The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast

The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast

By Mark Linsenmayer

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 www.partiallyexaminedlife.com. We also feature episodes from other podcasts by our hosts to round out your partially examined life, including Pretty Much Pop (prettymuchpop.com, covering all media), Nakedly Examined Music (nakedlyexaminedmusic.com, deconstructing songs), and (sub)Text (lit, film, psychoanalysis). Learn about more network podcasts at partiallyexaminedlife.com.

Episodes

Ep. 249: Dewey on Education and Thought (Part Two)

Continuing on John Dewey's Democracy and Education (1916) ch. 1, 2, 4, and 24 with guest Jonathan Haber. How is education different than mere conditioning, and how does it relate to habits and growth? We discuss how much of what Dewey recommends lines up with liberal education and multiculturalism. Also, can education change taste? Start with part one, or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition, which will also get you our PEL Nightcaps. End song: "Too Far to Turn Around" by The Ides of March; Jim Peterik appears on Nakedly Examined Music #126. Sponsors: Get 15% off game-changing wireless earbuds at BuyRaycon.com/pel. Visit SJC.edu to learn about St. John's College. Visit TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/PEL for a free trial of unlimited learning from the world's greatest professors.
10/08/201h 12m

Ep. 249: Dewey on Education and Thought (Part One)

On John Dewey's How We Think (1910) ch. 1 and Democracy and Education (1916) ch. 1, 2, 4, and 24. What model of human nature should serve as the basis for education policy? Dewey sees learning as growth, and the point of education as to enable indefinite growth. With guest Jonathan Haber. Don't wait for part two; get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsors: Visit SJC.edu to learn about St. John's College. Check out the Being Reasonable podcast.
02/08/2052m 2s

PEL Presents PMP#54: The Genius(?) of Rick and Morty

Mark, Erica, and Brian address critically acclaimed Adult Swim show. What kind of humor is it? Can we take the sci-fi and family drama elements seriously? How smart are the show and its fans? Is Rick a super hero, or Dr. Who? What will this serialized sit-com look like in longevity? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
29/07/2047m 4s

Ep. 248: Racism and Policing (Al-Saji, Merleau-Ponty, et al) (Part Two)

Continuing on Alia Al-Saji’s “A Phenomenology of Hesitation” (2014) and other things with guest Phil Hopkins.  Can we restructure our (and the police's) reactions and live with each other? We further explore the psychology of habit and Al-Saji's notion of hesitation. How does it compare to other types of heistation recommended by philosophies and religions? Start with part one, or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Includes a preview of our Citizen Hang. End song: "Every Man's Burden" by Dusty Wright, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #89. Sponsors: Get $35 off meal delivery at SunBasket.com/PEL, code PEL. Visit TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/PEL for a free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.
27/07/201h 10m

PEL Presents PMP#53: The Hamilton Phenomenon w/ Sam Simahk

Erica, Mark, and Brian are joined by Broadway actor Sam to discuss this unique convergence of musical theater, rap, and historical drama. Does Hamilton deserve its accolades? We cover the re-emergence of stage music as pop music, live vs. filmed vs. film-adapted musicals, creators starring in their shows, race-inclusive casting, and the politics surrounding the show. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
22/07/2052m 23s

Ep. 248: Racism and Policing (Al-Saji, Merleau-Ponty, et al) (Part One)

On Alia Al-Saji’s “A Phenomenology of Hesitation” (2014), bits of Maurice Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception (1945), and Linda Martín Alcoff’s Visible Identities (2006), plus Alex Vitale's The End of Policing (2017). Is there sub-conscious racism, and how might we root it out and fix our policing problems? Ex-cop Phil Hopkins joins to look at how phenomenology can help. Don't wait for part two, get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.
20/07/2052m 22s

PEL Presents: PMP#52: The Twilight Zone from Serling to Peele

Something's strange... Is it a dream? If it's a morality tale with a twist ending, you're probably in the Twilight Zone. Brian, Erica, Mark, and guest Ken Gerber are in it this week, discussing the thrice revived TV series. Does the 1959-1963 show hold up? What makes for a good TZ episode, and does Jordan Peele's latest iteration capture the spirit? We talk about episodes new and old, the 1983 film, plus comparisons to Black Mirror and David Lynch. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
14/07/2054m 31s

Ep. 247: Aristotle on Rhetoric and Emotions (Part Two)

Continuing on the Rhetoric (ca. 335 BCE) book 1, ch. 1–6 and book 2, ch. 1–5, 18–24. We finish up with enthymemes (rhetorical arguments), maxims, and signs. We then move to emotions, where we chiefly talk about anger: Is it always a matter of status injury, or is frustration equally (or more) foundational? Begin with part one, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! End song: "Reason with the Beast" by Shriekback, whose leader Barry Andrews was interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #107. Sponsors: Save 25% on clothing styled for you at StitchFix.com/PEL. Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.
13/07/2053m 18s

PEL Presents PMP#51: Pictures Telling Stories w/ Joseph Watson

Is it really true that "every picture tells a story"? For Joseph, a Las Vegas artist who illustrates Go, Go GRETA!, narrative is essential, but how does the story an artist has in mind actually convey to the viewer? He joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to tell art stories and touch on Guernica, Where the Wild Things Are, Dr. Seuss, Narnia, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
08/07/2041m 10s

Ep. 247: Aristotle on Rhetoric and Emotions (Part One)

On the Rhetoric (ca. 335 BCE) book 1, ch. 1-6 and book 2, ch. 1-5, 18-24. What role does persuasion play in philosophy? Aristotle (contra Plato) argues it can and should be used for good: in law courts, political debates, public speeches. He describes the arguments forms used in rhetoric ("enthymemes") and analyzes the emotions that an audience might have so that speakers know what points are worth dwelling on and how to best argue them. Don't wait for part two! Get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsor: Get 15% off game-changing wireless earbuds at BuyRaycon.com/pel.
06/07/2054m 51s

PEL Presents NEM#125: Victor DeLorenzo (ex Violent Femmes) Starts with Drums

Victor started as a singer/songwriter, drummed with the Femmes for five albums in the '80s, and has since recorded six solo releases and five more with nine thirteen, plus other collaborations, jazz jamming, and work in the theater. We discuss "Invisible Shadows" from Tranceaphone (2020), "Carry Me" from Victor DeLorenzo (2013), "Arco, Pizzicato" by Nineteen Thirteen from The Dream (2016), and listen to "Audrey" from Pancake Day (1996). Intro/outro: "World Without Mercy" by Violent Femmes from The Blind Leading the Naked (1985). More at victordelorenzo.weebly.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
04/07/201h 7m

REISSUE-PEL Ep 75: Lacan & Derrida Criticize Poe's "The Purloined Letter" (w/ New Intro)

Enjoy this normally paywalled episode from Apr. 2013 about Jacques Lacan’s “Seminar on ‘The Purloined Letter'” (1956) and Jacques Derrida’s “The Purveyor of Truth” (1975). How should philosophers approach literature? Lacan read Edgar Allen Poe’s story about a sleuth who outthinks a devious Minister as an illustration of his model of the psyche, and why we persist in self-destructive patterns. Derrida thought this reading not only imposed a bunch of psychobabble onto the story, but demonstrated that Lacan just didn’t know how to read a text. Plus, Mark starts things off explaining some things about these Friday releases and what's ahead. Ep. 74 introducing Lacan is now available with a $1 Patreon pledge.  End song: "Came Round" (solo version) by Mark Lint. Read about it.
03/07/202h 11m

PEL Presents PMP#50: MJ's Last Dance w/ Seth Paskin

Brian, Erica, Mark, and Seth from The Partially Examined Life interrogate the 10-part ESPN documentary on Michael Jordan's Bulls' six championships. Was it worth ten hours? Does its time-jumping structure work? Is it really hagiography, or is the vision of ultra-competitiveness repulsive? Why are sports amenable to creating cultural icons? Does the doc's success mean many more? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
01/07/2051m 48s

Ep. 246: Susan Sontag on Interpreting Art (Part Two)

Continuing on Sontag's essays “On Style” (1965) and "The Death of Tragedy” (1963). Mark, Wes, Seth and Dylan keep talking about the appropriate distance to retain (or not) to a work of art, which is supposed to be relevant to moral action in the world. We also spell out how this is relevant to our recent episodes on tragedy. Start with Part One or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Mela" by Julie Slick, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #115.
29/06/2052m 41s

PEL Presents PMP#49: Conspiracy Theories as Pop w/ Al Baker

Al works for Logically, a company that fights misinformation. He joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to try to discuss the appeal of conspiracy theories, whether their fandom is like other fandoms, the relation between pernicious and fun theories, and theories that end up true. We touch on echo chambers, the role of irony and humor in spreading these theories, how both opponents and proponents claim to be skeptics, Dan Brown Novels, Tom Hanks, the Mel Gibson film Conspiracy Theory, and documentaries like Behind the Curve and The Family. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Visit sunbasket.com/pretty and use promo code pretty to get $35 off healthy, delicious meal deliveries.
23/06/2050m 19s

Ep. 246: Susan Sontag on Interpreting Art (Part One)

On Sontag's essays “Against Interpretation” (1964), “On Style” (1965), and "The Death of Tragedy” (1963). What is it to understand a work of art? Sontag objects to critics' need to decode art into its "meaning" or "content," divorcing it from how this content is embodied. She argues that the content vs. form distinction isn't tenable; that the style of a work is an essential part of experiencing it. Sontag thinks we're too analytical, too divorced from our instincts, and a direct encounter with art is essential to enliven us. Don't wait for part two; get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.
22/06/2046m 54s

PEL Presents NEM#124: Alev Lenz's Tracts of Blood and Sisterhood

Alev started in Germany with her metal band "Alev" in the early '00s and has released three atmospheric, idea-filled solo albums since 2009 plus several soundtracks and collaborations. We discuss "The Chair" (and at the end listen to "Cigarettes & Blow") from 3 (2019), plus the title track from Two-Headed Girl (2016), "Flowers of Love" from Storytelling Piano Playing Fräulein (2009), and "In this Mouth" by Anoushka Shankar feat Alev Lenz from Love Letters (2020). Intro: "Fall Into Me" from the Black Mirror Soundtrack (2016). For more, visit alevlenz.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Visit masterclass.com/EXAMINED for 15% off a MasterClass All-Access Pass.
19/06/201h 6m

PEL Presents PMP#48: The Arts in Reality TV w/ Skin Wars' Robin Slonina

Fine art and reality TV are typically rated our highest and lowest forms of entertainment, yet creative competition shows combine them. Robin Slonina, who was a judge on the body painting show Skin Wars, helps Mark, Erica, and Brian figure out the degree to which that format lets the art shine through. We also touch on Work of Art-The Next Great Artist, Face Off, American Idol, Project Runway, cooking shows, art as commodity, public art like the BLM D.C. street mural, paint-offs and other game-show gimmicks, and the RuPaul ethic. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
16/06/2050m 50s

Ep. 245: Fashion (Derrida, Foucault, Sontag) w/ Shahidha Bari (Part Two)

We conclude with Foucault's "The Ethics of the Concern of the Self As A Practice of Freedom" (1984) and add Susan Sontag's "On Style" (1965). After our guest's departure, we give some concluding remarks about her book Dressed: A Philosophy of Clothes (2020) and Derrida's "The Animal That Therefore I Am" (1999). Start with part one or get the ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition. Support PEL and be entered in a drawing to win a copy of Dressed. End song: "Clothe Me in Ashes" by K.C. Clifford, interviewed for Nakedly Examined Music #121. If you enjoy PEL, learn about the Hi-Phi Nation podcast at hiphination.org.
15/06/2050m 45s

Pretty Much Pop #47: Sitcom Premises: Genius, Bonkers and Otherwise

Sitcoms traditionally provide a cozy, relatable, changeless environment, but streaming and serialization have changed this. What are the limits on the format? Mark, Erica, and Brian consider After Life, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Community, the Parks & Rec reunion, the Space Force pilot, the stain of Chuck Lorre, and much more. Plus, which weird premises are real: a quiz! For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
09/06/2043m 29s

Ep. 245: Fashion (Derrida, Foucault) w/ Shahidha Bari (Part One)

On Jacques Derrida's "The Animal That Therefore I Am" (1999), Michel Foucault's "The Ethics of the Concern of the Self As A Practice of Freedom" (1984), and our guest's Dressed: A Philosophy of Clothes (2020). Philosophy devalues appearances, but our changing dominant metaphysics (there is no "underneath" but rather a complex built out of appearance itself) should have changed this. Our guest provided us with readings that elaborate this change, arguing for our continuity with animal nature (Derrida) and the ethical importance of self-care (Foucault). Don't wait for part two; get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Signing up will enter you in to our 6/22 drawing to win a copy of Shahidha's book. Please support PEL! Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.
08/06/2053m 42s

PEL Presents: NEM#123: Rick Kemp (Steeleye Span) Slows Down

Rick played bass on 15 albums with Steeleye Span between 1971 and 2016 and had released five solo albums since 1996. We discuss "Race Against Time" from Perfect Blue (2018) and two Steeleye tunes: "Cromwell's Skull" from Dodgy Bastards (2016) and "Samain" from They Called Her Babylon (2004). We conclude by listening to "Bachelor’s Hall" from Steeleye's All Around My Hat (1975). Intro: "John Barleycorn" from Present - The Very Best of Steeleye Span (2002). For more, see rickkemp.co.uk. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
05/06/201h 6m

Pretty Much Pop #46: "Casual" Games with Diner Dash's Nick Fortugno

The famed game designer joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss fundamental questions about gaming and what makes a casual game. We touch on everything from crosswords to Super Meat Boy. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com. Sponsor: Visit sunbasket.com/pretty and use promo code pretty to get $35 off healthy, delicious meal deliveries.
02/06/2054m 45s

Ep. 244: Camus on Strategies for Facing Plague (Part Two)

Continuing on Albert Camus's 1947 novel, covering the old functionary Grand, the criminal (or just paranoid?) Cottard, and more of our narrators Dr. Rieux and his doomed friend Tarrou, plus more on the overall message of the book and how it might relate to our current situation. Start with part one or get the unbroken Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "You Will Kill the One You Love" by Jack Hues, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #122.
01/06/201h 5m

Pretty Much Pop #45: Film Riffing with MST3K's Mary Jo Pehl

Mary Jo was a writer/performer on Mystery Science Theater 3000 and has gone on to make jokes during movies for Rifftrax Presents and Cinematic Titanic. She joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to talk about the joke-writing process, riffing styles, what kinds of films make for good riffing, the MST3K legacy, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
27/05/2046m 29s

Ep. 244: Camus on Strategies for Facing Plague (Part One)

On Albert Camus' existentialist novel The Plague. How shall we face adversity? Camus gives us colorful characters that embody various approaches. Yes, the plague is an extreme situation, but we're all dying all the time anyway, right? Join Mark, Wes, Dylan and Seth to tease out Camus' positions from this bleak yet colorful text. Don't wait for part two; get the unbroken Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!
25/05/2047m 24s

NEM#122: Jack Hues (from Wang Chung) Plays Jazz and Prog

Jack fronted Wang Chung for five albums in the '80s, left the limelight to produce, and got a jazz combo going by 2000 which he's released five albums with, reformed Wang Chung, and only now is having a debut solo release, the double album Primitif. We discuss "Whitstable Beach" from that album, "Class War and Sex War" by Jack Hues and the Quartet from A Thesis on the Ballad (2015), and "Brahms Blues" by The Quartet from Illuminated (2006). We conclude by listening to “To Live and Die in L.A.” by Wang Chung from Ochesography (2019). For more see jackhues.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Visit masterclass.com/EXAMINED for 15% off a MasterClass All-Access Pass.
22/05/201h 12m

Pretty Much Pop #44: Local News w/ Deion Broxton

The recently memified NBC Montana reporter joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss news as entertainment, local news consumption, its uses and abuses, reality vs. media portrayals of reporters, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
19/05/2042m 16s

Ep. 243: Aristotle's "Poetics" on Art and Tragedy (Part Two)

Continuing on the Poetics from around 335 BCE, on the structure of plot (every element must be essential!), the moral status of the heroes, Homeric poetry, the difference between tragedy and history, and how Aristotle's formula may or may not apply to modern media. Begin with part one or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Structure of a Tragedy" by Mark Lint. Read about it. Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.
18/05/2054m 46s

Pretty Much Pop #43: The Korean Wave w/ Suzie Oh

Parasite, K-Pop, and K-Dramas have reached the U.S. as part of Hallyu, an official Korean effort to expand cultural influence. Suzie Hyun-jung Oh joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to decode the zeitgeist in hopes of understanding films like Snowpiercer, A Train to Busan, The Burning, A Taxi Driver, etc. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com. Sponsor: Visit sunbasket.com/pretty and use promo code pretty to get $35 off healthy, delicious meal deliveries.
12/05/2040m 1s

Ep. 243: Aristotle's "Poetics" on Art and Tragedy (Part One)

These notes from 335 BCE are still used in screenwriting classes. Aristotle presents a formula for what will move us, derived from Sophocles's tragedies. What is art? The text describes it as memesis (imitation), and tragedy imitates human action in a way that shows us what it is to be human. Aristotle has lots of advice about how to structure a plot optimized to our sensibilities. Join Mark, Wes, Dylan, and Seth to see if you think he's right. Don't wait for part two; get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsor: For 20% off and free shipping on Ettitude's CleanBamboo Charcoal sheets, text PEL to 64-000.
11/05/2050m 50s

NEM#121: K.C. Clifford on Brokenness and Power

K.C. has created seven releases of confessional folk (sometimes gospel, sometimes country) since 2000. We discuss "No More Living Small" and listen to "You Couldn't Stay" from her 2020 self-titled album, then talk about "Broken Things" from Orchid (2010) and "Find My Way Home" from Teeth-Marks on My Tongue (2004). Intro: "Emily" from Times Like These (2000). For more see kcclifford.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
08/05/201h 4m

PEL Presents PMP#42: Star Trek Lives Long and Prospers (Intermittently)

In light of Star Trek: Picard, Brian, Erica, Mark, and Drew Jackson discuss our most philosophical sci-fi franchise. What makes a Trek story? How do you world-build over generations? How did Picard measure up? Plus Trek vs. Wars and step-children like The Orville and Galaxy Quest. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
06/05/2056m 30s

Ep. 242: Stanley Cavell on Tragedy via King Lear (Part Two)

Continuing on Cavell's essay "The Avoidance of Love: A Reading of King Lear" (1969), shifting away from Lear in particular to a more general discussion of tragedy and Cavell's psychological insights. Begin with Part One or get the ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Out of Your Hands" by Gretchen's Wheel, i.e., Lindsay Murray, as interviewed for Nakedly Examined Music #81. Sponsor: Visit TheGreatCoursesPLUS.com/PEL for a free trial of unlimited learning at $10/month w/ a quarterly plan.
04/05/2045m 12s

Pretty Much Pop #41: Made-for-TV Musicals w/ Craig Wedren

Why are we now seeing a resurgence of musical TV shows? Craig has created musicals for many TV shows (like Glow, Shrill, and Wet Hot American Summer) and joins Mark, Erica, and Brian due to his work on Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist. We talk about narrative excuses for breaking into song, musicals on TV vs. film vs. stage, musical episodes on non-musical shows, and more. Watch Craig's daily Sabbath Sessions at facebook.com/craigwedrenmusic. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
29/04/2053m 39s

Ep. 242: Stanley Cavell on Tragedy via King Lear (Part One)

On Cavell's essay "The Avoidance of Love: A Reading of King Lear" (1969). Can money buy you love? What is tragedy? With guest Erin O'Luanaigh. Don't wait for part two; get the full Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!
27/04/2043m 41s

NEM#120: Steve Harley is Wiser and Less Hungry

Steve started fronting Cockney Rebel in the early '70s and has released a dozen albums of of narrative-driven, tuneful songs. We discuss "Compared with You (Your Eyes Don’t Seem to Age)" and listen to "Only You," his two originals from his new solo album Uncovered (2020) then look back to "Faith & Virtue" from Stranger Comes to Town (2010) and Cockney Rebel's "Bed in the Corner"/"Sling It" from The Psychomodo (1974). Intro: "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" by Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel from The Best Years of Our Lives (1975). Learn more at steveharley.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon to get the ad-free feed. Visit masterclass.com/EXAMINED for 2-for-1 on MasterClass All-Access Pass.
24/04/201h 8m

Pretty Much Pop #40: #MeToo Depictions in TV and Film

Heavily watched media like Bombshell, The Morning Show, Unbelievable, and 13 Reasons Why attempt to cover sexual assault and harassment while still entertaining. Does that work? Erica, Mark, and Brian consider what makes for a sensitive as opposed to a sensationalized portrayal. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
21/04/2050m 32s

Ep. 241: Political Philosophy and the Pandemic

How should we think politically about the current global crisis? Do extreme circumstances reveal truths of political philosophy or do they reinforce whatever it is we already believe? Mark, Wes, Seth, and Dylan talk about applying philosophical insights to real-life situations rife with unknowns, John Rawls' veil of ignorance and Adam Smith on our interconnectedness, utilitarianism, libertarianism, and more. A source we used was "How Coronavirus Is Shaking Up the Moral Universe" by John Authers. For an ad-free version of this episode, become a PEL Citizen. Please support PEL! End song: "Date of Grace" by Rob Picott, as discussed on Nakedly Examined Music #80. Sponsor: Visit TheGreatCoursesPLUS.com/PEL for a free trial of unlimited learning at $10/month w/ a quarterly plan.
20/04/201h 5m

Pretty Much Pop #39: TV and Other Plans in Subjunctive Stasis

A discussion of what to watch during lockdown is what happens when you're busy making plans about what to include in a hypothetical discussion of what to watch during lockdown. Join Mark, Erica, and Brian to talk Tiger King, Star Trek, Parks & Recreation, Devs, Zoey's, 13 Reasons Why, Ozark, Westworld, Larry David, endless tributes to the dead, anthology shows, unreleased pilots, and circus arts. Plus Tyler returns to talk Buffy, video games, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
14/04/2037m 21s

Ep. 240: David Lewis on Possible Worlds and Language Games (Part Two)

On "Scorekeeping in a Language Game" (1979) and "Truth in Fiction" (1978). Lewis's account of possible worlds can be applied to conversation: As we speak, each sentence adds to the "conversational score" (the set of assumptions that enable us to understand each other) while reducing the field of possible worlds that the picture we're painting together could potentially represent. What are the gravitational forces within this kind of scorekeeping? Also, when an author creates a fictive "world," how do facts about that world logically relate to those of the actual world? With guest Matt Teichman. Start with part 1 or get the unbroken Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Real Life" by Matt Wilson, as interviewed for Nakedly Examined Music #118.
13/04/201h 10m

NEM#119: Chris A. Maxwell: The Power of What You Don't Fully Understand

Chris fronted Gunbunnies in the early '90s and was then a member of Skeleton Key, but he's best known for being half of the production team Elegant Too. Since 2014 he's released two solo albums. We discuss two songs from 2012's New Store No. 2, the title track and "Most of What I Know I Learned from Women." We then talk about Elegant Too's work with They Might Be Giants (feat. Doughty) on "Mr. Xcitement" from Mink Car (2001) and also working with St. Vincent on the Bob's Burgers tune "Bad Girls" (2013). We conclude with Chris's "Imaginary Man" from Arkansas Summer (2016). Intro: "Stranded" by Gunbunnies from Paw Paw Patch (1990). Outro: Elegant Too's theme for ESPN's 30 for 30. For more see maxwellsongs.com and elegatnttoo.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon to get the ad-free feed. Sponsor: Visit betterhelp.com/nem for 10% off your first month of online counseling.
10/04/2059m 16s

Pretty Much Pop #38: Costuming w/ Whitney Anne Adams

How does clothing mesh with other elements to create a mood for a film? Costumer Whitney (Happy Death Day, The Great Gatsby) joins Erica, Mark and Brian to discuss how clothes on screen relate to clothes in life, historic vs. modern vs. genre, when costumes get distracting, her current TV and film costuming picks, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
08/04/2054m 18s

Ep. 240: David Lewis on Possible Worlds and Language Games (Part One)

On Ch. 4 of Lewis's book Counterfactuals (1973) and the essays “Scorekeeping in a Language Game” (1979) and “Truth in Fiction” (1978). What makes a sentence about possibility true? Lewis things that we need possible worlds that really exist in order to make sense of our modal intuitions. He uses this possible world talk to make sense of conversations and the worlds created by fiction writers. With guest Matt Teichman from Elucidations. Don't wait for part two; get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now! Please support PEL! Sponsor: Visit TheGreatCoursesPLUS.com/PEL for a free trial of unlimited learning at $10/month w/ a quarterly plan.
06/04/2053m 50s

