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
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.
Direct download: PEL_ep_144pt1_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
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!
Direct download: PEL_ep_143pt1_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.
Direct download: PEL_ep_142pt1_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? De 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, preexistent moral rulebook to guide us, nothing we can point to to excuse the sacrifice of someone to a "greater good."
Direct download: PEL_ep_141pt1_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