The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast

The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast

United States

A Philosophy Podcast and Philosophy Blog

Episodes

Nakedly Examined Music: Steve Hackett, Nik Kershaw, Ken Stringfellow, Robbie Fulks  

PEL Network crossover magic, featuring clips (a full song plus explanation) from four recent episodes of Mark's other podcast. Hear the full episodes and many more at nakedlyexaminedmusic.com. Steve was the guitarist for Genesis in the 70s, Nik wrote 80s hits like "Wouldn't It Be Good," Ken played with The Posies, Big Star, and R.E.M., and Robbie will change the way you think about country music. Read the NEM FAQ.

Episode 164: Dostoyevsky’s “The Idiot” on Perfection (Part Two)  

More on the novel with guest Corey Mohler, considering Dostoyevsky qua existentialist in terms of his analysis of the crisis of meaning and his consequent views on religion. Listen to part 1 first, or get unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. End song: "Don Quixote" (acoustic, 2010) by Nik Kershaw, as interviewed on the Nakedly Examined Music podcast #37. Don Quixote is Myshkin's literary forebear. Get a Dostoyevsky T-shirt! Watch for the new episode of Phi Fic on D's House of the Dead. Visit Talkspace.com/examined (use code "EXAMINED") for online therapy and blueapron.com/PEL for free meals.

Episode 164: Dostoyevsky’s “The Idiot” on Perfection (Part One)  

On Fyodor Dostoyevsky's philosophical novel from 1869. Could a morally perfect person survive in the modern world? Is all this "modernity," which so efficiently computes our desires and provides mechanisms to fulfill them, actually suited to achieve human flourishing? Dostoyevsky's Russian existentialism says no! Visit Talkspace.com/examined; use code "EXAMINED" for 30% off your first month of online therapy. Donate to the Turtle Island Research Cooperative at partiallyexaminedlife.com/turtle.

Episode 163: Guest Stewart Umphrey on Natural Kinds (Part Two)  

Continuing our interview about Natural Kinds and Genesis: The Classification of Material Entities. Buy Stewart's book at www.rowman.com and use the code LEX30AUTH17 to get 30% off. Listen to part 1 first or get the ad-free Citizen Edition. End song: "Destroy the Box" by Wertico, Cain and Gray from Organic Architecture (2014), as elucidated on Nakedly Examined Music #30. Check out the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi. Visit Talkspace.com/examined; use code "EXAMINED" for 30% off your first month of online therapy.

Episode 163: Guest Stewart Umphrey on Natural Kinds (Part One)  

On Natural Kinds and Genesis: The Classification of Material Entities (2016). Are general terms like "water" or "dog" just things that we made up to order the world? Aristotle thought that some universals constitute natural kinds, with a nature that explains their behavior. "Kinds" were replaced with "laws," but Stewart wants us to reconsider, and bring back "natural philosophy" in the process. Don't wait for part 2! Get your ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Please visit casper.com/pel, protectamerica.com/PEL, generationtux.com (offer code PEL), and harrys.com/pel.

PEL Special: Phi Fic on James Baldwin’s Fiction  

On the short stories "This Morning, This Evening, So Soon" (1960) and "Sonny’s Blues" (1957). Mark joins the Phi Fic crew (go subscribe at phificpodcast.com!) to supplement PEL ep. 162 by delving into Baldwin's fiction, which is actually pretty similar to his biographical essays. Check out the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi. Visit Talkspace.com/examined; use code "EXAMINED" for 30% off your first month of online therapy. And please donate to Turtle Island Research Cooperative at partiallyexaminedlife.com/turtle.

Episode 162: James Baldwin on Race in America (Part Two)  

Continuing on I Am Not Your Negro, "Notes of a Native Son" (1955), and The Fire Next Time (1963). We (and Law Ware) discuss Baldwin's critique of the American dream, how to oppose the inhumanity of others without becoming inhuman yourself, and Baldwin's take on religion. Plus, was the the documentary actually good as a film? This continues part 1, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. End song: "Dawning on Me" by Mark Lint feat. Ken Stringfellow. Read about it. Sponsors: Visit Talkspace.com/examined; use code "EXAMINED" for 30% off your first month of online therapy. Get a free trial shaving kit (paying only shipping) at harrys.com/pel. Check out partiallyexaminedlife.com/shirts for new T-shirt designs in the PEL store. And please donate to Turtle Island Research Cooperative: info at partiallyexaminedlife.com/turtle.

Episode 162: James Baldwin on Race in America (Part One)  

On the film I Am Not Your Negro and the essays "Notes of a Native Son" (1955) and The Fire Next Time (1963). With guest Law Ware. Baldwin diagnoses our racism-related psycho-social maladies, but how can we best translate his observations into generally applicable philosophical theory? Don't wait for part 2! Get your unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! Visit Talkspace.com/examined; use code "EXAMINED" for 30% off your first month of online therapy.