Pretty Much Pop #37: Everything is LEGO

Why has a children's toy become a brand attached to virtually every media type, partnering with the most ubiquitous franchises, and serving as a pastime for many adult hobbyists who will gut you if you call LEGO a "children's toy." AFOL Brian Hirt talks with co-hosts Erica Spyres and Mark Linsenmayer about creative play vs. following the printed directions, building purists vs. anthropomorphizers, LEGO qua corporate overlord, LEGO media, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
01/04/2046m 47s

Ep. 239: Montesquieu Invents Political Science (Part Two)

Continuing on The Spirit of the Laws (1748) by Charles Louis de Secondat, aka Baron de Montesquieu. Mark, Wes, Dylan, and Seth talk more about the "motive force" behind each type of government and the separation of powers. Begin with part 1 or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "King of the Hill" by MINUTEMEN. Listen to Mark interview Mike Watt on Nakedly Examined Music #108. Be sure to check out The Panpsycast Philosophy Podcast.
30/03/2052m 25s

NEM#118: Matt Wilson (Trip Shakespeare) Is Still a Writer

Matt released 4 albums and got on a major label with Trip Shakespeare in the late '80s, released a solo album in '98, ran bands with fellow Tripper John Munson for three albums over many subsequent years, ad has now released his first album as Matt Wilson & His Orchestra, When I Was a Writer. We discuss "Decent Guy" and listen to the title track from that album and look back to "Dreams" by Twilight Hours from Stereo Night (2009) and "Sun Is Coming" from his solo album Burnt, White, and Blue (1998). Intro/outo: "Toolmaster of Brainard" by Trip Shakespeare from Are You Shakespearienced (1989). For more see minneapolismatt.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon to get the ad-free feed. Sponsors: Visit betterhelp.com/nem for 10% off your first month of online counseling. Visit masterclass.com/EXAMINED for 15% off a MasterClass All-Access Pass.
27/03/201h 4m

PEL Presents: PMP#36: Criticism w/ Noah Berlatsky

Do we need professional critics regulating our entertainment intake? Noah writes for The Washington Post, NBC News, The Guardian, Slate, Vox, The Atlantic, etc., and he now joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to talk about the function of criticism, criticism as art, and the joy of negativity. We talk 1917, Midsommar, Marvel vs. Scorsese, Yesterday, Bob Dylan, Twilight, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
25/03/2043m 58s

Ep. 239: Montesquieu Invents Political Science (Part One)

On The Spirit of the Laws (1748) by Charles Louis de Secondat, aka Baron de Montesquieu. What keeps a society functioning? Montesquieu, though of course not the first political philosopher, was perhaps the first to systematically explore correlations between characteristics of a government, its people, its climate, dominant industries, religion, and other factors. Some of his ideas directly influenced the American Constitution, and some of them are very very weird. Don't wait for part two; get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now! Please support PEL! Sponsor: Visit TheGreatCoursesPLUS.com/PEL for a free trial of unlimited learning at $10/month w/ a quarterly plan.
23/03/2045m 5s

Pretty Much Pop #35: Video Game Storytelling w/ Don Marshall

Do you play video games for the plot? Mark, Erica, and Brian are joined by former video game professional (current TV development exec) Donald E. Marshall to talk through types of video game narrative, ways of weaving story into a game, balancing gameplay and storytelling, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
17/03/2050m 36s

Ep. 238: Lingering Questions

Mark, Wes, Dylan, and Seth summarize thoughts about our recent series on social construction, gender and sex, and Judith Butler's notion of "grievable lives." Should we stop covering so much contemporary work and/or political topics? End song: "The Size of Luv" by Mark Lint from Mark Lint's Dry Folk (2018). Sponsor: Get your first month of hair loss prevention medication free at keeps.com/pel. Get this and every episode ad-free with a PEL Membership. Please support the podcast!
16/03/201h 15m

NEM#117: Chris McQueen (FORQ, Snarky Puppy): Like Fusion, But Cool

Chris has played guitar for Snarky Puppy since it started in 2004, has led rock bands and explored acoustic guitar duets. We discuss "M-Theory" by FORQ from Four (2019), the title track to Western Theatre by Matt Read and Chris McQueen (2019), and "Coven" by Snarky Puppy from Immigrance (2019), and end with "Strut" by Foe Destroyer from their self-titled album (2013). Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon to get the ad-free feed. Sponsor: Visit betterhelp.com/nem for 10% off your first month of online counseling.
13/03/201h 27m

Ep. 237: Walter Benjamin Analyzes Violence (Part Two)

Continuing on Benjamin's "Critique of Violence" (1921). Mark, Wes, and Seth keep trying to figure out this difficult essay. Is Benjamin really advocating a workers' revolution to end the state, or just reflecting on a hypothetical to explore the limits of the concept of violence? According to Judith Butler's interpretation of the essay, the takeaway is the alternative to motivation through force, i.e. speech, which Benjamin (in other essays) gives some religious significance, but the way he actually concludes the essay is in a discussion of "divine violence" as somehow transcending means-end analysis and the corruption inherent in violence. Begin with part one or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Jericho" from hackedepiciotto, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #116. Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a free month of unlimited learning with The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.
09/03/2047m 2s

Pretty Much Pop #34: Escape Rooms and Other Puzzlers w/ Adal Rifai

You know "the comic" and "the tragic," but what kind of entertainment is "the puzzling?" Improviser/podcaster Adal Rifai joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss escape rooms, riddles and puns, group problem solving, puzzles in films and video games, lateral vs. algorithmic thinking, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
04/03/2050m 49s

Ep. 237: Walter Benjamin Analyzes Violence (Part One)

On "Critique of Violence" (1921). What is violence? Benjamin gives us a taxonomy: law-creating, law-preserving, mythological, and divine. Then he deconstructs his own distinctions to demonstrate that all state power is rotten through its being founded on and continually re-established by violence or the threat of it. Don't wait for part two. Get the full ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a free month of unlimited learning with The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.
02/03/2044m 19s

NEM#116: hackedepicciotto: Nomadic Cinematographers

Einstürzende Neubauten's Alexander Hacke and artist/singer Danielle de Picciotto have released seven albums of experimental music together since 2011, the last four as hackedepicciotto. We discuss "The Banishing" and "Third From the Sun" from The Current (2019) and "Propehcy" from Menetekel (2017), plus intro music is "Let There Be Joy" from Joy (2018). We conclude by listening to "Survivors" from Danielle's solo album Deliverance (2019). For more, see hackedepicciotto.de. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon to get the ad-free feed. Sponsor: Visit betterhelp.com/nem for 10% off your first month of online counseling.
28/02/201h 19m

PEL Presents PMP#33: The Heroine's Journey w/ Vi Burlew

How has Joseph Campbell's "hero's journey" as famously leveraged for Star Wars evolved with more female action heroes in film? Vi Burlew joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to talk not only about Rey, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Black Widow, and Mulan, but also bring in Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Wizard of Oz, Little Women, Jane Eyre, Working Girl, and of course Road House. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
27/02/2050m 24s

Ep. 236: Judith Butler Interview: "The Force of Nonviolence"

On The Force of Nonviolence: An Ethico-Political Bind (2020). What is it to be nonviolent in political activity? Most ethics allow for self-defense, but Judith has a problem with defining "self" as well as "violence," and offers a full critique of the individualism that underlies typical Western approaches to both ethics and politics. Mark, Seth, and Wes interview Judith about these issues and the connection to Gender Trouble. End song: "Dancing with Death," discussed on Nakedly Examined Music #111 with Marty Willson-Piper. Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a free month of The Great Courses Plus. Get this episode ad-free with a PEL Citizenship. Please support PEL!
24/02/201h 4m

PEL Presents: PMP#32: Judging "The Good Place"

Mark, Erica, and Brian discuss Michael Schur's NBC TV show. Is it good? Does it actually teach moral philosophy? We talk sit-com tropes, TV finales, the show's convoluted structure, the puzzle of heaven, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
19/02/2045m 18s

Ep. 235: Judith Butler's "Gender Trouble" (Part Three)

Concluding "Gender Trouble" (1990), with just Mark, Wes, and Seth going carefully through pt I, sec v: "Identity, Set, and the Metaphysics of Substance," and pt III, sec iv: "Subversive Bodily Acts: Bodily Inscriptions, Performative Subversions." Start with part one or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "I'm a Boy" by Lys Guillorn as interviewed for Nakedly Examined Music #44. Please support the fight against leukemia at partiallyexaminedlife.com/cancer.
17/02/201h 7m

NEM#115: Julie Slick: Pedal Art Visualizer

Julie joined the Adrian Belew Power Trio in 2006 and released two solo albums starting in 2010. She then joined another bassist, Marco Machera for four albums, the last three as Echotest. Why two basses? Because Julie uses tech to change the sound of her bass to allow her to cover an orchestra's worth of parts. We discuss "Ladies' Legs at the Temperature Hotel" and "No, You Are Dead/The Gate of Light" by Echotest from Daughter of Ocean (2019), plus "Pi" from her solo album Terroir (2012), and listen to "Supercell" by Echotest from From Two Balconies (2017). Intro/Outro: "Mela" from Julie Slick (2010). For more, see julieslick.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon to get the ad-free feed. Sponsor: Visit masterclass.com/EXAMINED for 15% off a MasterClass All-Access Pass.
14/02/201h 23m

Pretty Much Pop #31: Robin Williams' Celebrity Struggles w/ Dave Itzkoff

Dave the New York Times culture reporter joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to consider issues raised by his 2018 biography Robin: What is with our f'ed up relation to celebrity, and what are strategies that celebrities use to deal with that asymmetric relationship to the world? Plus, Joaquin Phoenix, interview technique, the value of interviews, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
12/02/2050m 55s

Ep. 235: Judith Butler's "Gender Trouble" (Part Two)

More Gender Trouble (1990) with Jennifer Hansen. We get into the metaphysics of substance (is gender an attribute that a person has, or is there a better way to describe the situation?), performatives, Beauvoir vs. Irigaray on femininity, and the available mechanisms for changing gender norms. Start with Part One or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now so that you don't have to wait for Part Three. Please support PEL! Sponsor: Visit feals.com/PEL for premium CBD; become a member and get 50% off and free shipping.
10/02/201h 8m

Pretty Much Pop #30: Why Every Film Will Win the Oscar! (A Debate)

The 2020 Academy Awards are imminent (or maybe past, if you're hearing this later; it's fine!). Mark, Erica, and Brian, each argue in favor of three of the best picture nominees: that it should win, or maybe just will win. What is it to be an Oscar winner as opposed to the type of film that people actually like? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
05/02/2053m 3s

Ep. 235: Judith Butler's "Gender Trouble" (Part One)

On Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990). Is gender socially constructed, and if so, how? Butler describes gender not as an essential quality of a person, but as "performed," as habits of acting in certain ways in accordance with customs. Her idea of social construction is so totalizing that even biological sex itself is constructed. With guest Jennifer Hansen. This is part 1 of 3, but you don't need to wait. Get the full Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!
03/02/2051m 37s

NEM#114: Michaela Anne's Hyper-Reflective Country

Michaela has released four albums of carefully styled, lyrically rich country since 2011.  From her latest, Desert Dove (2019), we discuss the title track, plus you'll hear "By Our Design" as the intro and "Somebody New" as the closer. We also discuss "Worrying Mind" from Bright Lights and the Fame (2016) and "Is This What Mama Meant" from Ease My Mind (2014). For more, see michaelaanne.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon to get the ad-free feed.
31/01/201h 7m

PEL Presents PMP#29: Martin Scorsese the Auteur w/ Colin Marshall

We consider The Irishman in the context of Scorsese's body of work and the styles and themes that his films tend to exhibit. Writer/podcaster Colin Marshall joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to talk about connecting with Scorsese's sensibility and their status as "art films." Plus S's use of music, comments on Marvel, CGI age alternation, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
29/01/2055m 51s

Ep. 234: Beauvoir on Romance in "The Second Sex" (Part Two)

Concluding Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex (1949): "The Woman in Love" and "Myths" with guest Jennifer Hansen. We continue on the ailments of women under patriarchy as well as the existential problems that we're all subject to. Are we doomed to isolation, or does existentialism allow for intimacy? Is marriage in "bad faith"? We also talk narcissism, abjection, and the film Marriage Story. Start with part 1 or get the Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Easier than Leaving" by Michaela Anne, interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #114. Please contribute to the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society through Mina Linsenmayer's campaign at partiallyexaminedlife.com/cancer.
27/01/2058m 37s

Pretty Much Pop #28: The Alpha Female Trope w/ Margaret Colin

What's the deal with images of powerful women in media? The trope of the tough-as-nails boss-lady who may or may not have a heart of gold has evolved a lot over the years, but it's difficult to portray such a character unobjectionably. Margaret was a lead in Independence Day and The Devil's Own, is a mainstay on Broadway, and has appeared on TV roles like the mother of the Gossip Girl and as an unscrupulous newscaster on the final seasons of VEEP. She leads Mark, Erica, and Brian through an instructive tour through her career playing assertive women. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
22/01/2042m 2s

Ep. 234: Beauvoir on Romance in "The Second Sex" (Part One)

On Simone De Beauvoir’s The Second Sex (1949): "The Woman in Love" and "Myths" with guest Jennifer Hansen. What is love under patriarchy? We all want to achieve solidity in another's eyes, but the Othered woman wants to live through the man, and the man sees the woman as his rejected corporeal character. Party time! Don't wait for part two; get the full, ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition now! Please support PEL! Sponsors: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service. Visit Keeps.com/EXAMINED for a free month of hair loss medication. Please consider contributing to the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society through Mina Linsenmayer's campaign; see partiallyexaminedlife.com/cancer.
20/01/2052m 34s

NEM#113: Bid (Monochrome Set): All-Permissive British New Wave Forever!

The Monochrome Set has under the leadership of Bid released 15 albums of eccentric British pop since 1980, and he's had another nine as Scartlet's Well. His songs often employ a '60s dance vibe, literary lyrics, and a try-anything approach to arrangements. We discuss "Eux Tous" from Fabula Mendax (2019), "Walking with the Beast" from Dante's Casino (1990), "Adeste Fidelis" from Love Zombies (1980), and conclude listening to the title track of Spaces Everywhere (2015). Intro: "Eine Symphonie Des Grauens" (a 1979 single). For more, see themonochromeset.co.uk. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon to get the ad-free feed. Sponsor: Visit masterclass.com/EXAMINED for 15% off a MasterClass All-Access Pass.
17/01/201h 7m

PEL Presents PMP#27: For the Love of Star Wars

Mark, Erica, and Brian talk about the unique place these films have in the brains of people of a certain age, how we grappled with the prequels, and why we feel the need to fill in and argue about the details. We focus primarily on The Mandalorian and The Rise of Skywalker. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
15/01/2047m 46s

Ep. 233: Plato's "Protagoras" on Virtue (Part Two)

Continuing on the dialogue, where Socrates argues that Protagoras doesn't actually know what virtue is, because he thinks that the various virtues (especially courage) are distinct, a claim that Socrates refutes in several (logically suspect) ways. Start with part one, or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Make It Clear" by Feelies; hear Glenn Mercer on Nakedly Examined Music #41.
13/01/201h 0m

PEL Presents PMP#26: We Watch "Watchmen" w/ David Pizarro (Very Bad Wizards)

Covering Alan Moore's 1986 graphic novel, the new HBO series and the 2009 film. Mark, Erica, and Brian are joined by David, psych prof at Cornell and host of Very Bad Wizards. How does Moore's style translate to the screen? How well did the show handle politics? Should there be a second season? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
08/01/2056m 21s

Ep. 233: Plato's "Protagoras" on Virtue (Part One)

On the Platonic dialogue written around 380 BCE about an encounter between Socrates and one of the leading Sophists of his day. What is virtue ("the political art" according to Protagoras), and can it be taught? What are the relations of the various virtues to each other? Do they really amount ultimately to one and the same thing, i.e. wisdom? In this entertaining dialogue, Socrates and Protagoras swap positions, and Socrates seems to parody the Sophists' style. Don't wait for part two; get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.
06/01/2053m 56s

Pretty Much Pop #25: Sports as Pop w/ Sportscaster Dave Revsine

How is spectator sports different from other types of entertainment? Dave (lead studio host for the Big Ten Network and former ESPN anchor) joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss the various sources of appeal, team identification, existing in a sports-filled world as a non-fan, watching vs. playing, human interest stories, sports films, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
02/01/2052m 28s

Ep. 232: Simone De Beauvoir's "The Second Sex" (Part Two)

Continuing Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex (1949) with guest Jennifer Hansen. How does one become a Subject and how do women traditionally get shut out of this process? We get into Vol. 2, "Lived Experience" where Beauvoir details how this drama unfolds in various stages of life. Also, religion, logic, the relation of biology to situation, and more. How do we modernize Beauvoir's critique given the evolution in women's positions since the book was written? Start with part one or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Wrong Side of Gone" by Beth Kille as discussed on Nakedly Examined Music #13. Sponsor: Give effectively through givewell.org/PEL.
29/12/191h 4m

Ep. 232: Simone De Beauvoir's "The Second Sex" (Part One)

On Simone De Beauvoir’s The Second Sex (1949): the intro, conclusion, “Woman’s Situation and Character” and parts of “Lived Experience," with guest Jennifer Hansen. According to Beauvoir, Woman is historically conceived of by society (and herself) as "Other," as not a Subject who creates and makes decisions. Her life is pre-determined, revolving around marriage and child-bearing, and is so deformed by this situation. Don't wait for part two; get the unbroken Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsor: Give effectively through givewell.org/PEL.
23/12/1957m 12s

Pretty Much Pop #24: Christmas Viewing: What's Canon?

Join Mark, Erica, and Brian for a special "snake draft," where we take turns picking the holiday films and TV specials that we think are (or should be) part of America's yearly viewing traditions. Compare your intuitions about what is classic or seminal or over-rated with ours! For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com. We're posting this early and ad-free as our holiday gift to you. Snarf it all down right now like a plastic candy cane full of M&Ms!
21/12/1954m 0s

NEM#112: Radney Foster Finds His Voice

Radney started as a Nashville songwriter and performed in the 80s with Foster & Lloyd. has released about a dozen albums since '91 that increasingly break away from country music standards into something more personal. We discuss two recordings from For You to See the Stars (2017) that have accompanying short stories (written when he literally lost his voice): "Sycamore Creek" and "Raining on Sunday," plus "Nobody Wins" from Del Rio , TX 1959 (1992). End song: "Godspeed (Dulce Sueños)." Intro: "Crazy Over You" by Foster & Lloyd from their eponymous album (1987). Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon to get the ad-free feed. Sponsors: Visit dollarshaveclub.com/NEM for your $5 ultimate starter set and masterclass.com/EXAMINED to buy one All-Access pass and get a second free to gift.
20/12/191h 11m

Pretty Much Pop #23: The Singer Not the Song w/ Ken Stringfellow

Do you just embrace the pure sound of music or does context matter to you, i.e. the artist's intentions and body of work? Ken Stringfellow (Posies, R.E.M., Big Star) joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to talk about what grabs us about music, it it gets to your ears, singers vs. songwriters, the concept "genius," and how this attitude towards music translates to our intake of other media (e.g. favorite film directors). For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com. Sponsor: Visit skillshare.com/pretty for two months of free, unlimited learning.
17/12/1945m 42s

Ep. 231: Descartes's "Discourse" on Wisdom and Certainty (Part Two)

Continuing on Descartes’s Discourse on Method, looking closely at part 4 (his proto-Meditations) and his "provisional" Stoic ethics. Listen to part one first or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "My Real Fantasy" By Joe Louis Walker, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #110. Sponsors: Get 20% off at nativedeodorant.com (code PEL), 20% off at hempfusion.com (code PEL), and give effectively through givewell.org/PEL.
16/12/191h 10m

Pretty Much Pop #22: Untangling Time Travel

Time travel rules in The Terminator franchise are notoriously inconsistent. Can we change the future or not? Mark, Erica, and Brian are joined by Ken Gerber to talk through time travel rules and plots, covering the randomness of Dr. Who, being your own grandfather, time travel comedies, time loops, freezing time, historical tourism, and more.  For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com. Sponsor: Visit mackweldon.com and enter the promo code POP for 20% off underwear, sportswear, and more.
10/12/1946m 29s

Ep. 231: Descartes's "Discourse" on Wisdom and Certainty (Part One)

On René Descartes’s Discourse on Method (1637), an overview of his work that distills his method, outlines his famous Meditations, presents a provisional (Stoic) ethics, and considers whether he wants to be a public intellectual. This is all meant as a preface to scientific publications on geometry, optics, and meteors. Don't wait for part two; get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsors: $10 off at skylightframe.com (code PEL), get a free trial of unlimited learning at thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL , learn about St. John's College at sjc.edu, and give effectively through givewell.org/PEL.
09/12/1945m 19s

NEM#111: Marty Willson-Piper Has Room for Everything

In The Church, he was half of a world-famous twin guitar machine for 30 years starting in 1980 but has also released seven solo albums and been in several other bands, most notably releasing four albums with his old friend Dare Mason as Noctorum. We discuss two 2019 Noctorum tracks, "The Moon Drips" from Afterlife and "Dancing with Death" from The Afterdeath EP, plus "You Whisper" from his solo album Art Attack (1988). We conclude by listening to "Forget the Radio" from his solo album Hanging Out in Heaven (2000). Intro: "Spark" by The Church from Starfish (1988). For more see martywillson-piper.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon to get the ad-free feed. Sponsors: Visit mackweldon.com w/ code EXAMINED for 20% off, and masterclass.com/EXAMINED to get a free MasterClass All-Access Pass to gift when you buy one for yourself.
07/12/191h 14m

(sub)Text: A Discussion of Todd Phillips' Film "Joker"

Wes Alwan and William Sharp (psychoanalyst and professor at Northeastern) discuss the film at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis.  Why has this film done so well? It offers no spectacle, and good doesn't triumph. It is psychologically true and expertly performed. The audience can enjoy tragedy and identify deeply with a social outcast and villain. The film successfully exploits the relationship between humor and violence, and comedy and tragedy. Listen to more (sub)Text.
06/12/191h 13m

Pretty Much Pop #21: Role-Playing Video Games

What constitutes a video RPG? Is there any actual role-playing involved? Our editor Tyler Hislop rejoins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss those video games that are supposed to make you feel like your choices matter, with comparisons to MMO RPGs, table-top role-playing, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com. Sponsor: Visit skillshare.com/pretty for two months of free, unlimited learning.
03/12/1950m 33s

Ep. 230: Bruno Latour on Science, Culture, and Modernity (Part Two)

Continuing on Latour's We Have Never Been Modern (1993) with guest Lynda Olman. Latour rejects the idea of objective truth totally apart from perceivers, so is he an idealist? We lay out the "Constitution" of modernity that keeps science and politics separate, how it makes it difficult for us to address issues like climate change, and what Latour thinks should replace it. Start with part 1 or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Mono No Aware" by Guy Sigsworth, as discussed on Nakedly Examined Music #109. Sponsors: $10 off at skylightframe.com (code PEL), 20% off at hempfusion.com (code PEL), learn about St. John's College at sjc.edu, and give effectively through givewell.org/PEL.
02/12/191h 1m

Ep. 230: Bruno Latour on Science, Culture, and Modernity (Part One)

On Latour's We Have Never Been Modern (1993) with guest Lynda Olman. What's the "modern" ideology of science, and is there something we should critique about it? Latour wants us to think about science not abstractly through the eternal truths it supposedly discovers, but through the concrete practices of scientists. He investigates the Modern Constitution by which science and politics are kept conceptually separate, a myth that he claims we've never fully bought into. Don't wait for part two; get your unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsors: Get $10 off at skylightframe.com w/ code PEL. Get a free trial of unlimited learning at thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL. Check out Wes's sister's Inner Loop Radio podcast.
25/11/1949m 23s

