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
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_138pt1_4-6-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

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 CDT

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.
Direct download: PEL_ep_137pt1_3-28-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

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 CDT