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

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
Direct download: PEL_ep_151pt2_10-4-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

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!
Direct download: PEL_ep_151pt1_10-4-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

NEM now features jazz, hip-hop, classical, folk, and more. Check out all the episodes at, 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 CDT