NEM#110: Joe Louis Walker's Blues Soup

Joe has played alongside B.B. King, Ron Wood, and even back to Hendrix, Hooker, and Monk. As a solo artist he's put out around two dozen albums since 1986. He's a blues man but mixes in gospel, soul, rock, and many other styles. We discuss the title track of Hellfire (2012), "Keep the Faith" from Hornet's Nest (2013), the title track from The Gift (1988), and listen to "Soldier for Jesus" from Viva Las Vegas Live (2019). Intro: "Don't Play Games" from Cold Is the Night (1986). For more, see joelouiswalker.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Visit mackweldon.com w/ code EXAMINED for 20% off, dollarshaveclub.com/NEM for your $5 ultimate starter set, and masterclass.com/EXAMINED for 15% off a MasterClass All-Access Pass.
22/11/191h 23m

Pretty Much Pop #20: Improv Comedy w/ Tim Sniffen

What role does improv comedy play in popular culture? It's deployed by certain film directors (e.g. Christopher Guest), in some of the TV work of Larry David, Robin Williams, et al. But only a rare show like "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" makes it obvious. Is this art form doomed to live on the fringes of entertainment? Mark, Erica, and Brian are joined by Tim Sniffen to discuss different types of improv, how it relates to other arts, its self-help angle, Second City, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com. Sponsor: Visit mackweldon.com and enter the promo code POP for 20% off underwear, sportswear, and more.
19/11/1952m 22s

Ep. 229: Descartes's Rules for Thinking (Part Three)

Concluding René Descartes's Rules for Direction of the Mind (1628). We finish rule 12 through the end, talking about simples, the faculties of intuition and judgment, perception and imagination, necessary vs. contingent truths, and how to do Cartesian science, including what constitutes a "perfectly understood problem." Start with part one, or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Perfect Design" by Ian Moore, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #94. Sponsors: Get 20% off at nativedeodorant.com (code PEL), $10 off at skylightframe.com (code PEL), 20% off at hempfusion.com (code PEL), and learn about St. John's College at sjc.edu. Boston-area listeners can see Wes live talking Joker on 11/22; see partiallyexaminedlife.com/joker.
18/11/1957m 44s

Pretty Much Pop #19: Race and the Target Audience w/ Rodney Ramsey

Are YOU the target audience of what you watch? While shows used to be aimed at a white majority or "niche group," now much media aims itself seemingly at everyone. Rodney Comedian/actor/writer/producer Rodney joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss the experience of watching outside your demographic, whether identifying with characters requires physical commonalities, "black voice," and the evolving TV landscape. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
13/11/1949m 11s

Ep. 229: Descartes's Rules for Thinking (Part Two)

Continuing on René Descartes's Rules for Direction of the Mind (1628), covering rules 7 through the first part of the lengthy rule 12. We try to figure out what he means by "enumeration;" the faculties of imagination, sense and memory; the virtues of perspicacity and sagacity; his psychology of the senses, the "common sense" where all sense data comes together, and the understanding; how Descartes recommends we do scientific investigation; why syllogisms stink; and whether some people are just better at philosophy than others. Start with part 1. You don't need to wait for part 3; get the full, Citizen Edition now. Citizen Edition now? Please support PEL! Sponsor: Get 3 months of unlimited learning for $30 at thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL.
11/11/1953m 12s

NEM#109: Producer Guy Sigsworth (Seal, Björk, etc.) Goes Solo

Guy has been a highly sought-after British producer/keyboardist since the early '90s and is just now releasing his debut album, STET. We discuss "Mono No Aware" and "Dorian" from that album and "Unravel" from Björk's Homogenic (1997). End song: "Let's Go" by Frou Frou from Details (2002). Intro: "Crazy," co-written with Seal from his debut album (1991). Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsor: Visit masterclass.com/EXAMINED for 15% off a MasterClass All-Access Pass.
08/11/191h 16m

PEL Presents PMP#18: Stephen King's Media Empire

Is the most popular writer of our time actually a good writer? Or maybe he used to be good? While you've been thinking about those questions, King already wrote another book, so ha! Mark, Erica, and Brian share their experiences with and opinions about King's oeuvre and the films and shows that have come out of it. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life network and is curated by openculture.com.
08/11/1954m 18s

Ep. 229: Descartes's Rules for Thinking (Part One)

On René Descartes's Rules for Direction of the Mind (1628). Is there a careful way to approach problems that will ensure that you'll always be right? What if you just never assert anything you can't be sure of? This is Descartes's strategy, modeled on mathematics. We likewise carefully move step-by-step through this text. This is part 1 of 3; get the whole discussion now via the Citizen Edition now? Please support PEL! Sponsor: Visit HempFusion.com for CBD supplements and use code PEL at check-out for 20% off/free shipping.
04/11/1950m 14s

PEL Presents PMP#17: Comedy as Philosophy w/ Daniel Lobell

Are stand-up comedians the Modern Day Philosophers? This is the premise of Daniel's podcast, but really, only some comedians express original claims; many just tell jokes. Are those exceptional comics philosophizing? Does telling the whole, tragic truth rule out being funny? Daniel, Mark, Erica, and Brian consider Carlin, Gadsby, Chappelle, and others. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com. Sponsor: Visit Keeps.com/EXAMINED for a free month of hair loss treatment.
29/10/1945m 35s

Ep. 228: Social Construction of Race (Appiah, Mills) (Part Two)

Continuing on Kwame Anthony Appiah's "Race, Culture, Identity: Misunderstood Connections" (1994), Charles Mills's "But What Are You Really?, The Metaphysics of Race" (1998), and Neven Sesardic's "Race: A Social Destruction of a Biological Concept" (2010) with guest Coleman Hughes. Racial classifications vary geographically, therefore race is socially constructed. Given this, can we retain the positive aspects of group-identification without hierarchies and what Appiah calls "imperialism of identity?" Start with part one or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Tired Skin" by Alejandro Escovedo, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #60. Sponsors: Get 3 months of unlimited learning for $30 at thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL. Don't get left behind the now: subscribe to Pretty Much Pop. 
28/10/1947m 59s

NEM#108: Mike Watt's Punk Operas

Ace bassist Mike started with punk legends MINUTEMEN in the early '80s, broke into the majors with fireHOSE going into the 90s, and was so beloved by the alternative music scene that his first solo album in '94 was star-studded, with Eddie Vedder and Dave Grohl in the supporting tour. Mike has released three concept albums over the years and has collaborated on dozes of projects as well as backing Iggy Pop in the reformed Stooges. We discuss "Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs" by Minutemen from What Makes a Man Start Fires (1983), "The Boilerman" from Contemplating the Engine Room (1997), the first, second, and last sections from Hyphenated-Man (2011), and "I Got Marty Feldman Eyes" from the Big Walnuts Yonder self-titled album (2017). We conclude by listening to "Yeah, We’re Gonna Learn to Fall" by Jumpstarted Plowhards from Round One (2019) featuring Todd Congelliere. Intro: "Walking the Cow" by fireHOSE from Flyin’ the Flannel (1991). For more, visit mikewatt.com. Sponsor: Visit mackwledon.com and use code EXAMINED for 20% off Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
25/10/1958m 12s

PEL Presents PMP#16: 25 Years After FRIENDS

Mark, Erica, and Brian examine the conventions, techniques, and staying power of the beloved '90s sitcom. Are we supposed to identify with, or idolize, or merely like these people? What makes the formula work, did it sustain itself over its 10-year run, was it successfully replicated, and what parts haven't aged well? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com. Sponsor: Visit mackweldon.com and enter the promo code POP for 20% off.
22/10/1943m 1s

Ep. 228: Social Construction of Race (Appiah, Mills) (Part One)

On Kwame Anthony Appiah's "Race, Culture, Identity: Misunderstood Connections" (1994), Charles Mills's "But What Are You Really?, The Metaphysics of Race" (1998), and Neven Sesardic's "Race: A Social Destruction of a Biological Concept" (2010). With guest Coleman Hughes. Don't wait for part two; get your full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsors: NativeDeodorant.com (code PEL for 20% off), $15/month wireless at mintmobile.com/PEL, HempFusion.com (code PEL for 20% off/free shipping).
21/10/1942m 49s

Pretty Much Pop #15: Opera as Pop

Opera used to be a central part of European pop culture, Pavarotti was as big a pop star as they come. But still, it's now the quintessential art-form of the wealthy and snobbish. What gives? Guest Sean Spyres from Springfield Regional Opera joins his sister Erica along with Mark and Brian to discuss opera's place in culture (including its film appearances), how it's different from music theater, the challenges it faces and how it might become more relevant. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.
15/10/1941m 20s

Ep. 227: What Is Social Construction? (Hacking, Berger) (Part Two)

Continuing Ian Hacking’s The Social Construction of What (1999) and Peter Berger's “Religion and World Construction" (1967). We break down Hacking's typology of construction arguments: Are they exploring where our ideas came from or trying to change things? Are they trying to state facts about nature vs. nurture or essentially political solicitations for us to reconceptualize in healthier ways? Plus, more about the supposed divide between science wars and the culture wars and Berger's picture of the nomos (custom) defining what it is for us to live a meaningful life. Start with part one, or get the full, ad free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "The ConstruKction of Light, Part 1" by King Crimson; listen to Mark with Trey Gunn on Nakedly Examined Music #21. Sponsors: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a free month of learning and hempfusion.com w/ promo code PEL for 20% off your first order & free shipping.
14/10/191h 6m

NEM#107: Barry Andrews (Shriekback): Objectifications of Groove

Barry started in '77 playing keys with XTC and after two albums started his own band Shriekback in '81, with whom he's had 14 releases plus some solo albums. He's known for inventive soundscapes placed over solid grooves and philosophical lyrics delivered in a low chant. We discuss three Shriekback tunes: "Such, Such Are the Joys" from Why Anything? Why This? (2018), "Amaryllis in the Sprawl" from Glory Bumps (2007), and "Stimulate the Beaded Hamster"/"Pond Life" from Naked Apes and Pond Life (2000). We conclude by listening to a solo tune, "Virgin of the Ladder" by Barry Andrews from Contaminated Pop (2019). Intro: "Nemesis" from Oil & Gold (1985). For more, see shriekback.com. Sponsor: Visit masterclass.com/EXAMINED for $30 off a MasterClass All-Access Pass. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
11/10/191h 14m

Pretty Much Pop #14: UFOs on TV with Investigative Journalist Paul Beban

TV news reporter Paul Beban (ABC, Al Jazeera, Yahoo, and now featured on the Discovery Network's Contact) joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss the appeal of UFO narratives. Do you have to believe to be entertained? What's the connection to humor, religion, and anti-government venom? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.
08/10/1938m 42s

Ep. 227: What Is Social Construction? (Hacking, Berger) (Part One)

On Ian Hacking’s The Social Construction of What (1999) and Peter Berger's “Religion and World Construction" (1967). Guest Coleman Hughes from Dilemma joins us to survey the types of social construction arguments: the "culture wars" (e.g. race, gender) and the "science wars" (scientific findings are not read off the world but emerge from history). Something can be constructed, yet still be an objective truth we have to deal with. Don't wait for part two; get the full, ad free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsor: Visit hempfusion.com w/ promo code PEL for 20% off & free shipping.
07/10/1946m 0s

NEM#106: John Colpitts (aka Kid Millions/Man Forever): Heavy Meditations

John founded the Brooklyn space-rock cooperative Oneida in the mid 90s and has put out 13 albums with them plus four as his solo project Man Forever and several others as collaborations or as Kid Millions. We discuss two tracks by Man Forever from Play What They Want (2017): "You Were Never Here" and "Twin Torches" (feat. Laurie Anderson), then Oneida's "All in Due Time" from Romance (2018), and listen to "Nine Years of Facing a Wall" by Fox Millions Duo from Biting Through (2019). Intro: "Sheets of Easter" by Oneida from Each One Teach One (2002). For more, see johnwilliamcolpitts.com. Sponsor: Visit Keeps.com/EXAMINED for a free month of hair loss treatment. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
04/10/191h 13m

Pretty Much Pop #13: TV Revivals Revived!

Revivals (not to be confused with reboots) can bring us back to the comfort of old friends, who are now really old. But is reviving a show really ever a good idea? Mark, Erica, and Brian consider some successes, failures, and hypotheticals. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.
01/10/1939m 49s

Ep. 226: Francis Bacon Invents Science (Part Two)

Continuing on Sir Francis Bacon's New Organon (1620). We cover more of Bacon's "idols" and how Bacon divides religion from science (and what this means politically). We then move on to book 2, including Bacon's novel update of the term "form," and take a look at Bacon's method of doing science by filling out tables before actually doing experiments. Start with part one or get the full, unbroken Citizen Edition. Please support PEL, like, get Patreon's feed for a mere $1/month. End song: "Stuck in a Cave" by Chrome Cranks; hear Mark talk to singer/songwriter Peter Aaron on Nakedly Examined Music #93. Sponsor: Get three months of unlimited access to The Great Courses Plus at thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL.
30/09/191h 4m

PEL Presents PMP#12: Once Upon a Tarantino Film w/ Wes Alwan

Wes Alwan joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood in the context of Tarantino's other films. We consider T's strange sense of pacing, his comic violence, his historical revisionism, and casting choices. Is this a brilliant film or a fundamentally misguided idea badly in need of an editor? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.
24/09/1947m 13s

Ep. 226: Francis Bacon Invents Science (Part One)

On Sir Francis Bacon's New Organon (1620). Bacon claims to have developed a new toolset that will open up nature to inquiry in a way that wasn't possible for ancient and modern natural philosophy. Mark, Wes, and Dylan consider how much what Bacon describes resembles modern scientific method, talk through Bacon's "four idols" that interfere with impartial inquiry, and consider how Bacon's method fits in with his larger political-ethical-religious views. Don't wait for part two; get the full, unbroken Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!
23/09/1943m 56s

NEM#105: Wayne Hussey (The Mission): Salad Daze to Mission Accomplished

Wayne started in the late 70s, was on the first Dead or Alive Album, made his name as guitarist for The Sisters of Mercy's first full album, then led The Mission UK from 1986 through 11 albums plus two solo albums and some collaborations. We discuss "Wither on the Vine" from Songs of Candlelight & Razorblades (2014), then two Mission songs: "Phantom Pain" from Another Fall from Grace (2016) and "Tower of Strength" from Children (1987). We conclude by listening to a 2016 solo single "My Love Will Protect You." Intro/outro: "Marian" by Sisters of Mercy from First and Last and Always (1985). For more, visit themissionuk.com. Sponsors: Visit masterclass.com/EXAMINED for $30 off a MasterClass All-Access Pass. Check out Mark's new multimedia podcast at prettymuchpop.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
20/09/191h 19m

Pretty Much Pop #11: The Live Music Experience

Dave Hamilton (from Gig Gab) joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to weigh concert-going (and theater-going) against the technological alternatives. Why are tickets so pricey? Do tribute bands fulfill our needs? Should audiences ideally be on drugs? These are but a few of the questions we breeze through. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.
17/09/1949m 12s

Ep. 225: Simone Weil on War and Oppression (Part Two)

Continuing on Simone Weil's essays "The Iliad, or the Poem of Force" (1939) and "Analysis of Oppression" (1934) with guest Corey Mohler. We talk about the self-contradictions of power, why oppression and war are so intractable, and her positive solution (what there is of it here). Weil cuts through our left-right political dichotomy in a way that might interest you. Plus, why the Iliad is so great. Start with part one or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Throw Down the Sword" from Wishbone Ash; hear Andy Powell on Nakedly Examined Music #51. Sponsors: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL, mintmobile.com/PEL, and omnifocus.com.
16/09/191h 2m

Pretty Much Pop #10: The Handmaid's Tale

Mark, Erica, and Brian take on both Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel plus the TV series, getting into the transition from page to screen, taking the work as political speech vs. art, Atwood's phenomenology and neologisms (prayvaganza!), plus the roles of race and (lack of) comic relief in the story. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.
10/09/1946m 48s

Ep. 225: Simone Weil on War and Oppression (Part One)

On Simone Weil's essays "The Iliad, or the Poem of Force" (1939) and "Analysis of Oppression" (1934). How do circumstances oppress and dehumanize us? Weil describes the mechanisms that keep people at war and maintain oppression even through revolutions as inherent to the logic of power. With guest Corey Mohler. Don't wait for part two; get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!
09/09/1947m 32s

NEM#104: Dave Schramm: The Return of the Schramms

Dave was the original guitarist for Yo La Tengo in the mid '80s and left to lead The Schramms for six albums plus two solo albums while being an in-demand guitarist supporting artists like Freedy Johnston, Richard Buckner, Kate Jacobs and Chris Stamey. We discuss three Schramms songs, "Faith is a Dusty Word" from Omnidirectional (2019), "I'll Believe" from 100 Questions (2000), and "Wild Innocence" from Dizzy Spell (1996), and conclude by listening to another Omnidirectional tune, "The Day When." Intro: "The Way Some People Die" from Walk to Delphi (1989). For more info, see theschramms.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
07/09/1955m 52s

Pretty Much Pop #9: Cartoons with Dee Bradley Baker (Clone Wars, American Dad)

Are cartoons an inherently juvenile art form? A guilty pleasure when viewed by adults? Dee, whose voice can be heard in substantial portion of today's cartoons (especially animal/monster noises like Boots in the new big-screen adaptation of Dora the Explorer or Momo and Appa in The Last Airbender), defends cartoons as providing primal delights of humor, justice, and narrative meaning. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode, and more episodes in advance, at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.
03/09/1955m 14s

Ep. 224: Kierkegaard Critiques The Present Age (Part Two)

Continuing on "The Present Age" (1846), plus Hubert Dreyfus’s "Nihilism on the Information Highway: Anonymity vs. Commitment in the Present Age" (2004) with guest John Ganz. Does K's critique actually apply to our present age? We address K's view of humor, romance, authenticity, actual community vs. "the public," the leveling that occurs without anyone specific actually doing it, and the virtue of silence. Start with part one or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Wry Observer" by Aaron David Gleason, as discussed on Nakedly Examined Music #71. Sponsor: Get three months of unlimited access to The Great Courses Plus at thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL.
02/09/191h 6m

PEL Presents PMP#8: Spider-Man: Far From Home (and Elsewhere)

Mark, Erica, and Brian discuss the function of super-hero films and how this new one fits in. Do we need "realism" in such stories? When does a premise like this get too old to keep recycling? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode, and more episodes in advance, at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.
27/08/1949m 33s

Ep. 224: Kierkegaard Critiques The Present Age (Part One)

On Soren Kierkegaard's essay "The Present Age" (1846) and Hubert Dreyfus’s "Nihilism on the Information Highway: Anonymity vs. Commitment in the Present Age" (2004). What's wrong with our society? Kierkegaard saw the advent of the press and gossip culture as engendering a systematic passivity and shallowness in his fellows, and Dreyfus thinks this is an even more apt description of the Internet Age. With guest John Ganz. Don't wait for part 2; get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsor: Try the OmniFocus to-do list manager at omnifocus.com.
26/08/1948m 57s

Pretty Much Pop #7: Native Representation with Jonathan Joss (King of the Hill, Parks & Rec)

Jonathan built his career playing 19th century Indians on horseback, was John Redcorn III in King of the Hill, Chief Ken Hotate in Parks and Recreation, was featured in The Magnificent Seven and True Grit, and is currently playing Sitting Bull in Annie Get Your Gun (also featuring Erica) in Sag Harbor.  He talks about Hollywood's record portraying indigenous Americans, his own struggles to get native views reflected in the works he's participated in and the differences between acting on stage vs. film and TV. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode, and more episodes in advance, at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.  
20/08/1941m 12s

Ep. 223: Guest Ned Block on Consciousness (Part Two)

We talk with Ned about a second Blockheads (2019) article, Michael Tyle's “Homunculi Heads and Silicon Chips: The Importance of History to Phenomenology," which provides a variation off of the David Chalmers fading qualia argument, and then Mark, Seth, Dylan, and Wes continue exploring the details uncovered by our interview after Ned leaves. Listen to part one first, or get the ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Your So Dark Sleep/Goodbye" by The Black Watch, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #102. Sponsors: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  
19/08/1956m 22s

NEM#103: Homer Flynn on The Residents' 50 Years

The Residents were formed in 1969 and have released around 50 albums of theatrical, experimental music with humor and humanity. They're great to freak people out with. The band is anonymous; Homer is the head of their management arm, The Cryptic Corporation. We discuss "Good Vibes" from Intruders (2019), "Blue Rosebuds," from Duck Stab (1978) and the live Shadowland (2014), "Kiss of Flesh" from God in Three Persons (1988), and we listen to "If Only" from the Hardy Fox tribute album The Godfather of Odd (2019). Intro: "Fire (Santa Dog)" (1972) and outro: "The Simple Song" from Commercial Album (1980). For more, visit residents.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Sponsors: Visit masterclass.com/EXAMINED for $30 off a MasterClass All-Access Pass. Check out Mark's new TV/film/etc. podcast at prettymuchpop.com.
16/08/191h 20m

Pretty Much Pop #6: Adults Playing Video Games

Ian Maio (who's worked in e-sports marketing) joins Erica, Brian and Mark to talk about why adults play video games, types of gamers, gaming disorders, gamer shaming, inclusivity, and more. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode, and more episodes in advance, at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com. Please go check out Modern Day Philosophers at moderndayphilosophers.net and See You on the Other Side at othersidepodcast.com.
13/08/1958m 10s

Ep. 223: Guest Ned Block on Consciousness (Part One)

The climax and denouement of our summer philosophy of mind series: Ned Block visits to fill in the gaps about functionalism and attributing consciousness to machines and discuss essays from Blockheads (2019), focusing here on Brian McLaughlin’s “Could an Android be Sentient?” Don't wait for part 2! Get the ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Please go check out Modern Day Philosophers at moderndayphilosophers.net and See You On The Other Side at othersidepodcast.com. Also, subscribe to Mark's Pretty Much Pop at prettymuchpop.com.
12/08/1951m 48s

NEM#102: John Andrew Fredrick (The Black Watch): Literary Anglophilia

John has released 17 albums and 5 EPs of guitar-based post-punk as the Black Watch since 1988. He's also an English professor who's published 5 books.   We discuss "Eustacia's Dream" from Magic Johnson (2019), "Emily, Are You Sleeping?" from Led Zeppelin Five (2011), "Inner City Garden" from The Hypnotizing Sea (2005), and premiere "Much of a Muchness" from the forthcoming Crying All the Time EP. For more, see johnandrewfredrick.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
10/08/191h 6m

Pretty Much Pop #5: True Crime with Lucy Lawless

Lucy Lawless (Xena the Warrior Princess, currently starring in My Life Is Murder) joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to think about the true crime genre, of both the documentary and dramatized variety. What's the appeal? Why do women in particular gravitate to it? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode, and more episodes in advance, at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.
06/08/1952m 56s

Ep. 222: Debating Functionalism (Block, Chalmers) (Part Two)

Continuing on Ned Block's "Troubles with Functionalism" (1978) and David Chalmers's "Absent Qualia, Fading Qualia, Dancing Qualia" (1995). What would it be like to be halfway between person and machine? If you think the machine can't have consciousness, then Chalmers thinks that there's no sensible way to describe such an experience, ergo the machine (if functionally equivalent to the person) must have consciousness after all. Listen to part one first, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Machine" by Helen Money as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #101. Sponsors: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL, mintmobile.com/PEL, and omnifocus.com. Subscribe to Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast at prettymuchpop.com.  
05/08/1956m 6s

Pretty Much Pop #4: "Chernobyl" and the Art of Suffering

Mark, Erica, and Brian consider the HBO mini-series, plus "based on a true story" and why do we enjoy witnessing suffering? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode, and more episodes in advance, at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.
30/07/1945m 1s

Ep. 222: Debating Functionalism (Block, Chalmers) (Part One)

On Ned Block's "Troubles with Functionalism" (1978) and David Chalmers's "Absent Qualia, Fading Qualia, Dancing Qualia" (1995). If mental states are functional states, there couldn't be zombies. Yet Block claims that there could be zombies: for example, a functional duplicate of you whose components are actually citizens of China obeying algorithmic rules. Even if the resulting system acts like you, it obviously isn't conscious. Chalmers argues that you'd then need to explain the experiences of a creature half way between you and the zombie, but you can't, so Block's argument doesn't work and functionalism is left standing. What do you think? Do you hate weird thought experiments like these? Don't wait for part two! Get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsor: Visit the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi. Subscribe to Mark's new podcast at prettymuchpop.com.  
29/07/1953m 9s

Room 20 Podcast Promo by The Partially Examined Life

A sample of a cool, new podcast you might like, relevant to our current philosophy of mind series. Look for the Room 20 podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. Room 20 is a podcast by wondery.com, a sponsor of The Partially Examined Life.
29/07/199m 24s