Episode 161: White Privilege (Peggy McIntosh, Charles Mills, et al) (Part Two)  

Continuing with guest Law Ware on the philosophical underpinnings of the rhetoric of white privilege, with readings as listed in part 1. Get the Citizen version to hear this without commercials. Please support PEL! End song: "Power" by Narada Michael Walden from Thunder 2013, as interviewed for Nakedly Examined Music ep. 16. For $20 off luggage, visit away.com/PEL. Check out the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi. Visit Talkspace.com/examined; use code "EXAMINED" for 30% off your first month of online therapy.

Episode 161: White Privilege (Peggy McIntosh, Charles Mills, et al) (Part One)  

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. Don't wait for part 2! Get your full, ad-free Citizen Edition right now with your PEL membership. Please support PEL! Please visit audible.com/PEL. And check out the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi. Visit Talkspace.com/examined; use code "EXAMINED" for 30% off your first month of online therapy.

Episode 160: Orwell on Totalitarianism and Language (Part Two)  

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" from Camper Van Beethoven's New Roman Times (2004), by Jonathan Segel as heard on Nakedly Examined Music ep. 38. Visit Talkspace.com/examined; use code "EXAMINED" for 30% off your first month of online therapy. Go to blueapron.com/PELfor three free meals with free shipping. Purify your ears at srslywrong.com!

Episode 160: Orwell on Totalitarianism and Language (Part One)  

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?

Episode 159: Confucius on Virtuous Conduct (Part Two)  

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!

Episode 159: Confucius on Virtuous Conduct (Part One)  

On the Analects, compiled after 479 BCE. How should we act? What's the relation between ethics and politics? Can a bunch of aphorisms written in the distant past for an unapologetically hierarchical culture emphasizing traditional rituals actually give us relevant, welcome advice on these matters? Are we even in a position to determine the meaning of these sayings? With guest Tzuchien Tho.

Episode 158: Boethius: The Consolation of Philosophy (Part Two)  

Continuing on the Consolation, chiefly books 3 and 4, on virtue ethics (we all naturally aim at the good but can be mistaken about it or too weak to follow it), theodicy (even the apparent bad is actually good from God's perspective), and the weird way in which those interact (fame, pleasure, wealth are really all the same thing, i.e., happiness, i.e., God). End song: "Last the Evening" by Carrie Akre, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music Ep. 17.

Episode 158: Boethius: The Consolation of Philosophy (Part One)  

On the Consolation, written as he awaited execution in 524 CE. Do bad things really happen to good people? Boethius, surprisingly, says no, for Stoic (anything that can be taken away can't be of central importance; you can't lose your virtue in this way), Aristotelian (all things tend toward the good, and the best thing for a person is achieving his or her innate potential, which is to be virtuous), and Christian (God's unknowable plan means that even the stuff that seems bad really isn't) reasons. Get 30% off Godaddy.com domain names and other services with the coupon code PEL30. Also visit Talkspace.com/examined; use code "EXAMINED" for 30% off your first month of online therapy.

Episode 157: Richard Rorty on Politics for the Left (Part Two)  

Continuing on Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in 20th Century America (1998). We talk more about Rorty's description of the conflict between the "reformist left" and the "cultural left." Do political-comedy shows serve a a positive political purpose? Can an enlightened political viewpoint really be a mass movement at all? Is it better to pursue specific political campaigns or be part of a "movement?" Can Rorty's diagnosis cure Seth's malaise? End song: "Wake Up, Sleepyhead," by Jill Sobule, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #11.

Episode 157: Richard Rorty on Politics for the Left (Part One)  

On Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in 20th Century America (1998). What makes for efficacious progressivism? Rorty argues that reformism went out of fashion in the '60s in favor of a "cultural left" that merely critiques and spectates, leaving a void that a right-wing demagogue could exploit to sweep in, claiming to be a champion of regular working people. Sound familiar?

Episode 156: Philosophy and Politics Free-Form Discussion (Part Two)  

Continuing our liberal bubble-bursting exercise, the core foursome address more directly the question of how philosophy is supposed to shape one's political views and actions. On a non-partisan "public good" and rhetorical strategies in the face of an apathetic and/or ignorant public. End song: "Better Days" from The Getaway Drivers' Bellatopia; check out Mark's interview with singer/songwriter Bob Manor on Nakedly Examined Music ep. 11.

Episode 156: Philosophy and Politics Free-Form Discussion (Part One)  

How does studying philosophy help you to make sense of the political landscape? Wes, Mark, Dylan, and Seth play pundit and reflect on political rhetoric, elitism, and much more. There is no text for this episode! Freedom!

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