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
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 CST

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 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:
Direct download: PEL_ep_150pt2_9-20-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CST

What do we owe the poor? Mark and Wes interview perhaps the world's most influential living philosopher. 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
Direct download: PEL_ep_150pt1_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.
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_148pt1_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.
Direct download: PEL_ep_147pt1_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