NEM#101: Helen Money (Alison Chesley): Rock Cellist

Alison was studying classical music when she joined Jason Narducy in 1994 in a duet that grew into two Verbow albums. She's since recorded four solo cello albums and been a guest musician on over 100 albums, playing with Bob Mould, Superchunk, Anthrax, Broken Social Scene, etc. We discuss "Become Zero" and "Vanished Star" from Become Zero (2016), then "Beautiful Friends" from Arriving Angels (2013) and listen to "For My Father" by Jarboe/Helen Money (2015). Intro: "New History" by Verbow from White Out (2000); closing music from "Political Song for Michael Jackson to Sing" from In Tune (2009). For more, see helenmoney.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
27/07/1957m 34s

PEL Presents PMP#3: CONFORM w/ Yakov Smirnoff

Is media trying to brainwash us into being ALL THE SAME? Are the excesses of the mob scaring us into conformity? Mark, Erica, and Brian muse on cultural homogenization and are joined by comedian Dr. Yakov Smirnoff to talk about growing up in a repressive society and the shadow of political correctness over comedy. For more about this podcast, see prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode, and more episodes in advance, at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is curated by openculture.com and The Partially Examined Life Podcast Network.
23/07/191h 14m

Ep. 221: Functionalist Theories of Mind (Putnam, Armstrong) (Part Two)

Continuing on functionalism with David M. Armstrong’s "The Causal Theory of the Mind" (1981). Your four hosts start afresh the day after Part One on Putnam to discuss this version of functionalism that is supposed to clear the way for the scientific identification of mental states with brain states. Mental states are defined by their causal relations with other states and with behavior, and the content of a mental state is exhausted by its intentional object, e.g. the content of a perception is the thing you're perceiving which (normally) causes the perception. So what about things like colors and sounds that aren't really out in the world? Can functionalism explain how these seem to us? Listen to part one first or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Pain Makes You Beautiful" by Jeff Heiskell's JudyBats, as featured on Nakedly Examined Music #5. Sponsors: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL and BroadwayRadio.com. Subscribe to Mark's new podcast at prettymuchpop.com.
22/07/191h 11m

Pretty Much Pop #2: Binge Watching

What counts as binge watching? Why do we do it? Is it bad for us? Mark, Erica, and Brian think about what we get out of binge watching, whether it’s bad for us, what kind of shows taste better in bulk than others, and much more. For more about this podcast, see prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode, and more episodes in advance, at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is curated by openculture.com and The Partially Examined Life Podcast Network.
16/07/1954m 22s

Ep. 221: Functionalist Theories of Mind (Putnam, Armstrong) (Part One)

On Hilary Putnam's "The Nature of Mental States" (1973). What is the mind? Functionalist theories identify the mental with not with the brain exactly, but with something the brain does. So some other creature without a brain (maybe a computer) might be able to do that same thing if it could duplicate the structure of what our brains do. Is this a satisfying account of the mind? Don't wait for part 2! Get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsors: Visit omnifocus.com for a free trial of a great to-do list manager. Visit the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi. Check out our new culture/entertainment podcast, Pretty Much Pop, at prettymuchpop.com.
15/07/1953m 38s

PEL Presents PMP#1: Pop Culture vs. High Culture

What is pop culture? Does it make sense to distinguish it from high culture, or can something be both? Welcome to this new pop culture podcast hosted by Mark Linsenmayer, Erica Spyres, and Brian Hirt. This episode also features Tyler Hislop, our editor. For more, see prettymuchpop.com. Get involved from the start at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. We'll solicit your input for our episodes, release them early for supporters, and provide bonus content with every episode; there's already some waiting for you now. Presented by openculture.com and the Partially Examined Life podcast network. End song: "High Rollin' Cult" written by Mark just for this release, featuring Erica. Theme music by Mark and Erica. PMP logo by Ken Gerber.  
09/07/1943m 50s

Ep. 220: 10-Year Retrospective of The Partially Examined Life

Mark, Seth, Dylan, and Wes reflect on the changing state of podcasting and public philosophy over the last decade, how our goals and interests have changed since we started we started. Why don't colleges pay their faculty to educate the public through regular, broadcasted conversations like ours? If you think we're snarky, take a look at actual philosophy faculty! Should we continue to do more literature, poetry, and other topics that are not strictly philosophy? Also, the stalled state of the PEL book. Thanks so much to each and every Partially Examined Life listener for making it worth our time to do this! End song: "High Rollin' Cult" by Mark Lint with Erica Spyres, celebrating a new attempt to capture the fun of the beginning of PEL: Pretty Much Pop, which you get to hear a teaser of. Listen now to the latest episodes in advance of the masses, including our interview with Yakov Smirnoff, at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.
05/07/191h 13m

Ep. 219: The Harder Problem of Consciousness (Block & Papineau)

On Ned Block's "The Harder Problem of Consciousness" (2002) and David Papineau's "Could There Be a Science of Consciousness?" (2003). What would give us sufficient reason to believe that a non-human was conscious? Block thinks this is a harder problem that we might suspect. We can't know for sure exactly what consciousness in us is, so we can't know for sure what such a being might require (a brain? certain patterns of behavior?) for them to be enough like us that we could safely apply our own experience of our own conscious states to them. Papineau diagnoses this as a fundamental vagueness in the concepts we use to describe our conscious states. This conversation continues from ep. 218, with guest Gregory Miller from the Panpsycast still with us.  End song: "Mindreader" by Phil Judd as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #98. Sponsor: Visit the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi. Please support PEL and get this and every other episode ad free.
01/07/191h 25m

Ep. 218: The Hard Problem of Consciousness (Chalmers et al) (Part Two)

Continuing on "Consciousness and Its Place in Nature" by David Chalmers (2003). We finish Chalmers's account of the types of physicialism, then move on to dualism (including epiphenomenalism), and finally dally with panpsychism, the specialty of our guest, Gregory Miller from the Panpsycast. Listen to part 1 first or listen to the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Georgia Hard" by Robbie Fulks, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #36. Sponsor: Visit the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi.
24/06/1953m 5s

NEM#100: Dan Stuart Faces Truth and Writes Fiction in Mexico

Dan fronted Arizona cow-punk band Green on Red from 1979 to 1992, releasing seven albums and three EPs, and has since released four solo albums and some collaborations, growing increasingly literary, with two of his recent albums accompanied by novels. We discuss two tracks from The Unfortunate Demise of Marlowe Billings (2018): "A Killer Now" and "Sky Harbor," plus "La Passionaria" from Can o’ Worms (1995), We conclude by listening to "Who Knows" by The Slummers from Love of the Amateur (2010). Intro/outro: "Sixteen Ways" by Green on Red from Gas, Food, Lodging (1985). More at marlowebillings.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.  
21/06/191h 9m

Ep. 218: The Hard Problem of Consciousness (Chalmers et al) (Part One)

On "Consciousness and Its Place in Nature" by David Chalmers (2003), with special guest Gregory Miller from the Panpsycast Philosophy Podcast. Can we explain human experience using the terms of brain physiology? Chalmers thinks not, and lays out the arguments against this and the range of positions philosophers have taken in response to these objections.  Continues on part two, or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.
17/06/1956m 50s

REISSUE-PEL Ep 21: Mind: Turing/Ryle/Nagel/Searle/Dennett (w 2019 Intro)

Discussing articles by Alan Turing, Gilbert Ryle, Thomas Nagel, John Searle, and Dan Dennett. What is this mind stuff, and how can it "be" the brain? Can computers think? What is it like to be a bat? With guest Marco Wise. Plus a new intro by Mark, Wes, and Seth reflecting back on this 2010 discussion, which we're re-releasing to help you prepare for our upcoming episodes in this area. End Song: "No Mind" by Mark Lint and the Fake Johnson Trio (1998). Become a PEL Citizen or $5 Patreon supporter for more energized conversations like this, including the the Not School discussion on David Chalmers's book The Conscious Mind. Sponsors: Read Neal Stephenson's Fall or Dodge in Hell. Visit the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi.
10/06/192h 33m

(sub)Text #1: Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”: Poesis as Revenge Forsaken

At last, the full, public release of this discussion between Wes Alwan and Bill Youmans covering Shakespeare's 1611 play about revenge, forgiveness, and authorship. Or maybe it's about exploitation, or how we react to changes in status, or perhaps how a liberal education can give you magical powers! Listen and decide for yourself!
08/06/191h 10m

Episode 217: Discussing Calderón's "Life Is a Dream"

On the 1636 comedy by Pedro Calderón de la Barca, considering destiny (Christian vs. Ancient Greek), skepticism, meta-theater, and the ethic of honor. Listen to our performance first. With guests Bill Youmans and Erica Spyres. End song: "Pulling Apart" by Jonathan Segel. Hear him on Nakedly Examined Music #38. Please fill out our bonus material survey at partiallyexaminedlife.com/bonus. Please support PEL! Sponsors: Visit TheGreatCoursesPLUS.com/PEL for a free month of online learning. Visit the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi.
03/06/191h 48m

Glimpse: Machiavellian Politics (for Partially Examined Life #14)

Does politics have to be Machiavellian? Do you have to be ruthless to succeed? Given our treatment of Game of Thrones and Life Is a Dream, and the way in which end-justifying-the-means logic plays endlessly in our real-life political situation, it's time we looked back on our episode 14 on Machiavelli. Mark Linsenmayer reviewed that episode and recorded a little essay about practicing Machiavellian politics to get you back in this spirit.
02/06/198m 58s

NEM#99: Globelamp (Elizabeth LeFay): Raw, Psychedelic Folk

Elizabeth got her start in the psych-punk band Meowtain in Olympia, WA, emerged as Globelamp in 2011 with an EP, was briefly a touring member of Foxygen, and has put out three albums since 2014. We discuss "Everything's a Spiral" and listen to "Black Tar" from Romantic Cancer (2018), "Controversial/Confrontational" from The Orange Glow (2015), and "Warrior" from Star Dust (2014). Intro: "Hex" from Meowtain (2012). For more, see facebook.com/globelamp. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
02/06/1959m 59s

PEL Audioplayers: "Life Is a Dream" by Pedro Calderón de la Barca

Your hosts are joined by real actors to do an unrehearsed read of Calderón's 1636 comedy La Vida Es Sueño, using Stanley Appelbaum's 2002 translation. Ep. 217 will cover the philosophical issues the play raises. Recorded in NYC on 4/7: Talene Monahon (Rosaura), David Epstein (Segismundo), Bill Youmans (Clotaldo), Erica Spyres (Estrella), Chris Martin (Basilio), Mark Linsenmayer (Clarín), Seth Paskin (Astolfo), Dylan Casey (soldier 1 and servant 1), and Wes Alwan (soldier 2 and servant 2). Music by Jonathan Segel, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #38. Please help us to do more audioplays by supporting PEL. Sponsor: St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi.
27/05/192h 20m

PREVIEW-Ep 216 Game of Thrones' Fantasy Politics (Part Two)

Get teased re. Mark and Wes's post-finale, spoiler-filled continuation of the discussion of the show. How does its conclusion affect its overall political message? Does it make sense to be performing feminist critiques on a show based on the premise of people murdering each other for power? To hear the full discussion, become a PEL Citizen or $5 Patreon supporter. For more about these options see partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Listen to our part one first, of course.  
23/05/194m 44s

Episode 216: Game of Thrones' Fantasy Politics

Discussing the TV show (2011-2019) based on the books by George R.R. Martin. What's the role of a mass-consumed fantasy series in today's society? Is it our "fantasy" to have all these horrible things happen to us? Is this an edifying prompt to engage in public moral thinking, or a spectacular distraction of the kind that those Marxist theorists keep warning us about? We get into the function of fantasy and how a more "realistic" show plays with that, the extent to which we're supposed to identify with the characters, depiction of moral complexity, low art vs. high art, identity issues, and more. With guest Sabrina Weiss. End song: "Fire and Blood" by Sacrifice Feat. Mark Lint; hear the interview on Nakedly Examined Music #24. Keep an eye out for a Citizen-only spoiler-filled follow-up discussion between Mark and Wes to be released this week! Sponsors: Check out Bill Nye's Science Rules and thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL
20/05/191h 25m

Episode 215: Brave New World: PEL Live 10th Anniversary Show

On Aldous Huxley’s 1932 dystopian novel, recorded at Manhattan's Caveat on 4/6/19, with audience participation. If we harness the power of society to employ available technologies to really focus on making people happy, what would the result be? This is Huxley's thought experiment, but is it in all respects a dystopia, and is it a fair test of the ideal of social improvement or merely of a flawed view of human nature? You can watch this episode instead. End song: "Brave New World" by Mark Lint. Read about it. Get the commemorative T-shirt, and save $10 with the coupon code revealed at the beginning of the Citizen Edition of this episode. Please support PEL! Contact us to share your PEL stories. Sponsor: Visit garyjohnbishop.com and get his new book Stop Doing That Shit: End Self-Sabotage and Demand Your Life Back.
13/05/191h 38m

Episode 214: More Nietzsche's Zarathustra (Part Two)

Concluding Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1885). What's the wise way to live? We start in earnest into part three, treating the "spirit of gravity" where socially-imposed values cover over your uniqueness, omni-satisfaction vs. being choosy, "Old and New Tablets" where Nietzsche explores various ethical and meta-ethical issues (e.g. is self-overcoming a matter of one-time self-actualization or is it continual?), and more on the Overman and eternal recurrence. Listen to part one first, or get the ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Upright Man" by Rachel Taylor Brown, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #91. Sponsor: Get your free trial on a world of knowledge with thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL.
06/05/191h 21m

Episode 214: More Nietzsche's Zarathustra (Part One)

On the remainder of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1885). How can we keep our spirits up and avoid nihilism? We consider Nietzsche's "solution" of eternal recurrence, why he uses a poetic, allegoric style, and more. Don't wait for part 2. Get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsor: Get $10 off a Skylight Frame in time for Mother's Day at skylightframe.com using promo code PEL.
29/04/1951m 3s

Glimpse: Nietzsche's Last Man (for Partially Examined Life #213)

Is technology making us complacent? Are we in danger of becoming Nietzsche's famed "last men" who are no longer capable of creativity and independent thought? Mark Linsenmayer from the Partially Examined Life philosophy podcast lays out Nietzsche's idea and argues that on the contrary, having our basic needs met by technology can free us up to pursue the creative endeavors that Nietzsche saw as the pinnacle of human achievement This is but a Glimpse. To hear the full Partial Examination of this book, visit partiallyexaminedlife.com.
22/04/198m 22s

Episode 213: Nietzsche's Zarathustra (Part Two)

Continuing on Friedrich Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, books 1 and 2 (1883). We talk through Nietzsche's symbolism (tightrope walkers and gravediggers and snakes, oh my!), the path toward the overman, his screed against the state, the Will to Power as the will to overcome oneself by reconciling oneself with the past, and more. Listen to part one first or get the ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! Sponsors: Please visit calm.com/pel, thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL, and openculture.com.
22/04/191h 15m

PREVIEW-(sub)Text#6: Melanie Klein's "Notes on Some Schizoid Mechanisms"

Wes Alwan is joined by Dr. Glenn Mobray to discuss this classic 1946 psychoanalytic text. This is a preview of a 63-minute discussion. You can listen to the whole thing by becoming a PEL Citizen or $5 Patreon supporter. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to learn how. Listen to more (sub)Text.
21/04/199m 54s

Episode 213: Nietzsche's Zarathustra (Part One)

On Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, books 1 and 2 (1883). What is wisdom? In this text whose style parodies the Bible, we get pithy advice and allegorical imagery to guide us away from self-defeating, life-denying attitudes and orient us towards creative self-overcoming (i.e. exertion of the Will to Power). The Last Man who no longer knows how to give birth to a dancing star is a rotten egg! Don't wait for part 2! Get your ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsors: St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi. Listen to the Hi-Phi Nation podcast at hiphination.org.
15/04/1955m 39s

Glimpse: Sartre on Literature (for Partially Examined Life #212)

  Should literature be political? Jean-Paul Sartre thought that all literature is political, because of what literature is. That's a very weird-sounding view. Mark Linsenmayer from the Partially Examined Life philosophy podcast tries to make it sound like something you should at least consider. This is but a Glimpse. To hear the full Partial Examination of this book, visit partiallyexaminedlife.com.
11/04/198m 24s

Episode 212: Sartre on Literature (Part Two)

Continuing on What is Literature? (1948). Sartre gives a phenomenology of reading and writing that makes reading into a creative act of completing the writer's work, and calls this cooperation ethical: the work is an appeal to the reader's freedom, and also the reader's responsibility to then know what the work reveals. Are you shirking, all you skimmers? Start with part one, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Things I Shouldn't Have Told You" by Sam Phillips, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #90. Sponsor: For a free trial of unlimited online learning, visit TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/PEL.
08/04/191h 2m

Episode 212: Sartre on Literature (Part One)

On Jean-Paul Sartre's What is Literature (1948), ch. 1 and 2. What's the purpose of literature? Why write prose as opposed to poetry? Sartre argues that while poetry is about the words themselves, prose is about the ideas, so it's necessarily political. A written work is essentially an ethical appeal for a reader to apply his or her own faculties and experiences to complete the work through the act of reading. Don't wait for part two! Get your ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsors: Please visit calm.com/pel for 25% off a stress-reducing subscription and the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi. PEL Live is this Saturday 4/6 4-6pm Eastern time! We will post live-stream info and other details at partiallyexaminedlife.com/pel-live.
01/04/1953m 18s

PREVIEW-(sub)Text#5: Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya"

Wes Alwan is joined by Monica McCarthy of the Happier Hour podcast to discuss Anton Chekhov's 1898 play about family dysfunction and potentially wasting your life. This is a preview of a 54-minute discussion. You can listen to the whole thing by becoming a PEL Citizen or $5 Patreon supporter. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to learn how.
01/04/198m 27s

Episode 211: Sartre on Racism and Authenticity (Part Three)

Moving finally on to Jean-Paul Sartre's "Black Orpheus" (1948), where he introduces a book of black poetry by praising its revolutionary spirit as embodied in "negritude." Is this a legitimate consciousness-raising exercise or a weird fetishization of blackness? Listen to parts one and two first, or get the ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition, which will also get you access to (sub)Text#5 on Checkhov's Uncle Vanya Please support PEL! End song: "Punch Bag" by Godley & Creme as discussed on Nakedly Examined Music #3. Sponsor: Visit TheGreatCoursesPLUS.com/PEL for two months of unlimited learning for 99 cents.
25/03/191h 8m

Episode 211: Sartre on Racism and Authenticity (Part Two)

Continuing on Jean-Paul Sartre's Anti-Semite and Jew: An Exploration of the Etiology of Hate (1946). Is there an "authentic" way to respond to persecution? As part of his critique of anti-semitism, Sartre criticized the responses of some Jews to this situation, e.g. denying that the persecution exists, pretending to not be Jewish, or in any way accepting the terms of anti-semitism and setting up one's life in reaction to it. Sartre instead recommends solidarity and "concrete liberalism," which we try to figure out. Listen to part one first. Don't wait for the last part; get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Join us for PEL Live on 4/6! Sponsors: Visit TheGreatCoursesPLUS.com/PEL for two months of unlimited learning for 99 cents. Visit the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi.
18/03/1947m 58s

Episode 211: Sartre on Racism and Authenticity (Part One)

On Jean-Paul Sartre's Anti-Semite and Jew: An Exploration of the Etiology of Hate (1946) and "Black Orpheus" (1948). How can we best understand the psychology of racism? Sartre condemns anti-Semitism as denying the facts of the human condition: the responsibility for fixing problems and not blaming them on a demonized other. But he also criticizes "the democrat" for a humanism that pretends we're in a post-racial world, calling instead for "concrete liberalism" that treats Jews not as abstract individuals but as real people in an an oppressed situation. Don't wait for parts 2 and 3; get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! See PEL Live in NYC on April 6. Sponsors: Please visit calm.com/pel for 25% off a stress-reducing subscription, TakeCareOf.com (code PEL) for 50% off a month of personalized vitamins, TheGreatCoursesPLUS.com/PEL for two months of unlimited learning for 99 cents, and use code 30PEL get 30% off at Amazon of Bill Wooditch's book Fail More.
11/03/1959m 3s

PEL Presents Constellary Tales #6: Philip K. Dick's "Minority Report" w/ Mark Linsenmayer

PEL's Mark Linsenmayer joins hosts Ken Gerber and Brian Hirt to weigh in on the philosophical implications of precognitive crime fighting in Philip K. Dick's "The Minority Report." Brian quizzes Mark and Ken on PKD movie trivia. Get more Constellary Tales podcasts, and read original sf in the magazine at constellary.com. Listen to PEL #175 on Blade Runner.
11/03/1959m 7s

Episode 210: Frantz Fanon's Black Existentialism (Part Two)

Continuing on Black Skin White Masks (1952), starting with the influential ch. 4 "The Fact of Blackness." Are the successive coping strategies to racism (including "anti-racist racism" and embrace of negritude) that Fanon describes necessary steps in a dialectic which should be encouraged, or would it be best to learn from his "mistakes" and jump right to the humanistic end-point? With guest Lawrence Ware. Start with part 1 or get the ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! See PEL Live in NYC on April 6. End song: "Malaika" by John Etheridge and Vimala Rowe; hear John interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #85. Sponsors: Take back your Internet privacy with 3 months free at EXPRESSVPN.com/PEL. Visit the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi. Please go to podsurvey.com/partially-examined-life to take a quick, anonymous survey and enter for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card.  
04/03/191h 3m

Episode 210: Frantz Fanon's Black Existentialism (Part One)

On Black Skin White Masks (1952). How does growing up in a racist society mess people up? Fanon's "clinical study" includes phenomenology, poetry, and a lot of existentialism, which means that the "let's embrace negritude in the face of bigotry" solution isn't ultimately available to him: We're all radically free, with no race-specific essence, whether positive or negative. With guest Lawrence Ware. Don't wait for part two; get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Don't miss PEL Live in NYC on April 6. Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a one-month free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.
25/02/1952m 32s

Podchaser Interview of Mark Linsenmayer: Partially Examined Life and Nakedly Examined Music

Morgan DeLisle, writer for the PodChaser "Behind the Streams Blog," interviewed Mark for a feature of our podcasts. Learn about the origins of PEL and NEM, how we make the shows, and what's coming up. Listen to all of the PEL network podcasts at partiallyexaminedlife.com, or subscribe to them individually on Apple Podcasts or via your preferred player.
23/02/1939m 20s

Episode 209: Francis Fukuyama on Identity Politics (Part Two: Discussion)

Continuing on Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment (2018). Fukuyama recommends a "creedal national identity" as a solution for tribalism; does this work? Is this "demand for recognition" that he describes foundational for the act of making an ethical claim? For self-consciousness itself? How does ideology prejudice the sort of theorizing that Fukuyama engages in? Listen to part one first, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Cornerstone" by Richard X. Heyman, as discussed on Nakedly Examined Music #61. Sponsors: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service. Visit the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi. See PEL Live in NYC on April 6.
18/02/191h 26m

Episode 209: Guest Francis Fukuyama on Identity Politics (Part One)

Talking to the author about Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment (2018). What motivates people? Frank points to thymos, the demand for recognition, as at the root of both the "end of history" (i.e., democracy as demand for equal recognition) and our current tribalist stalemates, involving desires to be seen—in virtue of group membership—as superior. Thymos may in fact be central to self-consciousness, ethics, and the origins of political association. See PEL Live in NYC on April 6. Get your 2019 PEL Wall Calendar with free domestic shipping! Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a one-month free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.  
11/02/191h 2m

NEM#91: Rachel Taylor Brown's Decorated Aphorisms

Portland-based singer-songwriter Rachel has released 10 albums of off-kilter, usually piano-based, lyric-heavy indie rock since the mid '00s. We discuss "Maker" and "God" (plus the intro "Gyre") from Run Tiny Human (2018), "Taxidermy" from World so Sweet (2011), and "Ormolu" from Ormolu (2006), and also listen to "We'll Have A" from Falimy (2014). For more, see racheltaylorbrown.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Check out Mark's new album.
08/02/191h 9m

Episode 208: Epicurus on Seeking Pleasure (Part Two)

More on the ethics-related fragments of Epicurus and accounts by Martha Nussbaum and Tim O'Keefe. What would a purely therapeutic philosophy consist of? Does philosophy as pursuit of pleasure mean that you eschew political action or other substantial goals? Mark, Wes, and Dylan try to figure out which of our desires are vain and whether society is compatible with human happiness. Listen to part one first or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Tickets are now available for PEL Live: See partiallyexaminedlife.com/pel-live. End song: "The Language of the Body" by Ant-Bee as discussed on Nakedly Examined Music #68. Sponsors: Take back your Internet privacy with 3 months free at EXPRESSVPN.com/PEL. Visit the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi.
04/02/1957m 50s

