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.
Continuing on "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind." We consider a couple of Sellars's thought experiments, both of which are supposed to show that what we might think are primitive mental terms like "appearance" are really derivative and secondary relative to statements about the external world. With guest Lawrence "Dusty" Dallman. End song: "Senses on Fire" by Mercury Rev. Check out the interview with singer Jonathan Donahue in Nakedly Examined Music ep. 14.
Direct download: PEL_ep_154pt2_12-7-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

On "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind" (1956). Is knowledge based on a "foundation," as Descartes, Locke, et al. thought? Sellars says no: The allegedly basic elements upon which knowledge would be built either have to be propositions, in which case they involve a lot of prior knowledge involved in language use and so aren't really basic, or they're "raw feels," in which case they can't actually serve as reasons for anything; reasons have to be propositional. With guest Lawrence Dallman.
Direct download: PEL_ep_154pt1_12-7-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

Continuing on Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Part I: "Our Glassy Essence." Rorty relates the immateriality of mind to the ontology of universals. Plus, the return of the semantic/syntactic distinction! With guest Stephen Metcalf. End song: "Wall of Nothingness" from Sky Cries Mary from This Timeless Turning (1994). Listen to Mark's interview with the band's frontman, Roderick Romero, in Nakedly Examined Music ep. 9.
Direct download: PEL_ep_153pt2_11-17-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 12:59pm CST

On Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979), Part I: "Our Glassy Essence." "The mind" seems to be an unavoidable part of our basic conceptual vocabulary, but Rorty thinks not, and he wants to use the history of philosophy as a kind of therapy to show that many of our seemingly insoluble problems like the relation between mind and body are a result philosophical mistakes by Descartes, Locke, and Kant. With guest Stephen Metcalf.
Direct download: PEL_ep_153pt1_11-17-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

Democracy is in peril! So said Tocqueville in 1835 and 1840 when Democracy is America was published, and it's still true now. Democracy is always just one demagogue away from stripping us of our liberties, though certain structural and cultural features can make that more or less likely. He liked our volunteerism and innovation, but not so much our tendencies toward materialism and isolation and our lack of philosophical curiosity. Recorded live at Brown University 10/27/16 with audience Q&A. Watch the video!

End song: "Shot of Democracy" by Cutting Crew. Listen to Mark's interview with singer/songwriter Nick Eede on Nakedly Examined Music #10.

Direct download: PEL_ep_152_10-27-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

More on Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), where Burke advocates for the nobility as a stabilizing element in society: These folks are driven by honor, groomed from youth to lead, and estates themselves provide continuity and give people something to protect. But could anyone really defend this system who wasn't himself benefitting from it at the expense of others? Reform, not revolution! End song: "Hard Times of Old England" from Peter Knight's Gigspanner (from Layers of Ages, 2015); listen to Mark's interview with Peter on Nakedly Examined Music ep. 27 at nakedlyexaminedmusic.com.
Direct download: PEL_ep_151pt2_10-4-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

On Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790). What relevance do the concerns of a monarchy-defending aristocrat have for us today? Surprisingly, a lot! The full foursome discuss possible conflicts between freedom, rights, and well-being. What is political freedom without public wisdom? The tyranny of the mob!

End song: "Hard Times of Old England" from Peter Knight's Gigspanner (from Layers of Ages, 2015); listen to Mark's interview with Peter on Nakedly Examined Music #27.

Direct download: PEL_ep_151_10-4-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

NEM now features jazz, hip-hop, classical, folk, and more. Check out all the episodes at nakedlyexaminedmusic.com, where you can subscribe and follow on Facebook. Bill was the original drummer for Yes, a default member of King Crimson, and briefly played with Genesis and the late '70s supergroup U.K., but most of his output has been with his own jazz-inflected Earthworks and Bruford, as rock proved too confining for his rhythmic and tonal creativity.
Direct download: PELSpecial_NEM_ep_025_8-10-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 8:46pm CST

