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

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.

End song: "Summertime" by New People, from Might Get It Right (2013).

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Direct download: PEL_ep_142_6-5-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 5:12pm CDT

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 CDT

More on The Ethics of Ambiguity (1947), this time on part III. (For Wes Alwan's summary of this book, go here). Ep. 140 laid out man's "ambiguity," but what does that mean in terms of practical decision making? 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, pre-existent moral rulebook to guide us, nothing we can point to to excuse the sacrifice of someone to a "greater good."

Become a PEL Citizen to listen to the the Aftershow featuring Beauvoir scholar Jennifer Hansen.

End song: "Indiscretion (Mess Things Up)" from the 1993 Mark Lint album Spanish Armada: Songs of Love and Related Neuroses.



Direct download: PEL_ep_141_5-19-16.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

Continuing on Simone de Beauvoir's The Ethics of Ambiguity (1947), parts I and II. For Wes Alwan's summary of this book, go here. 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 CDT