Episode 208: Epicurus on Seeking Pleasure (Part One)

On the extant fragments of Epicurus (341–270 BCE) dealing with ethics, including his "Letter to Menoceus," “The Principal Doctrines,” and “The Vatican Collection of Epicurean Sayings.” Plus Tim O’Keefe’s Epicureanism (2010) and Martha Nussabum’s The Therapy of Desire (1994). How are we supposed to act once we understand nature as atoms bouncing and swerving around in the void, temporarily producing order through fortuitous collisions? Ruling out demanding gods means ethics is dictated by human nature: we avoid pain and pursue pleasure. However, we're very bad at this, and Epicurus wants to fix all of us! Don't wait for part two; get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Come see us live in NYC on Apr. 6. Read more at partiallyexaminedlife.com/pel-live. Don't forget your 2019 Wall Calendar with free domestic shipping: partiallyexaminedlife.com/calendar. Sponsors: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL and EXPRESSVPN.com/PEL.
28/01/1950m 17s

NEM#90: Sam Phillips Brings Intuition Out of Dreams

Sam has released sixteen albums of catchy, textured pop music since 1983. We discuss "I Want to Be You" and "Tears in the Ground" from World on Sticks (2018), "How to Dream" from Fan Dance (2001), and conclude by listening to "When I’m Alone" from Push Any Button (2013). Intro: "Baby I Can’t Please You" from Martinis and Bikinis (1994). For more, visit samphillips.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon. Check out Mark's new album.
25/01/191h 1m

Episode 207: Herder on Art Appreciation (Part Two)

Continuing on Johann Gottfried von Herder's “The Causes of Sunken Taste among the Different Peoples in Whom It Once Blossomed” (1775), then moving to “On the Influence of the Belles Lettres on the Higher Sciences” (1781), “Does Painting or Music Have a Greater Effect? A Divine Colloquy” (1785), and and some of Critical Forests: Fourth Grove (written 1769). With guest rock god John "Jughead" Pierson. What grounds good taste in a society? Can an aesthetic education ground abstract thought? What would such an education consist in? Which is more affecting, music or painting? Start with part 1, or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! Sponsor: Get two months free of a vibrant online learning community at skillshare.com/PEL. Don't forget your 2019 PEL Wall Calendar, now with free domestic shipping!
21/01/191h 25m

Episode 207: Herder on Art Appreciation (Part One)

On Johann Gottfried von Herder's “The Causes of Sunken Taste among the Different Peoples in Whom It Once Blossomed” (1775), “On the Influence of the Belles Lettres on the Higher Sciences” (1781), “Does Painting or Music Have a Greater Effect? A Divine Colloquy” (1785), and some of Critical Forests: Fourth Grove (written 1769). With guest rock god John "Jughead" Pierson. What is aesthetic taste, and why do some societies (e.g. ancient Greece) seem particularly rife with genius? Herder has some definite ideas about aesthetic, sensual education as grounding for abstract thinking, rages against attempts to copy another culture's art-forms, and likes melody over harmony. Plus he coined the term "zeitgeist!" Continue with part two or get the full, unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! Don't forget your 2019 PEL Wall Calendar, now with free domestic shipping! Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a one-month free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.
14/01/1955m 47s

PREVIEW-Ep 206 Lucretius's Epicurean Physics (Part Three)

Mark and Wes go into more textual detail re. Lucretius’s take on atomism and the metaphysical and epistemological problems it entails. Start with Part one. This is a preview; become a PEL Citizen or $5 Patreon supporter to get the full, 50 minute conversation.
13/01/1914m 25s

Episode 206: Lucretius's Epicurean Physics (Part Two)

More on Lucretius’s poem about Epicurean science: On the Nature of Things from the first century BCE. We talk more about how macroscopic phenomena are supposed to come out of the interaction of atoms, including mind and its processes of knowledge and illusion, including the illusion of love. One conclusion: life after death is not possible. Can the properties of the atoms themselves be explained? Listen to part one first or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition; this will also get you the follow-up discussion. Please support PEL, and don't forget your 2019 PEL Wall Calendar! End song: "Came Round" by Mark Lint. Read about it and get the new album. Sponsor: Take back your Internet privacy with 3 months free at EXPRESSVPN.com/PEL.
07/01/191h 14m

NEM#89: Dusty Wright's Metaphysical Americana

After starting in the '80s with the Trolls and the Bastards of Execution, Dusty has released six albums as a solo artist since 1997. We discuss a new, unreleased song "Pardon My Love," then "Man in the Mirror" from Gliding Toward Oblivion (2018) and "High Flyin' Bird" by GIANTfingers from around 2003. We conclude by listening to "(Art at) the Speed of Life" by the Dusty Diamonds from 1994. Intro/outro: "Karma" from dust! (2000). For more, see dustywright.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
06/01/191h 9m

Episode 206: Lucretius's Epicurean Physics (Part One)

On Lucretius’s poem about Epicurean science: On the Nature of Things a.k.a. De Rerum Natura from the 1st century BC. How does the world work? Lucretius presents a system that is surprisingly modern, and raises philosophical issues that are still on point today: What are the basic building blocks of the universe? How could these give rise to minds? What ethical views does a mechanistic world-view imply? Continued on part two, or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now, as well as the Citizen-only follow-up discussion. Sponsors: Get two months free of a vibrant online learning community at skillshare.com/PEL. Explore Peter Singer's The Life You Can Save at thelifeyoucansave.org/pel. Please support PEL and check the PEL Store for our 2019 Wall Calendar, tutoring and more.
31/12/1858m 18s

PREVIEW-Ep 205 Durkheim et al on Suicide (Part Three)

Mark and Wes discuss Durkheim's Suicide (1897), getting into more of the details of his account and exploring comparative modes of explanation: Are there really "sociological facts" distinct from mere generalizations about psychological facts? Get the full discussion as a PEL Citizen or $5 Patreon supporter!
31/12/1819m 41s

Episode 205: Suicide with Dr. Drew (Durkheim et al) (Part Two)

More on philosophical and psychological interpretations of and judgments about suicide with guest Drew Pinsky. Is suicide an epidemic or a choice? Could it be both? Socrates didn't fear death and inspired Stoics and others to see suicide in some circumstances as brave. Or is it always cowardly? Does meaninglessness motivate suicide? Listen to part one first or get the Citizen Edition, which will also get you access to the follow-up discussion. Get the 2019 Wall Calendar, Mark's new album, tutoring, T-shirts and more at our store.  End song: "Disappear" by Chris Cacavas as heard on Nakedly Examined Music #87. Please support PEL! Explore Peter Singer's The Life You Can Save at thelifeyoucansave.org/pel.  
22/12/1854m 47s

NEM#88: Lincoln Barr's Off-Center Vulnerability

Lincoln established the Seattle-based singer/songwriter vehicle Red Jacket Mine in 2003, made three albums and an EP with them, and in 2017 released his first solo album, the jazzy, live-in-studio Trembling Frames. We examine "Desperate Tormentors" and hear "How To Escape" and a bit of "Memory Up and Die" from that album, and discuss Red Jacket Mine: "Apricot Moon" from Lovers Lookout (2009) and "Jesus's House" from Hello, Old Cloud (2008). For more, see lincolnbarrmusic.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
19/12/181h 5m

Episode 205: Suicide with Dr. Drew (Durkheim et al) (Part One)

We are rejoined by Drew Pinsky to discuss philosophical and psychological readings by Seneca, Arthur Schopenhauer, Sigmund Freud, Emile Durkheim, Albert Camus, plus two 2017 survey papers on predictors of suicide. Is suicide ever morally permissible? If it's a symptom of mental illness rather than a chosen behavior, is it even appropriate to morally evaluate it? Check the PEL Store for our Wall Calendar and new offerings including Mark's new album, tutoring, and your very own Personal Philosophy. Visit DrDrew.com. He has interviewed Wes and Mark. Don't wait for part 2! Get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition along with a follow-up discussion. Please support PEL! Sponsors: Visit fin.com/pel to try a virtual assistant for free. Explore Peter Singer's The Life You Can Save at thelifeyoucansave.org/pel.
17/12/1847m 41s

Episode 204: The Bhagavad Gita's Hindu Theology (Part Two)

More on this classic text by (perhaps) Vyasa, with guest Shaan Amin. Should we acquire good karma or behave "beyond good and evil"? How can everything be Krishna while Krishna is also the an element of virtue we're supposed to pursue? How does this compare with Stoicism? Plus, behold Krishna unveiled and be freaked out! Listen to part one first or get the full, unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL and get the 2019 PEL Wall Calendar! End song: "Om Hari Om 1" by Tim Jordan Kirtan feat. Michael Manring. Hear Michael on Nakedly Examined Music #31. Sponsors: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL and explore Peter Singer's http://thelifeyoucansave.org/pel.
10/12/181h 1m

NEM#87: Chris Cacavas Fronts His Depression

Chris rose to fame on keys for Arizona's country punks Green on Red from '81-'87 and has since then been fronted 12 albums while doing session keyboard work. We discuss "Pale Blonde Hell" by Chris Cacavas and Junkyard Love from Pale Blonde Hell (1994), "Do Me No Favors" from Anonymous (1997), and "Don't Think Twice" from Bumbling Home from the Star (2002). We listen to "I Won't Feel Well" from Love's Been Re-Discontinued (2013). Opening music: The title track from Green on Red's Gravity Talks. For more, see chris-cacavas.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
08/12/181h 23m

Episode 204: The Bhagavad Gita's Hindu Theology (Part One)

On the classic Hindu text (ca. the 3rd century B.C.E.), part of the Indian Epic poem Mahabharata, attributed to Vyasa, using Keya Maitra's 2018 translation/commentary. What is it to live wisely? What grounds duty? Listen as the supreme God Krishna convinces archer hero Arjuna that it's OK for him to kill his relatives because, you know, reincarnation and determinism and caste-related duties. Lots of metaphysical complications! With guest Shaan Amin. Don't wait for part two! Get the full, unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL. Get the 2019 PEL Wall Calendar! Sponsors: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL and explore Peter Singer's http://thelifeyoucansave.org/pel.
03/12/1859m 15s

Episode 203: Kristeva vs. Lovecraft on Horror and Abjection (Part Two)

Concluding on Julia Kristeva's Powers of Horror (1980) and focusing on H.P. Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu" (1928). Does Lovecraft's presentation of nameless terror capture (or improve upon) what Kristeva means by "abjection"? End song: "The Other" by Mark Lint feat. Lucy Lawless. Read about it and support the project. Listen to part one first, or go back to ep. 202 first. Become a PEL Citizen to get the full, ad-free experience. Please support PEL! Sponsors: Visit fin.com/pel to try a virtual assistant for free. Explore Peter Singer's The Life You Can Save at partiallyexaminedlife.com/savealife.
26/11/181h 10m

Episode 203: Kristeva vs. Lovecraft on Horror and Abjection (Part One)

More on Julia Kristeva's Powers of Horror (1980) plus H.P. Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu" (1928). What is the object of fear? Mark, Seth, and Dylan get clearer on Kristeva's view of the establishment and loss of the integrity of the self, what the "object" of abjection is, and what this all might have to do with feminism. Most of the Lovecraft goodness is in part 2, so don't wait! Get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition, along with Mark's Kristeva Close Reading. Please support PEL! Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a one-month free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.  
19/11/1854m 41s

The Other by Mark Lint Feat Lucy Lawless

Support this project at patreon.com/marklint!https://patreon.com/marklint
18/11/182m 25s

PREVIEW-Ep 202 Follow-Up: Close Reading of Kristeva's "Approaching Abjection"

Mark takes a very close look at pages 1–4 of the first chapter of On Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection (1980) as a supplement to episode 202. Get the full, 55-minute experience as a PEL Citizen, or get it by supporting us on Patreon for a mere $1!
18/11/1817m 2s

NEM#86: Seth Swirsky Provides Instant Pleasure

Seth Swirsky was a highly successful staff songwriter for over 20 years and has put out three solo albums and three albums as The Red Button since 2004. He's a huge Beatles fan and has released a Beatles documentary Beatles Stories and has multiple books about psychology and baseball. We discuss his heavily covered and sound-tracked tune "Love Is a Beautiful Thing"; you'll hear the version by Al Green from Don't Look Back (1993), then "Matchbook Cover" from Seth's album Watercolor Day (2010) and "Picture" by The Red Button from As Far as Yesterday Goes (2011). The end suite is "Shine/Circles and Squares/Go" from his album Circles and Squares (2016). Intro music is from the title track to Instant Pleasure (2004). For more, see seth.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Announcement: There's a supporter-only interview with Bruce Soord of Pineapple Thief on Patreon. Please support the podcast so that we can continue!
18/11/181h 10m

Episode 202: Julia Kristeva on Disgust, Fear and the Self (Part Two)

Continuing on Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection, ch. 1 and 2. We try to get clearer on Kristeva's talk of "object," the relationship between language and abjection, how Kristeva is advancing on Freud, how to be a mom that allows a kid to separate in a healthy way, and how abjection plays into religion and writing. Listen to part one first, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition, and don't miss Mark's Close Reading, available to Citizens and $1+ Patreon members. End song: "Eyes of Fire" by Jill Freeman, as discussed on Nakedly Examined Music #28. Help us plan our 10th Anniversary show by taking our planning survey. Watch out for our 2019 Wall Calendar! Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a one-month free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.
12/11/181h 19m

Episode 202: Julia Kristeva on Disgust, Fear and the Self (Part One)

On Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection (1980), ch. 1 and 2. Kristeva writes about "abjection," where we violently reject things like corpses, bodily wastes and other fluids, and the Lovecraftian unnameable that lurks at the edge of our awareness. Her book is also all about the self, suggesting modifications to Freud's Oedipal complex and Lacan's mirror-stage story. With guest Kelley Citrin. Continue on part 2, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition, as well as Mark's Close Reading, which we've made available to Patreon supporters at the $1 level. Please support PEL!
05/11/1846m 35s

PREVIEW-Ep 201 Marcus Aurelius's "Meditations" (Part Three)

Mark and Seth get further into the specifics of Marcus's metaphysics and how this is supposed to relate to behavior. Can his directives really come solely "from reason" as he claims? How does this interact with the behaviors that we pursue "by nature," i.e., without conscious deliberation required? Seth is concerned with how individualistic the philosophy is. Mark is concerned that if you discard the metaphysics (as modern skeptics largely do), why should you expect the rest of the philosophy to be coherent? Become a supporter to get the full discussion.
05/11/1813m 35s

Episode 201: Marcus Aurelius's Stoicism with Ryan Holiday (Part Two)

More on The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (ca. 180 CE) plus Ryan's The Daily Stoic (2016). We talk Stoicism as "pre-mourning," love of fate, the divine plan, political ethics, ethical models, and overwriting your brain with the Stoic operating system. Hear part 1 first, or get the full, unbroken Citizen Edition, as well as the follow-up discussion. Please support PEL! End song: "Any Way the Wind Blows" by MIR; listen to Mark talk with Asif Illyas on Nakedly Examined Music #33.
29/10/181h 0m

NEM#85: John Etheridge (Soft Machine) is For Everything!

John is an amazing guitarist who started in the late-'60s British blues boom, had his first compositions set to tape with Darryl Way's Wolf in the early '70s, then joined the latter line-ups of jazz-prog legends Soft Machine (replacing Alan Holdsworth) in the late '70s. He's collaborated with luminaries like violinist Stéphane Grappelli, guitar great John Williams, and Andy Summers from The Police, and released eight solo albums prior to teaming up with former members of Soft Machine for another six albums. We discuss "One Glove" by Soft Machine from Hidden Details (2018), his rendition of Rodgers and Hart's "My Romance" from I Didn’t Know (2004), and "Venerable Bede" from Ash (1994). We conclude by listening to "Blue Breeze" by John Etheridge and Vimala Rowe from Out of the Sky (2015). Intro/outro from "Huffin'" by Soft Machine from Alive and Well: Recorded in Paris (1978). For more, visit john-etheridge.com and softmachine.org. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
29/10/181h 12m

Episode 201: Marcus Aurelius's Stoicism with Ryan Holiday (Part One)

On The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (ca. 180 C.E.) plus Ryan's The Daily Stoic (2016). What does Stoicism look like in practice, in both ancient and modern contexts? You might think that eschewing the shallow, out-of-our-control trappings of fame and wealth in favor of personal cultivation would make one unambitious, but Ryan uses Marcus as a prime example of how to be a Stoic while trying to accomplish great things. Continue on part 2, or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now along with the Citizen-only follow-up discussion getting more into the text of Marcus. Please support PEL!
22/10/1859m 44s

Episode 200: Kant/Mendelssohn/Foucault on Enlightenment (Part Two)

Continuing on "What Is Enlightenment" by Immanuel Kant (1784), "On Enlightening the Mind" by Moses Mendelssohn (1784), and "What Is Enlightenment" by Michael Foucault (1984). We finish up Kant (the courage to know!) and lay out the Mendelssohn (cultivation vs. enlightenment) and Foucault (ironically heroize the present!). Will this conversation enlighten you? Who knows? Listen to part one first or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Holy Fool" by Love and Rockets. Listen to singer Daniel Ash on Nakedly Examined Music #35.
15/10/181h 8m

Episode 200: Kant/Mendelssohn/Foucault on Enlightenment (Part One)

On "What Is Enlightenment" by Immanuel Kant (1784), "On Enlightening the Mind" by Moses Mendelssohn (1784), and "What Is Enlightenment" by Michael Foucault (1984). At the end of the historical period known as The Enlightenment, a Berlin newspaper asked what exactly that is, and Kant and Mendelssohn responded. Both were concerned with whether too much enlightenment among the public can cause social unrest, and so whether there should be freedom of speech and opinion. Foucault thinks that we're not yet Enlightened, that it's an ongoing process of critique.  Continue on part 2, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!
08/10/1847m 4s

Bonus: (sub)Text#4: Freud's "Mourning and Melancholia" (Part One)

Wes Alwan is joined by Tracy Morgan and Louis Scuderi to discuss Freud's classic 1917 essay. Note: Part two will NOT be appearing on this feed. Become a PEL Citizen to get the full discussion. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to learn how. Listen to more (sub)Text.
08/10/1835m 39s

Episode 199: Elizabeth Anderson on Equality (Part Three: Discussion)

Mark, Wes, Seth, and Dylan continue to discuss “What Is the Point of Equality?” (1999) and how it lays foundations for Private Government (2017). What is democratic equality, and can a Rawlsian/liberal/neutral-with-regard-to-defining-the-good state consistently advocate for this ideal? Our interview starts in Part One. You can get all three parts together, and more with a PEL Citizenship or $5 Patreon pledge. Please support PEL! Sign up at patreon.com/marklint to support new PEL music, as the Mark Lint's Dry Folk album is completed this fall! End song: "Straight Job" by Rod Picott. Hear him on Nakedly Examined Music #80.
01/10/181h 6m

NEM#83: Rat Scabies's Damned Drumming

Christopher Millar played for about two decades with first-generation British punk band The Damned starting in 1976, and has now released his debut solo album, P.H.D. (Prison, Hospital, Debt). We discuss "Dazy Bones" and "Rat's Opus" from that 2018 album, then look back to The Damned's "History of the World (Part One)" from The Black Album (1980), then end by listening to Rat's cover of the Kraftwerk classic "Autobahn" with The Germans from Do Not Fuck With the Germans (2003). Intro/outro: "Love Song" by The Damned from Machine Gun Etiquette (1979). For more, visit ratscabies.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
01/10/1855m 30s

Episode 199: Guest Elizabeth Anderson on Private Government (Part Two)

Continuing on Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (2017) and “What Is the Point of Equality?” (1999). Should the amount of respect that a worker gets be proportional to his or her market value? Our guest tells us more about how all citizens have the right to have their interests considered and what this means for how the relationship between employers and employees might change. We talk health care, income inequality, Tyler Cowen, libertarianism, and more. Start with part one. We'll do some post-guest discussion in part 3, but you needn't wait: Get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL. If you enjoyed Mark's music on our episodes 1–149, please contribute to the new album through patreon.com/marklint.  
24/09/181h 3m

Episode 199: Guest Elizabeth Anderson on Private Government (Part One)

The U. of Michigan prof joins us to discuss Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don't Talk about It) (2017) and “What Is the Point of Equality?” (1999). What is a government? Liz argues that this includes companies, and that we should thus apply political science concepts in evaluating their power. Her egalitarianism involves everyone retaining a minimum level of inalienable autonomy, and we should resist encroachments on this not just by the state but from employers as well. Continue on parts two and three, or get them together via the ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL!
17/09/1855m 28s

NEM#82: Byron Isaacs Emerges From Bassland

Byron is an in-demand session/touring bassist whose main band since 2004 has been NYC's Ollabelle. We talk about "Losing You" and "Gypsy Wind" from his debut solo album, Disappearing Man (2018), plus "Gone Today” by Ollabelle from Riverside Battle Songs (2007), and finish with"Horizontal Man" by Lost Leaders from their 2014 eponymous album. Intro: “Heaven’s Pearls” by Levon Helm from Electric Dirt (2009). For more, visit byronisaacs.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
14/09/181h 8m

PREVIEW-Ep 198 Plato's "Parmenides" (Part Three)

http://partiallyexaminedlife.com
13/09/1811m 33s

Episode 198: Plato's Forms in the "Parmenides" (Part Two)

We get down to the specific questions considered this perplexing Platonic dialogue: Are there forms for all adjectives? Does the form of a property itself have that property? How do Forms connect with particulars? How can we mortals have any connection to heavenly Forms anyway? Listen to part one first or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition along with the follow-up episode. Please support PEL! End song: "Young and Lovely" by Jherek Bischoff. Hear him on Nakedly Examined Music #65.
10/09/181h 14m

Episode 198: Plato's Forms in the "Parmenides" (Part One)

On the most peculiar Platonic dialogue, from ca. 350 BCE. Are properties real things in the world, or just in the mind? Plato is known for claiming that these "Forms" are real, though otherworldly. Here, though, using Parmenides as a character talking to a young Socrates, Plato seems to provide objections here to his own theory. What's the deal? Don't wait for part two! Get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now! Please support PEL! Sponsor: Check out Sam Yang's Must Triumph podcast at musttriumph.com.
03/09/1846m 42s

Bonus: (sub)Text #3: Spielberg's "AI: Artificial Intelligence": What Is It to Be Human? (Part One)

Wes discusses the film by Steven Spielberg with philosophy professor David Kyle Johnson. What is there to fear in artificial intelligence? How does this shed light on what it means to be fully human? Note: Part two will NOT be appearing on this feed. Become a PEL Citizen to get the full discussion. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to learn how.
02/09/1834m 12s

NEM#81: Lindsay Murray Is Gretchen's Wheel

Lindsay has released four albums and an EP of depressed alternative rock under the band name Gretchen's Wheel since 2015, providing a modern model of accessible yet professional DIY recording. We focus on Black Box Theory, covering "Untethered," "Tatyana," and "Plans," plus "Save the Day" from Sad Scientist (2017). Intro: “Total Loss” from Fragile State (2015). For more, visit gretchenswheel.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
31/08/181h 8m

Episode 197: Parmenides on What There Is (Part Two)

Continuing with guest Peter Adamson with "On Nature" (475 BCE). We finally get to fragment 8, which describes why Being must be singular and eternal, given that the notion of Non-Being is nonsense. But how could we as individuals be asking these questions then? Does his "Way of Seeming" work to explain the appearances, as opposed to reality? Listen to part one first, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Circle" by Gareth Mitchell, as discussed on Nakedly Examined Music #4. Sponsors: Explore Peter Singer's The Life You Can Save at partiallyexaminedlife.com/savealife.
27/08/1853m 15s

Episode 197: Parmenides on What There Is (Part One)

On the fragments referred to as "On Nature" from ca. 475 BCE, featuring guest Peter Adamson from the History of Philosophy without Any Gaps podcast. Parmenides gives "the Way of Truth," which is that there is only Being, and talking of Non-Being is nonsense. So everything you experience is wrong! Continue on part two or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL!
20/08/181h 0m

Bonus: (sub)Text #2: Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five": Is There Such a Thing as a War Story? (Part One)