Mark, Wes, Seth, and Dylan discuss our interview with Peter Singer. Does Singer's asserting such a heavy moral burden on us successfully condemn us to changing our priorities and/or feeling perpetually guilty, or is there something wrong with the argument? Even if we admit the moral demand is legitimate, can we soften Singer's position by seeking to balance the obligation to help the poor with numerous other obligations, even though the latter don't rise to the level of life and death? Listen to the interview itself first or get the whole thing unbroken and ad-free via the Citizen edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Ann the Word" by Beauty Pill (2015), explored in Nakedly Examined Music's ep. 19: nakedlyexaminedmusic.com.
Direct download: PEL_ep_150pt2_9-20-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

http://partiallyexaminedlife.com

Direct download: PEL_ep_150_9-13-16_AdFree.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:53am CST

Mark and Wes interview perhaps the world's most influential living philosopher, then the full foursome discusses. We discuss his ongoing work rooted in his 1971 essay "Famine, Affluence, and Morality," about the warped priorities of our consumerist society: We spend money on luxuries while innocent children overseas die from inexpensively preventable causes. For more about Peter, see www.petersinger.info.

End song: "Ann the Word" by Beauty Pill (2015), explored in Nakedly Examined Music #19.

Direct download: PEL_ep_150_9-13-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:52am CST

Broadway stars Walter Bobbie and Bill Youmans perform Plato's dialogue in which Socrates awaits his execution. Should Socrates defy the verdict and try to escape the city? Socrates says no; that would be ungrateful to the city whose benefits he's enjoyed. Bill joins the full PEL foursome for a lively discussion.

End song: "Fall Away" by Mark Lint and the Fake from the album So Whaddaya Think? (2000).

Direct download: PEL_ep_149_9-4-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

Concluding on Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics, books 8–10. Should you share your sorrow with your friends? Can you be friends with someone in a different social station? Do you really need to love yourself before you can be a friend? Why are real friendships in modern society so hard? Do we all at some level know what's really good, even if we proclaim different ideas?
Direct download: PEL_ep_148pt2_8-30-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 9:06am CST

On the final books 8–10 of Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics. What does friendship have to do with ethics? With guest Ana Sandoiu.

Direct download: PEL_ep_148_8-30-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

Continuing on the Nichomachean Ethics, bks 6–7. More on intellectual virtues (like nous or rational intuition), plus we finally get to weakness of the will (akrasia), which is much better than simply being a jerk with wrong moral beliefs.
Direct download: PEL_ep_147pt2_8-9-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

On the Nichomachean Ethics (ca. 350 BCE), books 6–7. Is intelligence just one thing? Aristotle picks out a number of distinct faculties, some of which are relevant to ethics, and he uses these to explain Plato's puzzle of how someone can clearly see what the good for him is, and yet fail to pursue it due to weakness of the will. This episode continues our discussion from way back in ep. 5.

End song: "I Die Desire" from The MayTricks (1992).

Direct download: PEL_ep_147_8-9-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

Concluding Levinas's Time and the Other (1948), in which we talk about the present being freedom, before there's even a will! Also: being encumbered by your own body, relating to the world as nourishment, and getting over yourself through good lovin.'
Direct download: PEL_ep_146pt2_7-27-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

http://partiallyexaminedlife.com

Direct download: PEL_ep_146_7-27-16_AdFree.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:40pm CST

More Levinas, working this time through Time and the Other (1948). What is it for a person to exist? What individuates one person from another, making us into selves instead of just part of the causal net of events? Why would someone possibly think that these are real, non-obvious questions that need to be addressed?

End song: "Call on You" by Mark Lint from from the 1993 Mark Lint album Spanish Armada: Songs of Love and Related Neuroses.

Direct download: PEL_ep_146_7-27-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

Continuing on "Ethics as First Philosophy" (1984) and other essays. We try to complete Levinas's story on how revealing the flawed, aggressive character of our culture and personal attitudes can lead us to recognition of the ethical demand of the Other.
Direct download: PEL_ep_145pt2_7-17-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

On "Ethics as First Philosophy" (1984). More existentialist ethics, with a Jewish twist this time! Seth returns to join Mark and Wes in figuring out how to best leave off all this aggressive "knowing" and other forms of individual self-assertion to grasp the more primordial appearance of the Other in all his or her vulnerability, which Levinas thinks makes us wholly responsible for others right off the bat.

End song: "To Valerie" from The MayTricks' So Chewy (1993).

