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

Is the rhetoric of "White Privilege" just the modern way of acknowledging historical and systemic truths of racism, or does it point to a novel way for acknowledging injustice, or does it on the contrary obscure these insights by involving confused claims about group responsibility and guilt? Readings include articles by Peggy McIntosh, Charles W. Mills, George Yancy, Tim Wise, Lewis R. Gordon, Lawrence Blum, and John McWhorter. With guest Law Ware.

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Direct download: PEL_ep_161pt1_3-6-17.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

Continuing with 1984. How does the book relate to real-world politics? Is this something that we should actually be afraid our society will turn into? Was he predicting history, or was it satire, or what? We discuss the the realms of intimacy vs. surveillance, how a state might "contain" a mind that it controls, and "doublethink."

Listen to part 1 first, or get the ad-free Citizen Edition.

End song: "Civil Disobedience" by Camper Van Beethoven from New Roman Times (2004), written by Jonathan Segel as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music ep. 38.

Direct download: PEL_ep_160pt2_2-21-17.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

On the novel 1984 (1949) and the essays “Politics and the English Language” (1946) and “Notes on Nationalism” (1945). What's the relation between language and totalitarianism? Orwell shows us a society where the rulers have mastered the art of retaining power, and one element of this involves "Newspeak," where vocabulary is limited to prevent subversive speech, and ultimately thoughts. Do our linguistic habits and the Orwellian lies of our leaders point to a slippery slope toward the world of 1984?

Please support PEL!

Direct download: PEL_ep_160pt1_2-21-17.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

Continuing on the Analects without our guest. We cover passages on glibness, using names properly, filial conduct, remonstrance, love of learning, places where he sounds like Socrates, and more!

Listen to part 1 first or just get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition.

End song: "Please Allow Me to Look at You Again," from The Edge of Heaven (2013) by Gary Lucas, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music ep. 7.

Direct download: PEL_ep_159pt2_2-5-17.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 6:00am CDT