Episode 2 of Wes's new podcasting endeavor, featuring Mary from the Phi Fic podcast, who's also the managing editor of the PEL blog. Note: Part two will NOT be appearing on this feed. Become a PEL Citizen to get the full discussion. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to learn how.
20/08/1841m 11s

NEM#80: Rod Picott: Literary Workin' Man

Nashville singer/songwriter/fiction-writer Rod laid sheet rock for years before releasing his first album in 2001; he has now released ten albums of vivid Americana. We focus on his new double album Out Past the Wires, discussing "Take Home Pay" and "Date of Grace" (with intro/outro from "Be My Bonnie"), then look back to "Rust Belt Fields" from Welding Burns (2011) and finally listen to “You're Not Missing Anything” from Hang Your Hopes on a Crooked Nail (2014). More at rodpicott.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.
19/08/181h 4m

Episode 196: Guest Simon Blackburn on Truth (Part Two)

Continuing with Simon on his book On Truth (2018). We move to part two of the book, where we get down to the procedures used to obtain truth in art, ethics, and science. Yes, truth is objective, but it's not best described as correspondence, and in fact this elaboration of how truth is actually obtained is more enlightening than any abstract definition meant to cover all the different types of truth-seeking. Listen to part one first, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition, and also Wes's bonus conversation on Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. End song: "with you/for you" from the new cold/mess EP by Prateek Kuhad, interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #79. Sponsors: Visit Peter Singer's The Life You Can Save at partiallyexaminedlife.com/savealife, and thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL.
13/08/181h 7m

Episode 196: Guest Simon Blackburn on Truth (Part One)

The Cambridge/etc. prof joins Mark, Wes, and Dylan to discuss his book On Truth (2018). What is truth? Simon's view synthesizes deflationism and pragmatism to avoid relativism by fixing on the domain-specific procedures we actually engage in to establish the truth of a claim, whether in ethics, science, art, or whatever. A gift of clarity after two episodes threshing through the jungles of analytic philosophy! Don't wait for part 2! Get the full, unbroken Citizen Edition now. Keep an eye out for Wes's discussion on Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five, to be released for PEL Citizens soon. Sponsors: Listen to the Hi-Phi Nation podcast at hiphination.org, and explore Peter Singer's The Life You Can Save at partiallyexaminedlife.com/savealife.
06/08/1852m 37s

Episode 195: Truth-The Austin/Strawson Debate (Part Two)

Continuing on "Truth" by J.L. Austin and "Truth" by P.F. Strawson both from 1950. We proceed to the Strawson article, which critiques the notion of a "fact" as explaining why a sentence might be true. A "fact" is not a thing in the world! So what do we add when we change "The cat is on the mat" to "'The cat is on the mat' is true?" Listen to Part One first, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Troof" by Shawn Phillips, as interviewed for Nakedly Examined Music #77. Sponsors: Listen to the Hi-Phi Nation podcast at hiphination.org, and visit lightstream.com/PEL for a discounted loan.
30/07/181h 1m

Episode 195: Truth-The Austin/Strawson Debate (Part One)

On two articles in the "ordinary language" tradition of philosophy called "Truth" from 1950 by J.L. Austin and P.F. Strawson. Is truth a property of particular speech acts, or of the propositions expressed through speech acts? Does truth mean correspondence with the facts, or does the word "fact" make this definition totally uninformative? Does saying "is true" add any information content to a sentence over and above just stating that sentence? Don't wait a week to hear about Strawson! Get the full, unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition of this discussion. Please support PEL! Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a one-month free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.
23/07/181h 1m

Bonus: (sub)Text #1: Shakespeare's "The Tempest": Poesis as Revenge Forsaken (Part One)

Wes Alwan and Bill Youmans discuss the 1611 play about revenge, forgiveness, and authorship. Or maybe it's about exploitation, or how we react to changes in status, or perhaps how a liberal education can give you magical powers! Note: Part two will NOT be appearing on this feed. Become a PEL Citizen to get the full discussion. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to learn how.
21/07/1833m 32s

NEM#78: Tara Lynch's Unflinchingly Honest Metal Debut

Tara has long been building her heavy metal guitar skills, but has only recently gone public, building a huge social media following and now releasing Evil Enough, an album featuring musicians who've played with Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Yngwie Malmsteen, etc. We discuss "Antidote" and "Banished from My Kingdom," and close with "Unbreakable." Opening music: "Gui-Tara Rises." Hear more at taralynch.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support the podcast on Patreon.
21/07/181h 1m

Episode 194: Alfred Tarski on Truth (Part Two)

Continuing on Tarski's “The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics" (1944), Hartry Field's “Tarski's Theory of Truth” (1972), and Donald Davidson's “The Folly of Trying to Define Truth” (1977). What was Tarski really doing? What are the implications of his project? Does it even make sense to define "truth," and what should a definition look like? Listen to part one first, or get the ad-free Citizen Edition. Look out for the Citizen-only bonus discussion of Shakespeare's Tempest, posting soon! Please support PEL! End song: "In Vino Vertias" by Sunspot; Mark interviewed Mike Huberty on Nakedly Examined Music #64. Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a one-month free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.
16/07/181h 12m

Episode 194: Alfred Tarski on Truth (Part One)

On Tarski's “The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics" (1944), Hartry Field's “Tarski's Theory of Truth” (1972), and Donald Davidson's “The Folly of Trying to Define Truth” (1977). What is truth? Tarski gives a technical, metaphysically neutral definition for truth within a particular, well-defined language. So how does that apply to real languages? He thought he was defining truth (a semantic concept) in terms of more primitive (physical?) concepts, but Field and Davidson think that actually, truth as a general concept is indefinable, even though it's still helpful for Tarski to have laid out the relations among various semantic concepts. Help us keep more episodes ad-free by supporting us! You can get the Citizen Edition of this episode and not have to wait for part 2, and also soon listen to Wes's discussion of Shakespeare's Tempest!
09/07/1854m 47s

PREVIEWS-Eps 192-193 Allan Bloom & Liberal Education Follow-Ups

Hear highlights from two supporter-only discussions: Allan Bloom on Nietzsche/Freud/etc. and Leo Strauss vs. Richard Rorty on liberal education and democracy.
07/07/1816m 37s

Episode 193: The Theory and Practice of Liberal Education (Part Two)

Continuing with Pano Kanelos on articles on liberal education by Jacob Klein, Sidney Hook, and Martha Nussbaum. What's the practical application of a liberal education? Is it really liberating or indoctrinating? We continue discussion of the Great Books model. Listen to part 1 first or get the ad-free Citizen Edition along with the follow-up discussion. Please support PEL! End song: "Preservation Hill" by The Bevis Frond; Mark interviewed Nick Saloman on Nakedly Examined Music #75. Sponsor: Listen to the Outside the Box podcast.
02/07/1852m 23s

Episode 193: The Theory and Practice of Liberal Education (Part One)

Pano Kanelos, the president of St. John's College, Annapolis joins us to discuss Jacob Klein's “The Idea of a Liberal Education” (1960) and “On Liberal Education” (1965), plus Sidney Hook’s “A Critical Appraisal of the St. John’s College Curriculum” (1946) and Martha Nussbaum’s “Undemocratic Vistas” (1987). What constitutes a liberal education? Should we all read the Western canon? Klein (and our guest) think that we need to wonder at the familiar, to explore the ancestry of our current concepts in order to avoid their sedimentation. Don't wait for part two; get the full, unbroken Citizen Edition now; you'll also get (soon) a bonus discussion. Please support PEL! Sponsored by Molekule, the only air purifier that actually destroys pollutants. Visit molekule.com and use offer code PEL for $75 off.
25/06/1850m 34s

NEM#76: Phil Manzanera's Impossible Guitar

Phil was a core member of Roxy Music through the '70s and early '80s, has released 10+ solo albums since 1975 and many collaborations—appearing on around 80 albums in total—with an experimental yet tasteful guitar that's sometimes mistaken for a keyboard or something else. We discuss "No Church in the Wild" from The Sound of Blue (2015), which is a cover of the song by Jay Z and Kanye West based around a sample from Phil's song "K-Scope" from the album of that name (1970). We then talk about "Wish You Well" from 6:00pm (2004) and the title track from Diamond Head (1975). Finally we listen to "Magdalena" from Live in Japan (2017). Intro music: "Over You" by Roxy Music from Flesh & Blood (1980). For more, visit manzanera.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us at patreon.com/nakedlyexaminedmusic.
24/06/181h 12m

Episode 192: "The Closing of the American Mind": Allan Bloom on Education (Part Two)

Continuing on Allan Bloom's 1987 book critiquing the current fragmented structure of the university that promotes technical and professional education over the ability to think philosophically. Does Bloom's vision require aristocracy, or can a Great Books education be available for all? Listen to part 1 first, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Your Citizenship will also get you access to an exclusive follow-up discussion. Please support PEL! End song: "Greatness (The Aspiration Song)" by Colin Moulding's TC&I, explored on Nakedly Examined Music #74. Sponsors: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL, the Outside the Box podcast, St. John's College at partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjc, and lightstream.com/PEL for a loan.
18/06/181h 10m

Episode 192: "The Closing of the American Mind": Allan Bloom on Education (Part One)

On Allan Bloom's 1987 best-selleing polemic. What is the role of the university in our democracy? Bloom thinks that today's students are conformist, relativistic, and nihilistic, and that great books and thinking for thinking's sake are the cure. Continued on part 2, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition plus an exclusive follow-up discussion. Please support PEL! Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a one-month free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.
11/06/1853m 28s

Episode 191: Conceptual Schemes: Donald Davidson & Rudolf Carnap (Part Two)

Finishing Davidson's "On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme" (1974) and moving on to Carnap's "Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology" (1950). Carnap claims that we talk about mathematical objects or subatomic particles or whatever, we're not really (contra Quine) making metaphysical claims. Ontological questions like "Are there really numbers?" are just pretentious nonsense. With guest Dusty Dallman. Listen to part 1 first, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End Song: "Shut Up" by Chandler Travis, as heard on Nakedly Examined Music #46. Sponsors: Listen to the Outside the Box podcast. Learn about St. John's College at partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjc.
04/06/181h 9m

Episode 191: Conceptual Schemes: Donald Davidson & Rudolf Carnap (Part One)

On Davidson's "On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme" (1974) and Carnap's "Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology" (1950). What does it mean to say that we grasp the world through a conceptual scheme? Are schemes different between cultures or even individuals, such that we can't really understand each other? Davidson thinks that this doesn't make sense. We'll get to Carnap in part 2, but you needn't wait. Get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsors: Listen to the Outside the Box podcast! Get an interest rate discount on a loan at lightstream.com/PEL.
28/05/1856m 11s

PREVIEWS-Ep 189: Authorial Intent (Part Three) Plus Identity Politics

Listen here to a few highlights from two recent discussions between Mark and Wes: We chase down some issues from ep. 189, relating authorial intent to philosophy of language more generally, then we have some preliminary discussion about the possibility of a future identity politics episode. Get the full discussions by becoming a PEL Citizen or $5/month Patreon supporter.
26/05/1816m 53s

Episode 190: Film Analysis: "mother!"

On Darren Aronofsky's philosophical 2017 film about humanity's relationship to nature. We discuss the philosophical content of the film (Gnosticism, anyone?) and explore the relation between meaning and the sensuous aspects of an artwork. Can a work be both allegorical and yet have fully fleshed out characters and the other elements that make a film feel real? This was a very polarizing film; how do the circumstances of viewing affect reception? With guest Tim Nicholas. End song: “The Day of Wrath, That Day,” by Sarah McQuaid, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #72. Please support PEL! Citizens and $5 Patreon supporters will get access to a bonus discussion on identity politics this week. Sponsors: Free month trial of The Great Courses +: thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL. St. John's College: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjc.
21/05/181h 28m

Episode 189: Authorial Intent (Barthes, Foucault, Beardsley, et al) (Part Two)

Continuing on "The Death of the Author" by Roland Barthes (1967) and "What Is an Author?" by Michel Foucault (1969), and finally getting to “Against Theory” by Steven Knapp and Walter Benn Michaels (1982). What could it mean to say that a text, once written, speaks itself? We get into Foucault's critique of the cult of the author and the reader-centric types of analysis he proposes in its place. Plus, Knapp and Michaels's poem written by natural forces on a rock. Crazy stuff! Listen to part 1 first, or get the Citizen Edition plus citizen access to part 3. End song: "The Auteur" by David J (2018). Listen to Mark's interview with him soon at nakedlyexaminedmusic.com. Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a one-month free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.
14/05/181h 19m

Episode 189: Authorial Intent (Barthes, Foucault, Beardsley, et al) (Part One)

On four essays about how to interpret artworks: “The Intentional Fallacy” by W. K. Wimsatt and Monroe Beardsley (1946), "The Death of the Author" by Roland Barthes (1967), "What is an Author?" by Michel Foucault (1969), and “Against Theory” by Steven Knapp and Walter Benn Michaels (1982). When you're trying to figure out what, say, a poem means, isn't the best way to do that to just ask the author? Most of these guys say no, and that's supposed to reveal something about the nature of meaning. No need to wait for part 2. Support us for access to the ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition plus a one-hour follow-up conversation. Sponsors: Rover.com/partiallyexamined, code "partiallyexamined" = $25 off pet care, storyworth.com/pel for $20 off. partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjc to learn about St. John's College.
07/05/1857m 12s

Episode 188: Discussing "Lysistrata" and Politics with Lucy and Emily (Part Two)

Concluding our discussion of Aristophanes's play with Lucy Lawless and Emily Perkins. We focus on trying to connect its lessons to the here and now: Is Lysistrata's victory properly described as the ascension of some kind of "feminine spirit" over warlike values, and how does that actually relate to women's struggles now to attain positions of power? Listen to our performance and then part one of the discussion before listening to this (or get the ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition). Sponsors: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a one-month free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service. Get 20% off your first order of premium menswear essentials at mackweldon.com, promo code PEL.
30/04/1859m 34s

Episode 188: Discussing "Lysistrata" and Politics with Lucy and Emily (Part One)

We are rejoined by actresses Lucy Lawless and Emily Perkins to discuss Aristophanes's bawdy play. Listen to us perform it first. Supplementary readings included Jeffery Henderson's introduction to his 1988 translation of the play; "Sexual Humor and Harmony in Lysistrata" by Jay M. Semel (1981); and "The 'Female Intruder' Reconsidered: Women in Aristophanes' Lysistrata and Ecclesiazusae" by Helene P. Foley (1982). Don't wait for part two! Get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsors: Get a free trial and 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain at squarespace.com/examined, offer code EXAMINED. Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a one-month free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service. Please also check out the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi.
23/04/1853m 14s

"Lysistrata" w/ Lucy Lawless, Emily Perkins, Erica Spyres, Bill Youmans & Aaron Gleason

The PEL Players return to perform a "cold read" of Aristophanes's play about using a sex strike to end war, first performed in 411 BCE. Jeffrey Henderson's translation makes this very accessible, and it's still really damn funny. Your hosts are joined by five real actors from TV, film, and Broadway. We will be following this up in ep. 188 with a full discussion of the play and the issues it raises. We're pleased to bring you this performance without commercial interruptions. Why not respond in loving kind by tipping some pennies into the hat?
16/04/181h 22m

PREVIEW-Episode 187: The Limits of Free Speech (Part Three)

Three substantial chunks of a follow-up conversation to our free speech episode. Mark and Wes discuss Jordan Peterson on speech, organizations' promoting certain speech (as opposed to restricting), insults vs. arguments, offense vs. harm, "incoherence" arguments like Fish's, fundamental principles in ethics, and more. Get the full discussion by becoming a PEL Citizen or Patreon supporter.
14/04/1813m 38s

Episode 187: The Limits of Free Speech (Part Two)

Continuing our free form discussion, trying to make sense of Stanley Fish's “There’s No Such Thing as Free Speech, and It’s a Good Thing, Too” (1994) and other potential rationales for prohibiting hate speech. How might the same sentence or idea be used in different speech acts, some of which might be legitimately censured but others not? Listen to part one first, or get the Citizen Edition, along with the full-length follow-up discussion by Mark and Wes. Sponsors: Visit Squarespace.com for a free trial and 10% off with offer code EXAMINED and the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi.
09/04/181h 4m

Episode 187: The Limits of Free Speech (Part One)

A free-form discussion drawing on Stanley Fish's “There’s No Such Thing as Free Speech, and It’s a Good Thing, Too” (1994), Joel Feinberg’s “Limits to the Free Expression of Opinion” (1975), and other sources. What are the legitimate limits on free speech? Feinberg delves into the harm and offense principles. Fish argues that every claim to free speech has ideological assumptions actually favoring some types of speech baked into it. A lively back and forth ensues!
29/03/1858m 33s

Episode 186: J.L. Austin on Doing Things with Words (Part Two)

Continuing on How to Do Things with Words (lectures from 1955), covering lectures 5-9. Austin tries and fails to come up with a way to grammatically distinguish performatives from other utterances, and so turns to his more complicated system of aspects of a single act: locutionary, illocutionary, perlocutionary. In doing so, he perlocutionarily blows our minds. Listen to part one first, or get the ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL!
26/03/181h 12m

Episode 186: J.L. Austin on Doing Things with Words (Part One)

On How to Do Things with Words (lectures from 1955). What's the relationship between language and the world? Austin says it's not all about descriptive true-or-false statements, but also includes "performatives" like "I promise…" and "I do" (spoken in a wedding) that are actions unto themselves. They can't be true or false, but they can be "unhappy" if social conventions aren't fulfilled (e.g., you try to marry a pig). Austin thinks performatives will change your whole view of language and of linguistically expressed philosophical problems! Don't wait for part two! Get the ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition now! Please support PEL.
19/03/1849m 47s

Episode 185: Ethics in Homer's "Odyssey" Feat. Translator Emily Wilson (Part Two)

Continuing with Emily Wilson on her translation of the Greek epic poem. We discuss the "oikos" or estate, built on violence, and its connection to "xenia," or hospitality, which serves to forge military alliances. Also: status distinctions and the role of the gods in the text. Listen to part one first, or get the ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Tiny Broken Boats" by Arrica Rose, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #66.
12/03/181h 13m

Episode 185: Ethics in Homer's "Odyssey" Feat. Translator Emily Wilson (Part One)

On the classic Greek epic poem, written ca. 750 BC and translated by our guest Emily Wilson in 2018. Does this story of "heroes" have anything to teach us about ethics? Wilson wrote an 80-page introduction to her new translation laying out the issues, including "hospitality" as a political tool, the value for status and identity of one's home (including your family and slaves), and the tension between strangeness and familiarity. Can time and change really be undone?
05/03/1850m 11s

Episode 184: Pascal on Human Nature (Part Two)

Continuing on Pascal's Pensées. More on our human desire and how God is supposed to address that, plus Pascal's views on political philosophy, the relation between faith, reason, and custom... and finally the wager! Why not just be a skeptic? Is Pascal right that people suck? Listen to part 1 first or get the unbroken, ad-free, Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! End song: "44 Days" by Dutch Henry, written and sung by Todd Long, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #34.
25/02/181h 9m

Episode 184: Pascal on Human Nature (Part One)

On Blaise Pascal's Pensées (1670). Is it rational to have religious faith? You're likely familiar with "Pascal's Wager," but our wretchedness is such that we can't simply choose to believe and won't be argued into it. Pascal thinks Christianity is the only religion to accurately describe the human condition.
19/02/1852m 29s

Episode 183: Mill on Liberty (Part Two)

Continuing on John Stuart Mill's On Liberty. We discuss "partial truths," whether "truth will out," whether we can discard some "experiments in living" as established failures, how Mill compares to Nietzsche, education, "barbarians," and more. Listen to part 1 first, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. End song: "Flavor" by Tori Amos with strings by John Philip Shenale, interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #12.
12/02/181h 6m

Episode 183: Mill on Liberty (Part One)

Discussing John Stewart Mill's On Liberty (1859). If we disapprove of certain behaviors, when is it okay to prohibit them legally? What about just shaming people? Mill's "harm principle" says that we should permit anything (legally and socially) unless it harms other people. But what constitutes "harm"? And how can we discourage someone from, e.g., just being drunk all the time? Mark, Wes, and Dylan bring this debate to current issues and explore some of the weirder aspects of Mill's view.
04/02/181h 0m

TEASER-Episode 182: Reflections on PEL 2017 (Part Two)

The PEL guys get personal and political and tell you in brief about things like Planet of the Apes, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and Vine Deloria Jr. in the second half of our year-in-review discussion. Here you get a taste. You can only hear the meat with the full, ad-free episode, posted for PEL Citizens (see partiallyexaminedlife.com/support!) or at patreon.com/partiallyexaminedlife.
04/02/183m 37s

Episode 182: Reflections on PEL 2017 (Part One)

To what extent has our podcast changed in reaction to current politics? Mark, Seth, Wes, and Dylan reflect back on our year, discuss how we select texts, and give some thumbnail sketches of potential topics. Also, does authorial intent matter, and how to talk philosophically about works that aren't philosophical texts. Attention: Only the first 45 min of this discussion will be posted on the blog feed. If you like PEL, consider becoming a PEL Citizen or supporting us via Patreon to get the whole thing now.
29/01/1853m 2s

NEM#65: Jherek Bischoff Risks Every String

Jherek started off as bassist in the late '90s for the Seattle art rock bands The Dead Science and Parenthetical Girls, and has released about five solo albums (and other things) since 2006, the last two being full-on orchestral works. We discuss the title track from Cistern (2016), "The Nest" featuring Mirah from Composed (2012), and "Blackstar," featuring Anna Calvi, from a David Bowie tribute with Amanda Palmer called Strung Out in Heaven (2016). We conclude by listening to "Eyes" feat. David Byrne, also from Composed. Opening/closing music: "Automatism" from Cistern. For more info, see jherekbischoff.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us at patreon.com/nakedlyexaminedmusic.
27/01/181h 21m

Episode 181: Hannah Arendt on the Banality of Evil (Part Two)

Continuing on Eichmann in Jerusalem, on how ordinary people can do--or acquiesce to--horrific things. How do people rationalize this? What can we apply from this to ourselves? Also, how was genocide a new type of crime, and what's the best rationale for punishing it? We talk justice, revenge, and ways that we too might be morally mass-confused. Listen to part one first or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Hiding from the Face of God" from Judybats 2000; listen to me interview singer/songwriter Jeff Heiskell on Nakedly Examined Music eps. 5 and 63.
22/01/181h 22m

Episode 181: Hannah Arendt on the Banality of Evil (Part One)

On Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (1963). Are we still morally culpable if our entire society is corrupt? Arendt definitely thinks so, but has a number of criticisms of the handling of the 1961 trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. The Israelis were committed to the view that Eichmann was a monster, when the reality, says Arendt, is more frightening.
15/01/1847m 57s

Episode 180: More James's Psychology: Self and Will (Part Two)

Concluding on William James's Psychology, the Briefer Course (1892). We briefly cover emotions and spend the bulk of our time on will. James’s introspective method allows us to distinguish reflex or coerced actions from voluntary, free-seeming ones, and gives us the vocabulary to attribute moral virtue to those who have enough willpower to keep those inconvenient truths in mind (if you eat this, you’ll get fat!) that allow us to successfully resist temptation. Listen to part one first, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Support PEL! End song: "Join the Zoo/Live Again" by Craig Wedren; listen to him on Nakedly Examined Music #15.
08/01/181h 16m

Episode 180: More James's Psychology: Self and Will (Part One)

On Psychology, the Briefer Course (1892), chapters on "The Self," "Will," and "Emotions." Continuing from ep. 179, we talk about the "Me" (the part of me that I know) vs. the "I" (the part of me that knows), including personal identity. James thinks that emotions are just our experience of our own physiology. Finally, we tackle will, veering into ethics, free will, and more.
01/01/181h 1m

Episode 179: William James's Psychology (Part Two)

Continuing on Psychology, the Briefer Course (1892), completing "The Stream of Thought" and covering the chapter on "Habit." James thinks that psychologists focus too much on those parts of consciousness that get picked out by substantive words. He describes habit as part of a general natural pattern that things that happen once tend to create pathways for themselves in surrounding material to allow the same thing to happen again more easily. Be careful what you do, because your organism is recording all of your bad behavior and corrupting your character! Start with part one or get the ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition. Please support PEL!  End song: "Drowning Mind (feedback overload)" by AMP, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #57.
25/12/171h 1m

Episode 179: William James's Introspective Psychology (Part One)