Direct download: PEL_ep_145_7-17-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

Post-interview discussion of more aspects of Martha Nussbaum's Anger and Forgiveness. Is Nussbaum right in saying that payback should not play any part in our justice apparatus? End song: "Forgive the Disco," a Nussbaum-inspired Mark vocal on an instrumental by Sean Beeson, interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #23.
Direct download: PEL_ep_144pt3_7-5-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

More interview on Anger and Forgiveness, now covering social justice, the role of anger and forgiveness in enacting justice and bringing about social change, and more on when Stoicism is legitimate or against human nature.
Direct download: PEL_ep_144pt2_7-5-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

On Anger and Forgiveness: Resentment, Generosity, Justice (2016). What role should we allow anger to play in our public life? Should systems of punishment be utilitarian, or should they be retributive? Nussbaum thinks that anger necessarily involves the desire for payback, which is unhelpful. We should instead use anger to prevent future harm. Mark, Wes, and Dylan interview Martha and then discuss issues raised in the interview and the book.

End song: "Forgive the Disco," a Nussbaum-inspired Mark vocal on an instrumental by Sean Beeson, interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #23.

Direct download: PEL_ep_144_7-5-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 2:23pm CST

Guest Wes Alwan joins regulars Nathan Hanks, Mary Claire, Daniel St. Pierre, Laura Davis, and Cezary Baraniecki to discuss Mary Shelley's classic novel in this special cross-post from the newest member of the Partially Examined Life podcast network. Check out more episodes and be sure to subscribe at phificpodcast.com.
Direct download: Phi_Fic_3_Frankenstein_by_Mary_Shelley.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

Continuing to discuss the views of Plato's Eleatic Stranger on sophistry, with a right turn into hardcore metaphysics with an exploration of falsity and its metaphysical correlate, non-being.
Direct download: PEL_ep_143pt2_6-21-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

On the later Platonic dialogue. What is a sophist? These were guys in Ancient Greece who taught young people the tools of philosophy and rhetoric. They claimed to teach virtue. In Sophist, "the Eleatic Stranger" (i.e., not Socrates) tries to figure out what a sophist really is, using a new "method of division." This Plato era provides a nice transition to the category man Aristotle, and the whole concern with sophistry is certainly still relevant today!

End song: "Dumb," by Mark Lint and the Fake from the album So Whaddaya Think? (2000).

Direct download: PEL_ep_143_6-21-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

Continuing on Plato's dialogue, diving into Socrates's myth-laden speech on the nature of love. With guest Adam Rose.
Direct download: PEL_ep_142pt2_6-5-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 1:06am CST

Socrates hangs out in the country flirting with his buddy Phaedrus. And what is this "Platonic" love? Using the enticement of desire not to rush toward fulfillment, but to get you all excited about talking philosophy. Socrates critiques a speech by renowned orator Lysias, who claimed that love is bad because it's a form of madness, where people do things they then regret after love fades. Socrates instead delivers a myth that shows the spiritual benefits of loving and being loved. With guest Adam Rose.

End song: "Summertime" by New People, from Might Get It Right (2013).

Direct download: PEL_ep_142_6-5-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 5:12pm CST

Concluding on Simone de Beauvoir's The Ethics of Ambiguity (1947). The full discussion starts with ep. 140. We turn to political dilemmas: Embracing our freedom means willing the freedom of others, but what if the other person is (according to Beauvoir's formula) failing at freedom by oppressing you or someone else?
Direct download: PEL_ep_141pt2_5-19-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

More on The Ethics of Ambiguity (1947), this time on part III. Ep. 140 laid out man's "ambiguity," but what does that mean in terms of practical decision making? B. talks about the practical paradoxes of dealing with oppression and what it might mean to respect the individual, given that there's no ultimate, pre-existent moral rulebook to guide us, nothing we can point to to excuse the sacrifice of someone to a "greater good."

Become a PEL Citizen to listen to the the Aftershow featuring Beauvoir scholar Jennifer Hansen.

End song: "Indiscretion (Mess Things Up)" from the 1993 Mark Lint album Spanish Armada: Songs of Love and Related Neuroses.

