6/28 at 3pm Eastern. Please visit thegreatcourses.com/PEL.
Direct download: PEL_ep_117pt2_5-26-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:35am CST

Philosophically considering the ancient Greek tragedy, which we also performed with Lucy Lawless and Paul Provenza.

End song: "Woe Is Me" (live, 2002) by Madison Lint.

Features a preview of the Aftershow, feat. Wes and host Danny Lobell.

Direct download: PEL_ep_117_5-26-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 8:00am CST

An unrehearsed, fun read-through of the Greek Tragedy from 441 BCE, plus some discussion with the cast of Greek drama, our selected translation, and other stuff. Enjoy!

PEL Citizens can get an ad-free, extended version.

End song: "Antigone (Choragos Speaks)" by Mark Lint. Read about it.

Direct download: PEL_Antigone_5-14-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:14am CST

Continuation of our discussion of dream interpretation in "On Dreams" (1902). What can dreams tell us about the mind? Listen to Part One first. Sponsor: Squarespace.com (enter code PEL)
Direct download: PEL_ep_116pt2_5-11-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 5:23am CST

On Sigmund Freud's On Dreams (1902) and other stuff. Are dreams just random, or our best key to understanding the mind?

After you listen to this, check out the Aftershow.

End song: "Sleep" by Mark Lint. Read about it.

Direct download: PEL_ep_116_5-11-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:05am CST

The Camper Van Beethoven violinist/composer/multi-instrumentalist joins us to discuss The World as Will and Representation, book 3 selections.
Direct download: PEL_ep_115_4-19-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 8:52am CST

On The World As Will and Representation (1818), book 2. The world is a blind, striving force!
Direct download: PEL_ep_114_4-8-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 8:57am CST

Interpreting the Parables using texts from Paul Ricoeur, John Dominic Crossan, Paul Tillich, et al, with guest Law Ware.
Direct download: PEL_ep_113_3-18-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 8:33am CST

On Paul Ricoeur's "The Critique of Religion" and "The Language of Faith" (1973), with guest Law Ware. How can we apply hermeneutics to the Bible?
Direct download: PEL_ep_112_3-4-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 5:56am CST

On Hans-Georg Gadamer's Truth and Method (1960, ch. 4), "Aesthetics and Hermeneutics" (1964), "The Universality of the Hermeneutical Problem" (1966), and "Hermeneutics as Practical Philosophy" (1972).
Direct download: PEL_ep_111_2-8-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 2:05am CST

Mark and Seth go line-by-line through the first half of "On the Essence of Truth" to help you understand Heidegger's language. This is a 17-min preview of a 2 hr, 37-min bonus recording. Citizens, log in and listen now.
Direct download: PREVIEW-Close_Reading_Heidegger_on_Truth_Part_1.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 8:11am CST

Stephen West returns: Citizens should log in and listen to the Aftershow on Whitehead featuring Dylan Casey and David Buchanan. Everyone can listen to the first chunk of the discussion now.
Direct download: PREVIEW-PEL_Ep110_Whitehead_Aftershow_2-15-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 3:28pm CST

Mark and Wes go line-by-line through a chunk of the Critique of Judgment to help you feel confident decoding Kant and other difficult texts. This is a 13-min preview of a 72-min bonus recording. Citizens, log in and listen now.
Direct download: PREVIEW-Close_Reading_Kant_on_the_Sublime_Part_1.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 8:40am CST

On The Concept of Nature (1920). Nature, i.e. the object of our experience, is events, not things, ya dig?
Direct download: PEL_ep_110_1-8-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 2:19pm CST

Mark Linsenmayer outlines Alfred North Whitehead's book The Concept of Nature (1920)
Direct download: PEL_Precog_for_ep110.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 4:16pm CST

The first chunk of our new after-the-episode discussion, featuring Stephen West from Philosophize This! and Mark Linsenmayer. This is a 20-min preview of a 72-min discussion that can be found in full on our Free Stuff for Citizens page.
Direct download: PREVIEW-PEL_Ep109_Japers_Aftershow_1-25-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 12:50am CST

On Karl Jaspers's "On My Philosophy" (1941), featuring comedian/actor/director/author Paul Provenza
Direct download: PEL_ep_109_12-29-14.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 4:55pm CST

Mark Linsenmayer introduces Karl Jaspers's existentialist tract, "On My Philosophy." (1941)
Direct download: PEL_Precog_for_ep109.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 8:16am CST

On Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, and Strategies (2014) with the author. What can we predict about, and how can we control in advance, the motivations of the entity likely to result from eventual advances in machine learning? Also with guest Luke Muehlhauser.
Direct download: PEL_ep_108_12-7-14.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 4:26pm CST

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