On The Principles of Psychology (1890) chapters 1 & 7, and Psychology, the Briefer Course (1892), the chapters on "The Stream of Thought," "Habit," and some of "The Self." Can we talk about the mind in a way that is both scientific and also does justice to our everyday experiences? James thought his method, which involved both introspection and physiology, yielded more accurate descriptions of the mind than associationism ("the mind is made up of ideas") or spiritualism ("the mind is a faculty of the soul"). Consciousness is a stream, not a concatenation of ideas!
18/12/1755m 59s

NEM#61: Richard X. Heyman Is Incognito (Yet a Cornerstone)

Richard garnered early fame as drummer for -60s New Jersey garage band The Doughboys and has put out 11 albums, largely as a one-man band, since 1988. We discuss the title tracks from Incognito (2017) and Cornerstone (1998) and “Agnostic’s Prayer” from Tiers and Other Stories (2011). End song: "And Then" from Incognito. Intro: "Falling Away" from Hey Man! (1990). Learn more at richardxheyman.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us at patreon.com/nakedlyexaminedmusic.
11/12/171h 17m

Episode 178: Nietzsche as Social Critic: Twilight of the Idols (Part Two)

Continuing on Nietzsche's 1888 book. Is there any ground from which we could judge life as a whole to be good or bad? Is N. more about saying "yes" to life or saying "no" to all the numerous things that piss him off? We also talk Becoming, whether producing great art is more important than being nice to everyone, and whether Nietzsche is ultimately someone we'd want to hang around. End song: "Oblivion" by Tyler Hislop, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #24. Listen to part 1 first, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. 
10/12/171h 9m

Episode 178: Nietzsche as Social Critic: "Twilight of the Idols" (Part One)

On Friedrich Nieztsche's 1888 book summarizing his thought and critiquing the founding myths of his society. He defends "spiritualized" instinct and frenzied creativity, but also Napoleon and war. We try to figure out what kind of social critic he'd be today. Would we actually like him?
04/12/1755m 45s

Episode 177: Guest Russ Roberts on Adam Smith and Libertarian Economics (Part Two)

Continuing with the Econtalk host on the moral aspects of economics, focused by Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations and Theory of Moral Sentiments. Should we sacrifice ourselves to the machine of the economy? How does Smith's idea of virtue and talk of the "impartial spectator" line up with economic growth? Listen to part 1 first or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! Learn how to install the Citizen feed on your mobile device.  End song: "Needle Exchange" by Fritz Beer, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #2.
27/11/171h 16m

NEM#60: Alejandro Escovedo's Hard Road

Alejandro started as a punk guitarist for the The Nuns, moved to Austin in the '80s and became a songwriter with True Believers. He has since put out 14+ solo albums of story-driven, lyrically intense, stylistically varied Texas rock. We discuss "Beauty and the Buzz" from Burn Something Beautiful (2016), "Sally Was a Cop" from Big Station (2012), and "Pissed Off 2AM" from With These Hands (1996). End song: "Velvet Guitar" from A Man Under the Influence (2001). Opening: "Hard Road" from True Believers (1986). More at alejandroescovedo.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us at patreon.com/nakedlyexaminedmusic.
27/11/171h 0m

Episode 177: Guest Russ Roberts on Adam Smith and Libertarian Economics (Part One)

The host of Econtalk provides his take on our ep. 174 on The Wealth of Nations, and explores with us the idea of emergent economic order. Is the economy more like a machine or a garden or what? Don't wait for part two! Get the full, ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition now! Please support PEL! Visit lovepop.com/pel for 3D pop-up cards; simplecontacts.com/pel, promo code PEL; MUBI.com/PEL for curated movies; and Squarespace.com, offer code EXAMINED.
20/11/1755m 19s

Episode 176: Situationism in Psych: Milgram & Stanford Prison Experiments (Part Two)

Continuing with Dave Pizarro on articles by Stanley Milgram, Philip Zimbardo, and John Doris about situationism, which entails that people's level of morality will vary by situation, as opposed to virtue ethics, which posits that how people will act in a novel situation will be determined by the quality of their character. Listen to part 1 first or get the ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL!
13/11/171h 0m

NEM#58: John Jughead Pierson's Semi-Famous Theatrics

John gained semi-fame playing guitar with pop-punk Chicago-area legends Screeching Weasel starting in 1986 but became a band-leader/songwriter with eclectic-acoustic Even in Blackouts in 2002, featuring singer Liz Eldredge. He's also an author, playwright, and juggler. We discuss "Rapture in the Third Person" and "Motives Misunderstood in the Key of C" from EIB's Thresholds from the Basement (2009) and "1,000 Stories" from The Fall of the House of Even (2006). End song: The new, otherwise unreleased EIB track "Reason" (rough mix). Intro music: “Talk to Me Summer” by Screeching Weasel from Anthem for a New Tomorrow (1993). Learn more at johnjugheadpierson.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page.
06/11/1754m 31s

Episode 176: Situationism in Psych: Milgram & Stanford Prison Experiments (Very Bad Wizards Crossover) (Part One)

On Stanley Milgram's "Behavioral Study of Obedience" (1963), Philip Zimbardo’s "Interpersonal Dynamics in a Simulated Prison" (1973), and John Doris’s "Persons, Situations, and Virtue Ethics" (1998). Do difficult situations make good people act badly? Are there really "good" and "bad" people, or are we all about the same, but put in different situations? With guest David Pizarro from the Very Bad Wizards podcast. Don't wait for part 2! Get the ad-free Citizen Edition now. Visit MUBI.com/PEL for 30 days of free curated movies, BarkBox.com/PEL for a free month with a plan, hellofresh.com promo code PEL30 for $30 off your first week, TheTrackR.com/PEL for 20% off, and Squarespace.com for a free trial and 10% off with offer code EXAMINED.
06/11/1750m 25s

TEASER-Episode 175: Blade Runner (Part Two)

Do you want the WHOLE discussion on the new Blade Runner 2049, the original 1982 film, and the idea packed Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1967) by Philip K. Dick? If you do, show your love to the podcast by signing up to be a supporter at the $1-or-higher level at patreon.com/partiallyexaminedlife, or better yet become a PEL Citizen and get every podcast we've ever recorded plus bonus discussions, ad-free! 
06/11/172m 31s

Episode 175: Blade Runner: Androids and Humanity (Part One)

On Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1967) and the films Blade Runner 2049 (2017) and Blade Runner (1982). What makes us human? Dick's story about androids emphasized their lack of empathy, while the movie adaptations portrayed the "replicants" as plenty capable of emotion, but unjustly treated as servants or targets. Attention: This second half of this special bonus episode is available only to supporters. You should go ahead and get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. You can also hear it with a $1 or more pledge at patreon.com/partiallyexaminedlife. Sponsors: Get $50 off a new mattress by visiting casper.com/pel. And visit MUBI.com/pel for 30 days of free, curated films from around the globe.
30/10/1748m 6s

Episode 174: Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations" (Part Two)

Continuing on the foundational text of economics. We talk "invisible hand," "greed is good," tariffs, unproductive labor, city vs. country, and the education racket. Listen to part 1 first or get the ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "With My Looks and Your Brains" by The Mr. T Experience. Hear about the singer/songwriter on Nakedly Examined Music #56. Try blinkist.com/pel for audio condensations of nonfiction books. And visit mubi.com/pel for 30 days of free, curated films.
22/10/171h 7m

Episode 174: Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations" (Part One)

On the foundational, 1776 text of modern economics. How does the division of labor and our instinct to exchange lead to the growth of wealth? Is the economy sufficiently machine-like to enable us to manipulate its output, or at least to tell us how not to screw it up?
16/10/1757m 54s

Episode 173: Relating to American Indian Philosophy (Part Two)

We go further into "Philosophy of Native Science" by Gregory Cajete and "What Coyote and Thales Can Teach Us: An Outline of American Indian Epistemology" by Brian Yazzie Burkhart, plus process philosophy, propositional vs. procedural knowledge, and what we owe to nature. With guest Jim Marunich. Listen to part 1 first or get the ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: “Circle’s Gotta Go” by Kim Rancourt, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #52.
09/10/171h 2m

Episode 173: Relating to American Indian Philosophy (Part One)

What is wisdom? We discuss articles by Brian Burkhart, Gregory Cajete, and Anne Waters, plus Black Elk Speaks by John Neihardt (1932) and some traditional stories. With guest Jim Marunich; we read his master's thesis, "Process Metaphysics in the Far West: American Indian Ontologies."
02/10/1752m 49s

Episode 172: Mind, Self, and Affect with Guest Dr. Drew (Part Two)

Continuing with Drew Pinsky on “Attachment and Reflective Function: Their Role in Self-organization” by Peter Fonagy and two articles by Allan Schore. Fonagy claims we gain the ability to emotionally self-regulate as a result of achieving secure attachment with a caregiver as infants. Schore claims that if this fails, we can end up fundamentally disengaged. So what are the philosophical implications? Listen to part 1 first, or get the ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Anything but Love" by Steve Hackett, as featured on Nakedly Examined Music #45.
25/09/1759m 15s

Episode 172: Mind, Self, and Affect with Guest Dr. Drew (Part One)

Radio legend Dr. Drew Pinsky talks with us about “Attachment and Reflective Function: Their Role in Self-Organization” by Peter Fonagy and two articles by Allan Schore. The focus is "theory of mind"; how do we develop the ability to impute thoughts and intentions to others? What in our upbringing can interfere with this development? We relate this back to previous episodes (Hegel, Buber, etc.) on recognition by others of the self. Listen to more Dr. Drew at DrDrew.com, especially his interview of Wes!  
18/09/1745m 1s

Episode 171: Buddhism vs. Evolution with Guest Robert Wright (Part Two)

Continuing on Why Buddhism Is True. We discuss the "no self" doctrine as articulated in Buddha's Second Discourse and the modularity-of-mind theory that Bob claims supports it. What are the ethical implications, and do we really need meditation to achieve its alleged ethical benefits? Continued from part 1, or get the ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Alphalpha Bhang" by Anton Barbeau, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music ep. 50.
11/09/171h 11m

Episode 171: Buddhism vs. Evolution with Guest Robert Wright (Part One)

Bob joins the PEL four to discuss his new book Why Buddhism Is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment. Bob applies his expertise in evolutionary psychology to corroborate Buddhism's claims that we are deluded: about our desires, emotions, the unity of our selves, and the "essences" we project on things and people. And he thinks meditation can instill in the diligent the ability to see things more clearly. But does it really? Continue with part 2, or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!
04/09/1755m 7s

Episode 170 Second Opinions: Leftists on "Society of the Spectacle"

Mark and Seth ask Doug Lain (Zero Squared), Brett O'Shea (Revolutionary Left Radio), and C. Derick Varn (Symptomatic Redness) what they think of Debord and PEL's treatment of the book on Ep #170. End song: "Open Your Eyes (Wake Up)" from Tyler Hislop, interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #24.
28/08/171h 11m

Episode 170: Guy Debord's "Society of the Spectacle" (Part Two)

More on the 1967 Situtationist book. Do we buy Debord's critique? Is any merely partial critique (i.e. no revolution) just more spectacle? Is technology inherently dehumanizing? Don't these passivity/anti-technology arguments even apply to books? Could Debord's model of authenticity catch on in society as a whole? Start with part 1, or get the Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Millionaire" by The Mekons (1993); Jon Langford appears on Nakedly Examined Music #22.
21/08/171h 13m

Episode 170: Guy Debord's "Society of the Spectacle" (Part One)

What is culture? In modern capitalism, Debord’s 1967 book describes it as all about the economy. It’s not just our jobs that keep us trapped, but our life outside of working hours is also demanded by “the system” via our activity as consumers, and this commoditization infiltrates every corner of our lives. Debord wants us to WAKE UP, break our chains, and live lives of immediacy, vitality, and authenticity. Continue with part 2 or get your unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!
14/08/1755m 25s

TEASER-Episode 169: Analyzing Hitchcock's "Vertigo" (Part Two)

Some audio tidbits to hint at the analytic glories in the second half of our discussion, getting deeper into the psychoanalytic/existential interpretations of the film. Get the discussion at patreon.com/partiallyexaminedlife or with a PEL Citizenship.
12/08/171m 56s

PEL Special: Combat & Classics on Rousseau's "Discourse on the Arts and Sciences"

A new podcast for the PEL Podcast Network! Meet Jeff, Lise, and Brian, who are joined by Wes and Dylan to discuss Rousseau's claim that the arts and sciences lead to "moral corruption." Get more C&C on the PEL site or at combatandclassics.org. Become a PEL Citizen to attend a C&C online seminar on Nietzsche's ”Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense” on Aug. 14, 8pm EST. Your support for PEL helps the PEL network! Visit bombfell.com/pel for $25 off your first clothing order. Get in on fall online courses starting Aug. 28 at the New School opencampus.newschool.edu. Get 20% off your first pair of underwear plus free shipping meundies.com/pel.
07/08/1753m 11s

Episode 169: Analyzing Hitchcock's "Vertigo" (Part One)

On the 1958 film and articles including Laura Mulvey's "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" (1975) and Robin Wood's "Vertigo" (1965). What's the nature of love/lust? Are we really just loving an image we've built while remaining fundamentally isolated? And is it just an illusionary social construct that keeps us all from feeling fundamental vertigo? Lacan, existentialism, and more! Part 2 is for supporters only! It won't be on the public feed next week, so get the full discussion now at patreon.com/partiallyexaminedlife or through a PEL Citizenship.
31/07/1748m 29s

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.
24/07/171h 6m

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.
17/07/1749m 10s

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 Edition. Please support PEL! End song: “Shittalkers” by Ken Stringfellow, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music ep. 39.
10/07/171h 6m

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. To capture your real-life hero’s story, visit www.en.familysounds.net/podcast and get a discount with promo code PEL.
03/07/1747m 59s

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. Please support PEL! End song: "Shittalkers" by Ken Stringfellow, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music ep. 39. Experience 7 days of free online counseling at Betterhelp.com/pel. And check out the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi.
26/06/171h 35m

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. Get a free audiobook when starting a 30-day trial at Audible.com/PEL. Experience 7 days of free online counseling at Betterhelp.com/pel. Go to blueapron.com/PEL for three free meals with free shipping. Get The Rise and Fall of Dodo at nealstephenson.com.
19/06/1754m 25s

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.
12/06/171h 8m

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.
05/06/171h 6m

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.
26/05/171h 14m

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 the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Get a Dostoyevsky T-shirt! End song: "Don Quixote" by Nik Kershaw, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #37. Please visit Talkspace.com/examined (use code "EXAMINED") and blueapron.com/PEL.
22/05/171h 24m

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.
15/05/1759m 49s

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.
08/05/171h 13m

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.
01/05/1756m 50s

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.
24/04/171h 43m

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?
17/04/1758m 10s

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?
10/04/1747m 53s

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.
03/04/171h 21m

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.
27/03/1756m 0s

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."
20/03/171h 15m

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?
13/03/1755m 49s

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!
06/03/171h 21m

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.
27/02/1754m 54s

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).
20/02/171h 12m

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.
13/02/1757m 39s

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.
06/02/171h 7m

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?
30/01/1757m 29s

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.
23/01/171h 4m

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!
16/01/1757m 24s

Episode 155: Richard Rorty Against Epistemology (Part Two)

Continuing on Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Ch. 3–4. Rorty claims that Kantians improperly read Kantian concerns (the connection between the senses and reason) back into the ancients. He thought that Sellars's "epistemological behaviorism" was right on, and despite what you may have heard does not give a bad rep to animals and babies. Plus, psychological nominalism! Woo hoo! End song: "The Ghosts Are Alright" from The Bye-Bye Blackbirds; check out the interview on Nakedly Examined Music #32.
09/01/171h 4m

Episode 155: Richard Rorty Against Epistemology

On Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979), Part II: "Mirroring." Is a "theory of knowledge" possible? Rorty thinks that any such account will be a fruitless search for foundations. Knowledge is really just a matter of social agreement, and beliefs must be justified from other beliefs, not from any alleged relationship to reality. End song: "The Ghosts Are Alright" from The Bye-Bye Blackbirds (Houses and Homes, 2008), as discussed on Nakedly Examined Music #32. Please support PEL!
02/01/171h 52m

Episode 154: Wilfrid Sellars on the Myth of the Given (Part Two)

Continuing on "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind." We consider a couple of Sellars's thought experiments, both of which are supposed to show that what we might think are primitive mental terms like "appearance" are really derivative and secondary relative to statements about the external world. With guest Lawrence "Dusty" Dallman. End song: "Senses on Fire" by Mercury Rev. Check out the interview with singer Jonathan Donahue in Nakedly Examined Music ep. 14.
26/12/1655m 1s

Episode 154: Wilfrid Sellars on the Myth of the Given

On "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind" (1956). Is knowledge based on a "foundation," as Descartes, Locke, et al. thought? Sellars says no: The allegedly basic elements upon which knowledge would be built either have to be propositions, in which case they involve a lot of prior knowledge involved in language use and so aren't really basic, or they're "raw feels," in which case they can't actually serve as reasons for anything; reasons have to be propositional. With guest Lawrence Dallman. End song: "Senses on Fire" by Mercury Rev. Check out the interview with singer Jonathan Donahue in Nakedly Examined Music ep. 14. Please support PEL!
19/12/161h 43m

Episode 153: Richard Rorty: There Is No Mind-Body Problem (Part Two)

Continuing on Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Part I: "Our Glassy Essence." Rorty relates the immateriality of mind to the ontology of universals. Plus, the return of the semantic/syntactic distinction! With guest Stephen Metcalf. End song: "Wall of Nothingness" from Sky Cries Mary from This Timeless Turning (1994). Listen to Mark's interview with the band's frontman, Roderick Romero, in Nakedly Examined Music ep. 9.
12/12/161h 10m

Episode 153: Richard Rorty: There Is No Mind-Body Problem

On Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979), Part I: "Our Glassy Essence." "The mind" seems to be an unavoidable part of our basic conceptual vocabulary, but Rorty thinks not, and he wants to use the history of philosophy as a kind of therapy to show that many of our seemingly insoluble problems like the relation between mind and body are a result philosophical mistakes by Descartes, Locke, and Kant. With guest Stephen Metcalf of Slate's Culture Gabfest podcast. End song: "Wall of Nothingness" from Sky Cries Mary from This Timeless Turning (1994). Listen to Mark's interview with the band's frontman, Roderick Romero, in Nakedly Examined Music ep. 9. Please support PEL!
05/12/161h 52m

Episode 152: Alexis de Tocqueville on Democracy in America (PEL Live!)

Democracy is in peril! So said Tocqueville in 1835 and 1840 when Democracy is America was published, and it's still true now. Democracy is always just one demagogue away from stripping us of our liberties, though certain structural and cultural features can make that more or less likely. He liked our volunteerism and innovation, but not so much our tendencies toward materialism and isolation and our lack of philosophical curiosity. Recorded live at Brown University 10/27/16 with audience Q&A. Watch the video! End song: "Shot of Democracy" by Cutting Crew. Listen to Mark's interview with singer/songwriter Nick Eede on Nakedly Examined Music #10.
21/11/161h 27m

NEM Ep 28: Jill Freeman on Fairy Tales and Psychological Truth

Jill was part of a 3-woman vocal band in the ’80s called The Life is Grand Band, and then in 1995 released Songs About Sex & Depression, and only in 2015 unveiled her long-awaited study of the dark psychology of fairy tales, A Handmade Life. We focus on this most recent project, discussing “Letters from Murdertown” and “Eyes of Fire,” and playing at the end “Walking on Glass.” Our third discussion song goes back to the previous album with “Everything Makes Me Cry.” Opening music is The Life Is Grand Band’s “Harry’s Song” from Feel Like Makin’ Art (1989). Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page.
12/11/161h 0m

Episode 151: Edmund Burke’s Conservatism

On Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790). What relevance do the concerns of a monarchy-defending aristocrat have for us today? Surprisingly, a lot! The full foursome discuss possible conflicts between freedom, rights, and well-being. What is political freedom without public wisdom? The tyranny of the mob! End song: "Hard Times of Old England" from Peter Knight's Gigspanner (from Layers of Ages, 2015); listen to Mark's interview with Peter on Nakedly Examined Music #27.
07/11/161h 56m

PEL Special: Bill Bruford on Nakedly Examined Music #25

NEM now features jazz, hip-hop, classical, folk, and more. Check out all the episodes at nakedlyexaminedmusic.com, where you can subscribe and follow on Facebook. Bill was the original drummer for Yes, a default member of King Crimson, and briefly played with Genesis and the late '70s supergroup U.K., but most of his output has been with his own jazz-inflected Earthworks and Bruford, as rock proved too confining for his rhythmic and tonal creativity.
06/11/161h 18m

Episode 150: Guest Peter Singer on Famine, Affluence, and Morality

Mark and Wes interview perhaps the world's most influential living philosopher, then the full foursome discusses. We discuss his ongoing work rooted in his 1971 essay "Famine, Affluence, and Morality," about the warped priorities of our consumerist society: We spend money on luxuries while innocent children overseas die from inexpensively preventable causes. For more about Peter, see www.petersinger.info. End song: "Ann the Word" by Beauty Pill (2015), explored in Nakedly Examined Music #19.
24/10/162h 7m

Episode 149: Plato’s “Crito”: A Performance and Discussion

Broadway stars Walter Bobbie and Bill Youmans perform Plato's dialogue in which Socrates awaits his execution. Should Socrates defy the verdict and try to escape the city? Socrates says no; that would be ungrateful to the city whose benefits he's enjoyed. Bill joins the full PEL foursome for a lively discussion. End song: "Fall Away" by Mark Lint and the Fake from the album So Whaddaya Think? (2000).
17/10/161h 20m

Episode 148: Aristotle on Friendship and Happiness

On the final books 8–10 of Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics. What does friendship have to do with ethics? With guest Ana Sandoiu.
03/10/162h 0m

Episode 147: Aristotle on Wisdom and Incontinence

On the Nichomachean Ethics (ca. 350 BCE), books 6–7. Is intelligence just one thing? Aristotle picks out a number of distinct faculties, some of which are relevant to ethics, and he uses these to explain Plato's puzzle of how someone can clearly see what the good for him is, and yet fail to pursue it due to weakness of the will. This episode continues our discussion from way back in ep. 5. End song: "I Die Desire" from The MayTricks (1992).
19/09/161h 59m

Episode 146: Emmanuel Levinas on Overcoming Solitude

More Levinas, working this time through Time and the Other (1948). What is it for a person to exist? What individuates one person from another, making us into selves instead of just part of the causal net of events? Why would someone possibly think that these are real, non-obvious questions that need to be addressed? End song: "Call on You" by Mark Lint from from the 1993 Mark Lint album Spanish Armada: Songs of Love and Related Neuroses.
05/09/162h 19m

Episode 145: Emmanuel Levinas: Why Be Ethical?