 

Direct download: PEL_ep_141_5-19-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

Continuing on Simone de Beauvoir's The Ethics of Ambiguity (1947), parts I and II. We discuss all the various ways to fail to wholly will your own freedom, i.e., will it all the way to where you will the freedom of others. Will you be "sub-man" or "serious man" or "nihilist" or "adventurer?" There are many ways to fail the existential test!
Direct download: PEL_ep_140pt2_5-10-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

On The Ethics of Ambiguity (1947), parts I and II. We return to existentialism! Instead of describing our predicament as "absurd," de Beauvoir prefers "ambiguous": We are a biological organism in the world, yet we're also free consciousness transcending the given situation. Truly coming to terms with this freedom means not only understanding that you transcend any label, but also recognizing that your freedom requires the freedom of others. The full foursome discuss whether this attempt to ground an existentialist ethics works.

End song: "Reasonably Lonely," by Mark Lint.

Direct download: PEL_ep_140_5-10-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

Brian Wilson's Not School Intro Readings in Philosophy Group discussed Plato on why you should obey the state and other musings from a condemned Socrates. Purdue's Chris Yeomans was our guest Hegel scholar as we reflected back on eps 134/135, joining Mark and Danny Lobell with PEL listeners to discuss Hegel's theology, metaphysics, and more. Check out PEL's second spin-off podcast: Phi Fic: A Fiction Podcast at phificpodcast.com or subscribe on iTunes.
Direct download: PEL_News_and_Previews-Plato_Crito_and_Hegel_Aftershow_5-27-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 5:43pm CST

http://partiallyexaminedlife.com

Direct download: Crito_NotSchool_Intro_Group_3-20-16.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:35pm CST

www.nakedlyexaminedmusic.com
Direct download: PELSpecial_NEM_ep_015_4-1-16.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:54pm CST

Continuing on Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism (1981) and Black Looks: Race and Representation (1992), with guest Myisha Cherry. We talk about black feminist "essentialism" (a single narrative of oppression) and how that relates to her media critiques. She thinks there are right ways and wrong ways to self-actualize: You may think you're independent and free, but really you're just parroting the narratives of the oppressor. How can we tell if this is true in particular cases?
Direct download: PEL_ep_139pt2_4-24-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

On Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism (1981) and Black Looks: Race and Representation (1992, Intro, Ch. 3, 11). How do these pernicious forces interact? hooks describes black women as having been excluded from both mainstream historical feminism (led by white women) and black civil rights struggles (permeated with patriarchy), and this "silencing" creates challenges for self-actualization and social justice. The solution: media critique of stereotyped images and personally connecting to a historical narrative of liberation. With guest Myisha Cherry, host of the UnMute Podcast.

End song: "Stories" by Mark Lint and Steve Petrinko (2011).

Direct download: PEL_ep_139_4-24-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

Mark, Wes, and Dylan discuss the interview with John in part one on Seeing Things as They Are: A Theory of Perception (2015) and try to sketch out the view and its potential problems in a little more detail. Doesn't Searle's idea of a "direct presentation" constitute an intermediary between us and things, no matter what he says? And likewise, if we have to construct the complex wholes that we actually perceive including all their cultural effluvia out of basic perceptions, what story can Searle tell that's really different from the constructivist views involving sense data that he's arguing against?
Direct download: PEL_ep_138pt2_4-6-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

We interview John about Seeing Things As They Are (2015). What is perception? Searle says that it's not a matter of seeing a representation, which is then related to things in the real world. We see the actual objects, with no mediation. But then how can there be illusions? Well, it's complicated, but not too complicated, just some funny terminology that this episode will teach you.

Searle lays out his theory for us and amusingly dismisses much of the history of philosophy in the first half, and then Mark, Wes, and Dylan continue the discussion to make sure we understood what was just said and chase down some threads of the conversation.

End song: "Flesh and Blood" from The MayTricks' Happy Songs Will Bring You Down (1994).

We interview John about Seeing Things As They Are (2015). What is perception? Searle says that it's not a matter of seeing a representation, which is then related to things in the real world. We see the actual objects, with no mediation. But then how can there be illusions? Well, it's complicated, but not too complicated, just some funny terminology that this episode will teach you.

