The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast (podcast episodes)
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 with guest Law Ware on the philosophical underpinnings of the rhetoric of white privilege, with readings as listed in part 1.
Direct download: PEL_ep_161pt2_3-6-17.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

Is the rhetoric of "White Privilege" just the modern way of acknowledging historical and systemic truths of racism, or does it point to a novel way for acknowledging injustice, or does it on the contrary obscure these insights by involving confused claims about group responsibility and guilt? Readings include articles by Peggy McIntosh, Charles W. Mills, George Yancy, Tim Wise, Lewis R. Gordon, Lawrence Blum, and John McWhorter. With guest Law Ware.
Direct download: PEL_ep_161pt1_3-6-17.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

Continuing with 1984. How does the book relate to real-world politics? Is this something that we should actually be afraid our society will turn into? Was he predicting history, or was it satire, or what? We discuss the the realms of intimacy vs. surveillance, how a state might "contain" a mind that it controls, and "doublethink."
Direct download: PEL_ep_160pt2_2-21-17.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

On the novel 1984 (1949) and the essays “Politics and the English Language” (1946) and “Notes on Nationalism” (1945). What's the relation between language and totalitarianism? Orwell shows us a society where the rulers have mastered the art of retaining power, and one element of this involves "Newspeak," where vocabulary is limited to prevent subversive speech, and ultimately thoughts. Do our linguistic habits and the Orwellian lies of our leaders point to a slippery slope toward the world of 1984?
Direct download: PEL_ep_160pt1_2-21-17.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

Continuing on the Analects without our guest. We cover passages on glibness, using names properly, filial conduct, remonstrance, love of learning, places where he sounds like Socrates, and more!
Direct download: PEL_ep_159pt2_2-5-17.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

On the Analects, compiled after 479 BCE. How should we act? What's the relation between ethics and politics? Can a bunch of aphorisms written in the distant past for an unapologetically hierarchical culture emphasizing traditional rituals actually give us relevant, welcome advice on these matters? Are we even in a position to determine the meaning of these sayings? With guest Tzuchien Tho.
Direct download: PEL_ep_159pt1_2-5-17.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

Continuing on the Consolation, chiefly books 3 and 4, on virtue ethics (we all naturally aim at the good but can be mistaken about it or too weak to follow it), theodicy (even the apparent bad is actually good from God's perspective), and the weird way in which those interact (fame, pleasure, wealth are really all the same thing, i.e., happiness, i.e., God).
Direct download: PEL_ep_158pt2_1-16-17.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

On the Consolation, written as he awaited execution in 524 CE. Do bad things really happen to good people? Boethius, surprisingly, says no, for Stoic (anything that can be taken away can't be of central importance; you can't lose your virtue in this way), Aristotelian (all things tend toward the good, and the best thing for a person is achieving his or her innate potential, which is to be virtuous), and Christian (God's unknowable plan means that even the stuff that seems bad really isn't) reasons.
Direct download: PEL_ep_158pt1_1-16-17.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

Continuing on Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in 20th Century America (1998). We talk more about Rorty's description of the conflict between the "reformist left" and the "cultural left." Do political-comedy shows serve a a positive political purpose? Can an enlightened political viewpoint really be a mass movement at all? Is it better to pursue specific political campaigns or be part of a "movement?" Can Rorty's diagnosis cure Seth's malaise? End song: "Wake Up, Sleepyhead," by Jill Sobule, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #11.
Direct download: PEL_ep_157pt2_1-4-17.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST

On Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in 20th Century America (1998). What makes for efficacious progressivism? Rorty argues that reformism went out of fashion in the '60s in favor of a "cultural left" that merely critiques and spectates, leaving a void that a right-wing demagogue could exploit to sweep in, claiming to be a champion of regular working people. Sound familiar?
Direct download: PEL_ep_157pt1_1-4-17.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CST