On "Ethics as First Philosophy" (1984). More existentialist ethics, with a Jewish twist this time! Seth returns to join Mark and Wes in figuring out how to best leave off all this aggressive "knowing" and other forms of individual self-assertion to grasp the more primordial appearance of the Other in all his or her vulnerability, which Levinas thinks makes us wholly responsible for others right off the bat. End song: "To Valerie" from The MayTricks' So Chewy (1993).
22/08/162h 2m

Episode 144: Guest Martha Nussbaum on Anger

On Anger and Forgiveness: Resentment, Generosity, Justice (2016). What role should we allow anger to play in our public life? Should systems of punishment be utilitarian, or should they be retributive? Nussbaum thinks that anger necessarily involves the desire for payback, which is unhelpful. We should instead use anger to prevent future harm. Mark, Wes, and Dylan interview Martha and then discuss issues raised in the interview and the book. End song: "Forgive the Disco," a Nussbaum-inspired Mark vocal on an instrumental by Sean Beeson, interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #23.
01/08/162h 24m

Phi Fic #3 Frankenstein (PEL Crossover Special)

Guest Wes Alwan joins regulars Nathan Hanks, Mary Claire, Daniel St. Pierre, Laura Davis, and Cezary Baraniecki to discuss Mary Shelley's classic novel in this special cross-post from the newest member of the Partially Examined Life podcast network. Check out more episodes and be sure to subscribe at phificpodcast.com.
25/07/161h 56m

Episode 143: Plato’s “Sophist” on Lies, Categorization, and Non-Being

On the later Platonic dialogue. What is a sophist? These were guys in Ancient Greece who taught young people the tools of philosophy and rhetoric. They claimed to teach virtue. In Sophist, "the Eleatic Stranger" (i.e., not Socrates) tries to figure out what a sophist really is, using a new "method of division." This Plato era provides a nice transition to the category man Aristotle, and the whole concern with sophistry is certainly still relevant today! End song: "Dumb," by Mark Lint and the Fake from the album So Whaddaya Think? (2000).
11/07/161h 46m

Episode 142: Plato’s “Phaedrus” on Love and Speechmaking

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).
27/06/162h 9m

Episode 141: De Beauvoir’s Existentialism: Moral and Political Dilemmas

More on The Ethics of Ambiguity (1947), this time on part III. 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.  
13/06/161h 49m

Episode 140: De Beauvoir on the Ambiguous Human Condition

On The Ethics of Ambiguity (1947), parts I and II. 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.
30/05/162h 8m

PEL News and Previews: Plato’s “Crito” and the Hegel’s Logic Aftershow

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 phificpodcast.com or subscribe on iTunes.
27/05/160s

PEL Special: Nakedly Examined Music #15 with Craig Wedren

www.nakedlyexaminedmusic.com
26/05/161h 38m

Episode 139: bell hooks on Racism/Sexism

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).
09/05/161h 54m

NEM Ep 14: Jonathan Donahue (Mercury Rev): Mountain Man of Subtlety

After serving a stint with the Flaming Lips, Jonathan has been putting out albums with Mercury Rev since 1991. Over time, their music has shifted from noisy alternative rock to symphonic, soundtrack pop songs… still psychedelic, but now with an unapologetically Disneyesque influence, with the magic of nature swirling out through harp glissandos and french horns, all standing behind a simple, stark melody delivered by Jonathan’s high, Neil-Youngesque voice, which sings of nature and things more abstract. We discuss “Autumn’s in the Air” from The Light In You (2015), “Holes” from Deserter’s Songs (1998), and “Empire State (Son House in Excelsis)” from See You on the Other Side (1995). We also listen to “Central Park East” also from the new album and intro music is “Car Wash Hair” from Yerself Is Steam (1991). Learn more about Mercury Rev at mercuryrev.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music.
01/05/161h 41m

Episode 138: Guest John Searle on Perception

We interview John about Seeing Things As They Are (2015). What is perception? Searle says that it's not a matter of seeing a representation, which is then related to things in the real world. We see the actual objects, with no mediation. But then how can there be illusions? Well, it's complicated, but not too complicated, just some funny terminology that this episode will teach you. Searle lays out his theory for us and amusingly dismisses much of the history of philosophy in the first half, and then Mark, Wes, and Dylan continue the discussion to make sure we understood what was just said and chase down some threads of the conversation. End song: "Flesh and Blood" from The MayTricks' Happy Songs Will Bring You Down (1994). We interview John about Seeing Things As They Are (2015). What is perception? Searle says that it's not a matter of seeing a representation, which is then related to things in the real world. We see the actual objects, with no mediation. But then how can there be illusions? Well, it's complicated, but not too complicated, just some funny terminology that this episode will teach you.
25/04/161h 53m

Episode 137: Bourdieu on the Tastes of Social Classes

On Pierre Bourdieu's Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste (1979), introduction, ch 1 through p. 63, conclusion, and postscript. How do our tastes in music, art, and everything else reflect our social position? This philosophically trained sociologist administered a few detailed questionnaires in 1960s France and used the resulting differences in what people in different classes preferred and how they talked about these preferences to theorize about the role that taste plays in our social games. Featuring guest Tim Quirk of Too Much Joy and recent guest on Mark's Nakedly Examined Music podcast #8.  End song: "When She Took Off Her Shirt" from Tim's band Wonderlick's Topless At The Arco Arena (2005).
11/04/162h 9m

Episode 136: Adorno on the Culture Industry

On Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer's "The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception" from Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944), plus Adorno's "Culture Industry Reconsidered" (1963). How does the entertainment industry affect us? Adorno (armed with Marx and Freud) thinks that our "mass culture" is imposed from the top down to lull us into being submissive workers. End song: "All Too Familiar," from around 1992 with all instruments by Mark Linsenmayer, released on The MayTricks.
28/03/162h 7m

Episode 135: Hegel on the Logic of Basic Metaphysical Concepts

A whole second discussion on G.F.W. Hegel's Encyclopedia Logic, hitting sections 78–99 on the dialectic and Understanding vs. Reason. Hegel thinks we can use Reason to objectively come up with basic metaphysical categories, but can we really? With guest Amogh Sahu. This continues ep. 134. PEL Citizens can listen to the Aftershow. End song: "Flow" by Gary Lucas and Mark Lint. Listen to Gary interviewed about this instrumental on Nakedly Examined Music #7.
14/03/161h 59m

Episode 134: Hegel on Thought & World (or “Logic”)

On G.F.W. Hegel's The Science of Logic (1812–1816), §1–§129 and The Encyclopaedia Logic (1817) §1–§25. "Logic" for Hegel is about how thought interacts with the world. Our thoughts about fundamental metaphysical categories bear the same relations to each other as the the categories themselves do. Just take Hegel's many, many words for it! With guest Amogh Sahu. End song: "Procrastination" by Steve Petrinko from The MayTricks' Happy Songs Will Bring You Down (1994). Hear Mark interview Steve on Nakedly Examined Music.
29/02/161h 58m

PEL Special: Nakedly Examined Music #1 with David Lowery

Welcome to Nakedly Examined Music, our first spin-off of PEL. Hear more at nakedlyexaminedmusic.com or find it via iTunes. Mark interviews songwriters about why and how they do what they do. Think of it as applied philosophy. Four episodes are now posted; this cross-post of our pilot features David Lowery of Camper van Beethoven and Cracker talking through three of his songs. He's as well-spoken and full of ideas as many a decent philosopher, so sit back and turn on your active listening function!
18/02/161h 16m

NEM Ep 4: Gareth Mitchell: Granular Creativity

Gareth Mitchell is a post-rock academic, an innovative guitarist who now uses recorded splices of treated guitar (among other things) made into loops to meticulously construct electronic music, as on his upcoming album, 72. We dive deep into his tracks “Circle” and “Decay” from this album and get a taste of his dreaming singer/songwriter material with “Sovereign” from Spectre (2012). We also debut the track “Granulations.” Gareth is as thoughtful an artist as you could possibly want to talk to, and really gives us some great insight into his unique approaches to composition. Learn more at garethmitchell.info. Bonus audio from this discussion and preview access to the new album are available by signing up to support this podcast (a $5 donation) or via patreon.com/nakedlyexaminedmusic (a $1 contribution). Hear more Nakedly Examined Music.
15/02/161h 17m

Episode 133: Erich Fromm on Love as an Art

On Fromm's The Art of Loving (1956). What is love, really? This psychoanalyst of the Frankfurt school thinks that real love is not something one "falls" into, but is an art, an activity, and doing it well requires a disciplined openness and psychological health. End songs: "Kimmy" (1995) and "Kimmy 2002" by Mark Lint.
08/02/161h 52m

Episode 132: Living Stoically with Seneca and Massimo

On selected "moral epistles" (from around 65 CE) by Lucius Annaeus Seneca: 4. On the Terrors of Death, 12. On Old Age, 49. On the Shortness of Life, 59. On Pleasure and Joy, 62. On Good Company, 92. On the Happy Life, 96. On Facing Hardship, and 116. On Self Control. We're joined by Massimo Pigliucci of the How to Be a Stoic blog, who for a long time was on the Rationally Speaking podcast. How can one most profitably interpret weird-sounding Stoic recommendations about the emotions and about following nature? End song: "I Lose Control" by The MayTricks from So Chewy! (1993).
25/01/162h 3m

Episode 131: Aristotle’s “De Anima”: What Is the Mind?

Our second discussion of De Anima or On the Soul (350 BCE), this time on book 3. What is the intellect? We talk about its highest part/function: nous, which is a "form of forms," literally nothing until it thinks, survives death and is not actually yours or mine, but just the universal mind! This continues the discussion from ep. 130 and includes a preview of the Aftershow featuring Rebecca Goldner. End song: "Wonderful You" (live 2001) by Mark Lint.
11/01/161h 59m

Episode 130: Aristotle’s “De Anima”: What Is Life?

On De Anima or On the Soul (350 BCE), books 1 and 2, after some listener mail. What can this ancient text tell us about biological life? What counts as a scientific explanation? A. describes life as "the first actuality of a natural body which has organs," so bodies express their nature only when they're growing and reproducing and all that stuff that bodies do. The body is potential, and life is its actuality. So what the heck kind of explanation is that, and how does it tie into Aristotle's convoluted metaphysics? End song: "Intermission Song" by Mark Lint from Spanish Armada: Songs of Love and Related Neuroses (1993).
28/12/151h 57m

Holiday Special 2015: Mark Lint’s “Songs from the Partially Examined Life” with Many Guest Greetings

Mark is joined by numerous previous guests to catch up and engage the musical part of PEL's past episodes by introducing and playing the entirety of Mark Lint's "Songs from the Partially Examined Life," which you can own, along with the 2016 PEL wall calendar.
24/12/152h 6m

Episode 129: Is Faith Rational?

Nathan Gilmour (Christian Humanist podcast) and Rob Dyer (God Complex Radio) join Mark and Wes for to discuss the reasonableness of religious belief reading Antony Flew's "The Presumption of Atheism," Norwood Russell Hanson's “The Agnostic’s Dilemma," Steven Cahn's "The Irrelevance of Proof to Religion," Alvin Plantinga's “Is Belief in God Properly Basic?" Merold Westphal's "Sin and Reason," Basil Mitchell's “Faith and Criticism," Peter van Inwagen's "Clifford's Principle," William Alston's "Experience in Religious Belief," Richard Swinburne's "The Voluntariness of Faith" and “The World and Its Order," and Paul Helm's "Faith and Merit." Read synopses of all these at partiallyexaminedlife.com. End song: "Let Us Meet" by Mark Lint, setting an old poem by Kim Casey Linsenmayer.
14/12/152h 13m

Episode 128: Hilary Putnam on Linguistic Meaning

On "The Meaning of Meaning" (1975). If meaning is not a matter of having a description in your head, then what is it? Hilary Putnam reformulates Kripke's insight (from #126) in terms of Twin Earths: Earthers with H20 and Twin Earthers with a substance that seems like water but is different have the same mental contents but are referring to different stuff with "water," so that word is speaker-relative in a certain way. With guest Matt Teichman.  End song: "In the Boatyard" by Mark Lint & the Madison Lint Ensemble (2004, finished now).
30/11/152h 3m

Episode 127: John Dewey on Experience and the World

On Experience and Nature (1925), through ch. 4. What's the relationship between our experience and the world that science investigates? Dewey thinks that these are one and the same, and philosophies that call some part of it (like atoms or Platonic forms) the real part while the experienced world is a distortion are unjustified. End song: "Uncontrollable Fear" by The MayTricks from So Chewy! (1993).
16/11/152h 19m

Episode 126: Saul Kripke on Possibilities, Language & Science

On Naming and Necessity (1980). What's the relationship between language and the world? Specifically, what makes a name or a class term pick out the person or things that it does? Saul Kripke wanted to correct the dominant view of his time (which involved a description in the speaker's mind), and used talk of "possible worlds" to do it! With guest Matt Teichman. End song: "Reason Enough" by Mark Lint.
02/11/152h 18m

Not School Digest: Asimov, Camus, Jaspers, Brecht, Peirce, Historical Jesus

On Isaac Asimov's "The Last Question," Albert Camus's "The Fall," Karl Jaspers's "Truth and Symbol," C.S. Peirce's "The Fixation of Belief," Bertold Brecht's "Theatre for Pleasure or Theatre for Instruction," and Thomas Sheehan's Stanford lectures on the Historical Jesus. These are snippets covering topics we haven't had time to cover on the podcast proper. Brief yourself via these 10–15 minute bursts, or become a PEL Citizen to listen to the full discussions.
25/10/151h 27m

Episode 125: Hannah Arendt on the Political & Private

On The Human Condition (1958), Prologue and Sections 1 and 2. How has our distinction between the private and public evolved over time? Arendt uses this history, and chiefly the differences between our time and ancient Athens, to launch a critique of modern society. The fab four conducted this podcast live at the Pittsburgh Continental Philosophy Conference.  End song: "Space" by Mark Lint. Read about it.
12/10/152h 0m

Q&A with the Partially Examined Life, Pittsburgh 9-25-15

What is it like to do philosophy in public? As prelude to our ep. 125 appearance at the Pittsburgh Continental Philosophy Network Conference on theory and public space, Mark, Seth, Wes, and Dylan sat down for questions by moderator Erica Freeman, conference host Justin Pearl, and numerous attendees.
05/10/150s

Episode 124: The Stoic Life with Epictetus

On the Manual of Epictetus, aka The Enchiridion (135 CE). What's a wise strategy for life? Stoicism says that the secret is mastering yourself. Nothing external can break your spirit unless you let it. So, how weird and misguided is that advice? With guest Alex Fossella. End song: "But I Won't" by Mark Lint from Spanish Armada: Songs of Love and Related Neuroses (1993).
21/09/152h 8m

Episode 123: Economics with Hayek and Sen (Intro by Seth Benzell)

On F.A. Hayek's "The Use of Knowledge in Society" (1945) and Amartya Sen's On Ethics and Economics (1987). Is economics a pseudoscience? Are its assumptions by necessity too over-simplifying? Hayek objects to the idea of planning an economy, because the planners aren't in a position to know enough. With guest Seth Benzell, who starts us off with a "precognition" of the material. End song: "People Who Throw Away Love" by Mark Lint.
07/09/152h 15m

Ep 121/122 Aftershow on Augustine feat. James Wetzel

Haven't had enough Augustine? Danny Lobell and Wes Alwan welcome Augustine scholar James Wetzel and PEL Citizens Terra Leigh Bell, Amogh Sahu, and Scott Anderson to discuss our Augustine episodes, covering humility, love, desire, grief, sex, misogyny, degrees of reality, and how love of God fits with relating to other people. Minimally edited, recorded the same day it's being posted, we present a full Aftershow on our public feed for the very first time. (The last?) What do you think?
07/09/151h 37m

Episode 122: Augustine on Mind and Metaphysics

Yet more on The Confessions, now on books 10–13. What is memory and how does it relate to time and being? Augustine thinks that memory is a storehouse, but it contains not just the sensations we put in it, but also (à la Plato's theory of recollection) all legitimate knowledge. It's our route to God, to real Being. Mark, Wes, and Dylan also discuss time, language, knowledge, the existence of evil, and more. This continues our discussion from ep. 121. Listen to the Aftershow featuring James Wetzel! End song: "The Past Is Not Real" by Mark Lint. Read about it.
24/08/152h 14m

Precognition of Ep. 123: Economics (F.A. Hayek and Amartya Sen)

Guest Seth Benzell outlines Hayek's "The Use of Knowledge in Society" (1945) and Sen's On Ethics and Economics (1987).
19/08/1512m 26s

Episode 121: Augustine on Being Good

On The Confessions (400 CE), books 1–9. The question is not "What is virtue?" because knowing what virtue is isn't enough. The problem, for Aurelius Augustinus, aka St. Augustine of Hippo, is doing what you know to be right. End song: "I Still Want" by New People, from Impossible Things (2011).
10/08/152h 5m

Ep. 119 Aftershow (Preview) on Nietzsche feat. Greg Sadler

Seth Paskin and Danny Lobell were joined by Dr. Gregory B. Sadler, David Buchanan, Erik Weissengruber, Tom Kirdas, Ken Presting, and Bill Coe. Recorded July 26, 2015. This is the first 15 minutes of a two-hour conversation, available in full to PEL Citizens or free on our YouTube page.
07/08/1517m 8s

Episode 120: A History of “Will” with Guest Eva Brann

We discuss Un-Willing: An Inquiry into the Rise of Will's Power and an Attempt to Undo It (2014) with the author, covering Socrates, Augustine, Aquinas, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Sartre, compatibilism, the neurologists' critque of free will, and more. End song: "I Insist" by Mark Lint. Read about it.
27/07/151h 40m

Ep. 118 Aftershow (Preview) on Songwriting feat. ex-Camper Chris Molla

A highlight from our musician-packed breakdown of our songwriting episode. Featuring a third (ex-) member of Camper Van Beethoven, plus Chase Fiorenza, Mike Wilson, Maxx Bartko, Danny Lobell, Mark Linsenmayer, and (not heard on this preview) Adrian Cho and Fischerspooner's Warren Fischer. We discuss authenticity, the state of the music biz, humor in music, and more.
24/07/1518m 27s

Episode 119: Nietzsche on Tragedy and the Psychology of Art

On Friedrich Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy (1872). Nietzsche thought that you could tell how vital or decadent a civilization was by its art, and said that ancient Greek tragedy was so great because it was a perfect synthesis of something highly formal/orderly/beautiful with the intuitive/unconscious/chaotic. But then Socrates ruined everything! With guest John Castro. Includes a preview of the Aftershow feat. Greg Sadler. End song: "Some Act" by Mark Lint and the Fake from "So Whaddaya Think?" (2000).
06/07/152h 46m

Ep. 117 Aftershow (Preview) on Antigone with Danny Lobell

Listen to or watch the Aftershow for Episode 117 on Antigone, with Danny Lobell, Wes Alwan, and a bunch of PEL listeners like you. Also, learn about our new Citizen feed: get the full Aftershow delivered right to your smartphone!
05/07/1517m 58s

Episode 118: The Musical Life with Guests from Camper van Beethoven

Victor Krummenacher and Jonathan Segel join Mark and Wes to discuss songwriting and authenticity in the age of Internet consumerism. This episode prefigured Mark's Nakedly Examined Music podcast. Includes a preview of the Aftershow featuring more musicians including ex-Camper Chris Molla. End songs: "The Bastards Never Show Themselves" by the Monks of Doom and Mike Wilson's "RG."
29/06/151h 55m

Episode 117: Discussing Sophocles’s “Antigone”

Philosophically considering the ancient Greek tragedy, which we also performed with Lucy Lawless and Paul Provenza. End song: "Woe Is Me" (live, 2002) by Madison Lint. Features a preview of the Aftershow, feat. Wes and host Danny Lobell.
15/06/151h 57m

“Antigone” Read by PEL with Lucy Lawless and Paul Provenza

An unrehearsed, fun read-through of the Greek Tragedy from 441 BCE, plus some discussion with the cast of Greek drama, our selected translation, and other stuff. Enjoy! PEL Citizens can get an ad-free, extended version. End song: "Antigone (Choragos Speaks)" by Mark Lint. Read about it.
08/06/151h 25m

Episode 116: Freud on Dreams

On Sigmund Freud's On Dreams (1902) and other stuff. Are dreams just random, or our best key to understanding the mind? After you listen to this, check out the Aftershow. End song: "Sleep" by Mark Lint. Read about it.
25/05/152h 25m

Episode 115: Schopenhauer on Music with Guest Jonathan Segel

The Camper Van Beethoven violinist/composer/multi-instrumentalist joins us to discuss The World as Will and Representation, book 3 selections.
11/05/152h 15m

Episode 114: Schopenhauer: “The World Is Will”

On The World As Will and Representation (1818), book 2. The world is a blind, striving force!
27/04/152h 10m

Episode 113: Jesus’s Parables

Interpreting the Parables using texts from Paul Ricoeur, John Dominic Crossan, Paul Tillich, et al, with guest Law Ware.
06/04/152h 24m

Episode 112: Ricoeur on Interpreting Religion

On Paul Ricoeur's "The Critique of Religion" and "The Language of Faith" (1973), with guest Law Ware. How can we apply hermeneutics to the Bible?
16/03/152h 9m

Episode 111: Gadamer’s Hermeneutics: How to Interpret

On Hans-Georg Gadamer's Truth and Method (1960, ch. 4), "Aesthetics and Hermeneutics" (1964), "The Universality of the Hermeneutical Problem" (1966), and "Hermeneutics as Practical Philosophy" (1972).
02/03/152h 21m

Close Reading (Preview) of Heidegger on Truth

Mark and Seth go line-by-line through the first half of "On the Essence of Truth" to help you understand Heidegger's language. This is a 17-min preview of a 2 hr, 37-min bonus recording. Citizens, log in and listen now.
23/02/1516m 49s

Ep. 110 Aftershow (Preview) with Stephen West

Stephen West returns: Citizens should log in and listen to the Aftershow on Whitehead featuring Dylan Casey and David Buchanan. Everyone can listen to the first chunk of the discussion now.
22/02/1519m 11s

Close Reading (Preview) of Kant on the Sublime

Mark and Wes go line-by-line through a chunk of the Critique of Judgment to help you feel confident decoding Kant and other difficult texts. This is a 13-min preview of a 72-min bonus recording. Citizens, log in and listen now.
16/02/1513m 50s

Episode 110: Alfred North Whitehead: What Is Nature?

On The Concept of Nature (1920). Nature, i.e. the object of our experience, is events, not things, ya dig?
02/02/152h 17m

Precognition of Ep. 110: Whitehead

Mark Linsenmayer outlines Alfred North Whitehead's book The Concept of Nature (1920)
01/02/1513m 22s

Ep. 109 Aftershow (Preview) with Stephen West

The first chunk of our new after-the-episode discussion, featuring Stephen West from Philosophize This! and Mark Linsenmayer. This is a 20-min preview of a 72-min discussion that can be found in full on our Free Stuff for Citizens page.
31/01/1520m 5s

Episode 109: Jaspers’s Existentialism with Guest Paul Provenza

On Karl Jaspers's "On My Philosophy" (1941), featuring comedian/actor/director/author Paul Provenza
19/01/152h 1m

Precognition of Ep. 109: Karl Jaspers

Mark Linsenmayer introduces Karl Jaspers's existentialist tract, "On My Philosophy." (1941)
18/01/1510m 42s

Episode 108: Dangers of A.I. with Guest Nick Bostrom

On Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, and Strategies (2014) with the author. What can we predict about, and how can we control in advance, the motivations of the entity likely to result from eventual advances in machine learning? Also with guest Luke Muehlhauser.
06/01/151h 42m

Episode 107: Edmund Burke on the Sublime

On A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, where young Burke lays out our knee-jerk aesthetic reactions, including those to scary things at a safe distance. With guest Amir Zaki.
20/12/142h 15m

Not Ep. 107: The 12 Interminable Days of Xmas: A Musical Extravaganza

Mark Lint and the PEL Orchestra present the longest, slowest, biggest, fattest, most surreal Christmas carol ever.
20/12/141h 28m

Episode 106: Pyrrhonian Skepticism According to Sextus Empiricus

On "Outlines of Pyrrhonism" from 200 C.E. Can you live while suspending judgment about all non-everyday matters? WIth guest Jessica Berry.
04/12/141h 56m

Episode 105: Kant: What Is Beauty?

On Critique of Judgment (1790), Part I, Book I. What is beauty? Disinterested pleasure!
15/11/142h 0m

Episode 104: Robert Nozick’s Libertarianism

On Anarchy, State & Utopia (1974), ch. 1-3 and 7. What are the moral limits on government power? No redistributive taxation, suckah! With guest Stephen Metcalf.
27/10/142h 2m

Precognition of Ep. 104: Robert Nozick

Seth Paskin introduces Anarchy, State, and Utopia about libertarianism and the limits of legitimate government power.
26/10/1411m 52s

Episode 103: Thoreau on Living Deliberately

On Henry David Thoreau's Walden (1854). Should all true philosophers go live in the woods and seek Truth in nature? Probably YOU should.
14/10/1417m 49s

Episode 102: Emerson on Wisdom and Individuality

On Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “The American Scholar” lecture (1837) and his essays “Self-Reliance” and “Circles” (1841). Be yourself! Don't conform! Realize your oneness with the universe!
20/09/142h 6m

Episode 101: Maimonides on God

On Guide for the Perplexed about God's lack of properties, featuring guest comedian Danny Lobell of the Modern Day Philosophers podcast.
01/09/141h 41m

Episode 100: Plato’s Symposium Live Celebration!

Our big live episode (also on video) about love, sex, self-improvement, and ancient Greek pederasty! Featuring a set by Mark Lint, plus Philosophy Bro on Plato's "Apology."
15/08/142h 28m

Episode 99: Looking Back on 100 Discussions and 5+ Years

What have we learned? How has our take on the PEL project changed? On the eve before our big ep. 100 live show, we sat down to reflect on what we've been doing here. With guest Daniel Horne.
11/08/141h 49m

Episode 98: Guest Michael Sandel Against Market Society

Interviewing him on his book "What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets" and continuing the discussion of his first book, "Liberalism and the Limits of Justice."
26/07/141h 28m
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