Direct download: PEL_ep_138_4-6-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

Continuing on Pierre Bourdieu's Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste (1979) with guest rock star Tim Quirk. More on Bourdieu's survey of musical tastes: People use tastes to distinguish themselves and assert social superiority. The Kantian, upper-class, art-for-art's-sake paradigm of taste rules out joining in a mosh pit, but are the Kantian and social types of artistic abandon really so distinct?
Direct download: PEL_ep_137pt2_3-28-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

On Pierre Bourdieu's Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste (1979), introduction, ch 1 through p. 63, conclusion, and postscript. How do our tastes in music, art, and everything else reflect our social position? This philosophically trained sociologist administered a few detailed questionnaires in 1960s France and used the resulting differences in what people in different classes preferred and how they talked about these preferences to theorize about the role that taste plays in our social games. Featuring guest Tim Quirk of Too Much Joy and recent guest on Mark's Nakedly Examined Music podcast #8

End song: "When She Took Off Her Shirt" from Tim's band Wonderlick's Topless At The Arco Arena (2005).

Direct download: PEL_ep_137_4-3-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

Continuing on Theodor Adorno's "The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception" (1944). We cover topics within art and entertainment like the role of style: You think you're being so original with your personal style, but Adorno sees you has having already been brainwashed into being a clone, so your "authentic" expression is anything but. Also, humor is not, as you might think, a way of bringing an audience together in solidarity, but is the "eruption of barbarism!" And sex in the popular culture: what a tease! Manufactured entertainment products can't even get tragedy right! They just condition us into accepting our crappy situation.
Direct download: PEL_ep_136pt2_3-6-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

On Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer's "The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception" from Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944), plus Adorno's "Culture Industry Reconsidered" (1963). How does the entertainment industry affect us? Adorno (armed with Marx and Freud) thinks that our "mass culture" is imposed from the top down to lull us into being submissive workers.

End song: "All Too Familiar," from around 1992 with all instruments by Mark Linsenmayer, released on The MayTricks.

Direct download: PEL_ep_136_3-6-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

The last of our four releases on G.F.W. Hegel's Encyclopaedia Logic, this time giving Hegel's account of how Being supposedly leads, when you analyze the concept itself, to Nothingness, and then Becoming, Quality, and Quantity. And we also get Infinity in there, which is nice. End song: "Flow' by Gary Lucas with Mark Lint (2016). Listen to Mark interview Gary on Nakedly Examined Music.
Direct download: PEL_ep_135pt2_2-23-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

A whole second discussion on G.F.W. Hegel's Encyclopedia Logic, hitting sections 78–99 on the dialectic and Understanding vs. Reason. Hegel thinks we can use Reason to objectively come up with basic metaphysical categories, but can we really? With guest Amogh Sahu.

This continues ep. 134. PEL Citizens can listen to the Aftershow.

End song: "Flow" by Gary Lucas and Mark Lint. Listen to Gary interviewed about this instrumental on Nakedly Examined Music #7.

Direct download: PEL_ep_135_2-23-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

More on Hegel's The Science of Logic (1812–1816), §1–§129. We continue trying to make sense of Hegel's method and purpose: How does he think that we can deduce metaphysics? How would we even start? Hegel's view is that contra Kant, we do in fact come in contact with reality, at least when we think hard and systematically enough. And he's going to tell us how to do just that. With guest Amogh Sahu.
Direct download: PEL_ep_134pt2_2-16-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

On G.F.W. Hegel's The Science of Logic (1812–1816), §1–§129 and The Encyclopaedia Logic (1817) §1–§25. "Logic" for Hegel is about how thought interacts with the world. Our thoughts about fundamental metaphysical categories bear the same relations to each other as the the categories themselves do. Just take Hegel's many, many words for it! With guest Amogh Sahu.

End song: "Procrastination" by Steve Petrinko from The MayTricks' Happy Songs Will Bring You Down (1994). Hear Mark interview Steve on Nakedly Examined Music.

