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 The Ethics of Ambiguity (1947), parts I and II. For Wes Alwan's summary of this book, go here. We return to existentialism! Instead of describing our predicament as "absurd," de Beauvoir prefers "ambiguous": We are a biological organism in the world, yet we're also free consciousness transcending the given situation. Truly coming to terms with this freedom means not only understanding that you transcend any label, but also recognizing that your freedom requires the freedom of others. The full foursome discuss whether this attempt to ground an existentialist ethics works.

End song: "Reasonably Lonely," by Mark Lint.

Direct download: PEL_ep_140_5-10-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

Brian Wilson's Not School Intro Readings in Philosophy Group discussed Plato on why you should obey the state and other musings from a condemned Socrates. Purdue's Chris Yeomans was our guest Hegel scholar as we reflected back on eps 134/135, joining Mark and Danny Lobell with PEL listeners to discuss Hegel's theology, metaphysics, and more. Check out PEL's second spin-off podcast: Phi Fic: A Fiction Podcast at or subscribe on iTunes.
Direct download: PEL_News_and_Previews-Plato_Crito_and_Hegel_Aftershow_5-27-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 5:43pm CDT

Direct download: Crito_NotSchool_Intro_Group_3-20-16.mp3
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Continuing on Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism (1981) and Black Looks: Race and Representation (1992), with guest Myisha Cherry. We talk about black feminist "essentialism" (a single narrative of oppression) and how that relates to her media critiques. She thinks there are right ways and wrong ways to self-actualize: You may think you're independent and free, but really you're just parroting the narratives of the oppressor. How can we tell if this is true in particular cases?
Direct download: PEL_ep_139pt2_4-24-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

On Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism (1981) and Black Looks: Race and Representation (1992, Intro, Ch. 3, 11). How do these pernicious forces interact? hooks describes black women as having been excluded from both mainstream historical feminism (led by white women) and black civil rights struggles (permeated with patriarchy), and this "silencing" creates challenges for self-actualization and social justice. The solution: media critique of stereotyped images and personally connecting to a historical narrative of liberation. With guest Myisha Cherry, host of the UnMute Podcast.

End song: "Stories" by Mark Lint and Steve Petrinko (2011).

Direct download: PEL_ep_139_4-24-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

Mark, Wes, and Dylan discuss the interview with John in part one on Seeing Things as They Are: A Theory of Perception (2015) and try to sketch out the view and its potential problems in a little more detail. Doesn't Searle's idea of a "direct presentation" constitute an intermediary between us and things, no matter what he says? And likewise, if we have to construct the complex wholes that we actually perceive including all their cultural effluvia out of basic perceptions, what story can Searle tell that's really different from the constructivist views involving sense data that he's arguing against?
Direct download: PEL_ep_138pt2_4-6-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CDT