The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast

The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast

United States

A Philosophy Podcast and Philosophy Blog

Episodes

Episode 168: Darwin's "Origin of Species" (Part Two)  

More on Darwin's famous book. Why does it matter for philosophy, beyond providing an alternative to intelligent design? Is it really anti-religious? How can well tell if it's really a scientific theory? Talking about a species evolving trait X to enable survival sounds teleological; is it really, and is that bad? Why would the mind develop through natural selection?

Continues from part 1, or just get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL!

End song: "I Live" by Jason Falkner, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #47.

Go to blueapron.com/PEL for three free meals with free shipping. Enroll in The New School's Open Campus for the term starting Aug. 28 at opencampus.newschool.edu. And check out the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi.

Episode 168: Darwin's "Origin of Species" (Part One)  

On Charles Darwin's 1859 book, ch. 1-4, 6, and 14. What are the philosophical ramifications of Darwin's theory of evolution? We go through Darwin's arguments, compare his views to other theories of evolution like Lamarck's, and talk about how an evolutionary way of looking at things has influenced philosophers.

Don't wait for part 2! Get your unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!

Get $50 off a new mattress by visiting casper.com/pel. Enroll in The New School's Open Campus for the Aug. 28 term at opencampus.newschool.edu.

Episode 167: Hume on Intelligent Design (Part Two)  

Continuing on David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779), with guest Stephen West. We get further into what’s wrong with the design argument and why Hume thinks that it’s merely a verbal dispute whether we want to say that God designed the orderly universe or just say that the universe is orderly. Also, the problem of evil!

Listen to part 1 first, or get the ad-free, unbroken Citizen EditionPlease support PEL!

End song: “Shittalkers” by Ken Stringfellow, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music ep. 39.

Check out the St. John’s College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi.

Episode 167: Hume on Intelligent Design (Philosophize This! Crossover) (Part One)  

On David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779). How would a scientifically minded person argue for the existence of God?

In Hume’s dialogue, a character named Cleanthes argues from this point of view for God’s existence based on the complexity and order apparent in nature: It looks designed. But how good is that argument, and is it enough to prove an infinite God of the traditional sort? With guest Stephen West.

Don't wait until next week for part 2; get the rest of the discussion now with your ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL!

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Episode 166: Spinoza on Politics and Religion (Part Two)  

Concluding on the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1670) and Tractatus Politicus (1677). What's the relationship between ethics, reason, and revelation? What could "faith" possibly mean to a hard-core rationalist like Spinoza? Is it possible to buy into the non-denominational "true religion" without believing any of the dogmas of traditional religion at all? And what kinds of limits on free speech is Spinoza committed to?

Continued from part one or get the ad-free Citizen Edition.

Episode 166: Spinoza on Politics and Religion (Part One)  

On Benedict de Spinoza’s Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1670), ch. 12-20 and the Tractatus Politicus (1677).

What’s the relationship between ethics and political power? Given that religious factions tend to create strife, what’s the optimal role of the government in mitigating that damage? Is theocracy in any way a good idea?

Don’t wait for the rest of the discussion! Get the ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition right now.

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Episode 165: Spinoza on Biblical Criticism (Part Two)  

Continuing on the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1670), ch. 1–11. We go more into natural laws vs. ordinances; does it make sense to say that God makes rules for people? Also, how does Spinoza deal with alleged miracles given that natural laws are absolute regularities?

Continued from part 1, or get the ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!

Get The Rise and Fall of Dodo at nealstephenson.com.

Episode 165: Spinoza on Biblical Criticism (Part One)  

On Benedict de Spinoza's Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1670), ch. 1–11. For Spinoza, the Bible was a political issue, and he was interested in a way to read it that didn't lead to people fighting wars and persecuting each other. Spinoza argues that a respectful reading is one that looks for the central message and doesn't paper over many places where the text was tailored to its original audience's prejudices, or where for historical reasons we can't now really know what it meant to them. Don't wait for part two! Get your unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Get a Spinoza T-Shirt! Please visit the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi. Also, check out the Patterson in Pursuit philosophy podcast.

REISSUE-Ep. 24: Spinoza on God and Metaphysics  

Discussing Spinoza's Ethics (1677), books 1 and 2. God is everything, therefore the world is God as apprehended through some particular attributes, namely insofar as one of his aspects is infinite space (extension, i.e. matter) and insofar as one of his aspects is mind (our minds being chunks or "modes" of the big God mind). A 2010 discussion with a new intro by Dylan and Mark. Get ep. 25 that continues this discussion by becoming a PEL Citizen, a $1 subscriber at patreon.com/partiallyexaminedlife, or publicly sharing the post from our FB page for this episode. 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.

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!

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