Direct download: PEL_ep_134_2-16-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

Wes Alwan and Danny Lobell were joined by St. John's Annapolis tutor Rebecca Goldner, Michael Burgess, Nick Halme, Erik Weissengruber, Chase Fiorenza, and Scott Anderson to review our episodes 130 and 131. This is the first 15 minutes. PEL Citizens can hear the full discussion, or anyone can watch it on YouTube
Direct download: PREVIEW-PEL_Ep130-131_Aristotle_Aftershow_1-31-16.mp3
Category:Featured Article -- posted at: 12:00pm CST

Welcome to Nakedly Examined Music, our first spin-off of PEL. Hear more at nakedlyexaminedmusic.com or find it via iTunes. Mark interviews songwriters about why and how they do what they do. Think of it as applied philosophy. Four episodes are now posted; this cross-post of our pilot features David Lowery of Camper van Beethoven and Cracker talking through three of his songs. He's as well-spoken and full of ideas as many a decent philosopher, so sit back and turn on your active listening function!
Direct download: PELSpecial_NEM_ep_001_12-23-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 9:36pm CST

Continuing on Fromm's The Art of Loving (1956). We talk about love as requiring knowledge: as "knowing the secret" of humanity or at least being interested. This is related to sadism. Is there a difference between motherly and fatherly love? Fromm thinks so. He also talks about different degrees of maturity in one's belief in God, the best being God as equivalent to the world and love of God as love of humanity, i.e., orientation toward the good. Finally, we get Fromm on society: How could we reform norms so that love can be the norm?
Direct download: PEL_ep_133pt2_1-26-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

On Fromm's The Art of Loving (1956). What is love, really? This psychoanalyst of the Frankfurt school thinks that real love is not something one "falls" into, but is an art, an activity, and doing it well requires a disciplined openness and psychological health.

End songs: "Kimmy" (1995) and "Kimmy 2002" by Mark Lint.

Direct download: PEL_ep_133_1-26-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

Continuing with Massimo Pigliucci on selected "moral epistles" by Seneca: 4. On the Terrors of Death, 12. On Old Age, 49. On the Shortness of Life, 59. On Pleasure and Joy, 62. On Good Company, 92. On the Happy Life, 96. On Facing Hardship, and 116. On Self Control. We see what Seneca has to say about love and other emotions, facing loss and other hardships, fear of death, desire, pursuing your goals, keeping company with ancient sages, and wearing nice clothes. All you have to do to be happy is have "a complete view of truth!"
Direct download: PEL_ep_132pt2_1-10-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

On selected "moral epistles" (from around 65 CE) by Lucius Annaeus Seneca: 4. On the Terrors of Death, 12. On Old Age, 49. On the Shortness of Life, 59. On Pleasure and Joy, 62. On Good Company, 92. On the Happy Life, 96. On Facing Hardship, and 116. On Self Control. We're joined by Massimo Pigliucci of the How to Be a Stoic blog, who for a long time was on the Rationally Speaking podcast. How can one most profitably interpret weird-sounding Stoic recommendations about the emotions and about following nature?

End song: "I Lose Control" by The MayTricks from So Chewy! (1993).

Direct download: PEL_ep_132_1-10-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

Concluding On the Soul, book 3, focusing on the "nous," or intellect, which allows us to grasp abstractions, including the forms/essences that make things what they are. The nous is the "form of forms," which is literally nothing (just pure potential) until it grasps form, at which point (at least in cases where we grasp fancy metaphysical principles) it's identical to that form, and not MY thought or YOUR thought in particular. Yes, this is weird. Go back to ep. 130 to start to get a handle on this, and if you become a PEL Citizen, you not only get this episode ad-free, but can hear the Aftershow.
Direct download: PEL_ep_131pt2_12-29-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

Our second discussion of De Anima or On the Soul (350 BCE), this time on book 3. What is the intellect? We talk about its highest part/function: nous, which is a "form of forms," literally nothing until it thinks, survives death and is not actually yours or mine, but just the universal mind!

This continues the discussion from ep. 130 and includes a preview of the Aftershow featuring Rebecca Goldner.

End song: "Wonderful You" (live 2001) by Mark Lint.

Direct download: PEL_ep_131_12-29-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

Continuing on De Anima, books 1 and 2. We talk about the nutritive part of the soul, which is the only kind plants have, and the perceptive part, which animals have too, which for Aristotle means they have (or many of them have) imagination too. We grapple more with types of causation and what Aristotle means by forms. How does the soul "cause" the living body?
Direct download: PEL_ep_130pt2_12-6-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

1