The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast
The Partially Examined Life is a 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 also feature episodes from other podcasts by our hosts to round out your partially examined life, including Pretty Much Pop (, covering all media), Nakedly Examined Music (, deconstructing songs), Philosophy vs. Improv (, fun with performance skills and philosophical ideas), and (sub)Text (, looking deeply at lit and film). Learn about more network podcasts at

On selected "moral epistles" (from around 65 CE) by Lucius Annaeus Seneca: 4. On the Terrors of Death, 12. On Old Age, 49. On the Shortness of Life, 59. On Pleasure and Joy, 62. On Good Company, 92. On the Happy Life, 96. On Facing Hardship, and 116. On Self Control. We're joined by Massimo Pigliucci of the How to Be a Stoic blog, who for a long time was on the Rationally Speaking podcast. How can one most profitably interpret weird-sounding Stoic recommendations about the emotions and about following nature?

End song: "I Lose Control" by The MayTricks from So Chewy! (1993).

Direct download: PEL_ep_132_1-10-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Concluding On the Soul, book 3, focusing on the "nous," or intellect, which allows us to grasp abstractions, including the forms/essences that make things what they are. The nous is the "form of forms," which is literally nothing (just pure potential) until it grasps form, at which point (at least in cases where we grasp fancy metaphysical principles) it's identical to that form, and not MY thought or YOUR thought in particular. Yes, this is weird. Go back to ep. 130 to start to get a handle on this, and if you become a PEL Citizen, you not only get this episode ad-free, but can hear the Aftershow.
Direct download: PEL_ep_131pt2_12-29-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Our second discussion of De Anima or On the Soul (350 BCE), this time on book 3. What is the intellect? We talk about its highest part/function: nous, which is a "form of forms," literally nothing until it thinks, survives death and is not actually yours or mine, but just the universal mind!

This continues the discussion from ep. 130 and includes a preview of the Aftershow featuring Rebecca Goldner.

End song: "Wonderful You" (live 2001) by Mark Lint.

Direct download: PEL_ep_131_12-29-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Continuing on De Anima, books 1 and 2. We talk about the nutritive part of the soul, which is the only kind plants have, and the perceptive part, which animals have too, which for Aristotle means they have (or many of them have) imagination too. We grapple more with types of causation and what Aristotle means by forms. How does the soul "cause" the living body?
Direct download: PEL_ep_130pt2_12-6-15.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CDT