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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 featu ...
 
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show series
 
Continuing from our overview in ep. 32, we do a close reading on selections from the introduction of Martin Heidegger's Being and Time to consider Heidegger's Being in relation to Aristotle's Categories, what questioning means, and some of Heidegger's basic terms. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get…
 
Richie Reinhardt drummed for The Ramones for three albums and has released two solo albums and some singles. We discuss his new single "Not Afraid," his 2013 solo version of "I Know Better Now" from Entitled (2013), "Human Kind" by Ramones from Too Tough to Die (1984), and "I Fix This” from Cellophane (2016). Intro: "Somebody Put Something in My Dr…
 
Bill is a sad but steadfast street sweeper. Mark has secret character traits. Filmmaker Jack C. Newell is our inaugural non-philosopher, non-improviser guest, and his film knowledge leads to us talking about ethics in terms of film tropes plus some meta-historical-reenactment. Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and te…
 
Discussing Martin Heidegger's Being and Time (1927) back in 2011, mostly the intro and Ch. 1 and 2. When philosophers try to figure out what really exists (God? matter? numbers?), Heidegger thinks they've forgotten a question that really should come first: what is it to exist? He thinks that instead of asking "What is Being?" we ask, as in a scient…
 
Concluding on Kant's "Perpetual Peace," plus Jurgen Habermas' "Kant's Idea of Perpetual Peace, with the Benefit of Two Hundred Years' Hindsight." If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
 
Continuing on Immanuel Kant's essay "Perpetual Peace," we go further into how Kant's politics relate to his ethics and consider his actual policy proposals: each state must be a republic, they should join in a federation, and we all owe each other hospitality as a cosmopolitan right. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlif…
 
On Immanuel Kant's essay "Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch" (1795). Do nations have the "right" to go to war? What principles ground just international relations, and are there structures and agreements that we can embrace to prevent prevent future wars? Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad…
 
Second in our series on the odes of John Keats is Ode to a Nightingale, in which Keats imagines a journey into the realm of negative capability, a concept introduced in our previous episode on Ode to a Grecian Urn. Keats hears a nightingale’s song and it inspires him to ponder such questions as, what makes an ideal artist? How might we access the w…
 
Concluding on W.V.O. Quine's "Epistemology Naturalized" (1969). We talk more about the attempt to found epistemology on psychology. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
 
Continuing on "Epistemology Naturalized" (1969), we work further through the text, getting into what this new psychology-rooted epistemology might look like and how Quine changed empiricism. Plus, more of us trying to figure out his claims about the indeterminacy of translation. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com…
 
On W.V.O. Quine's "Epistemology Naturalized" (1969). What justifies scientific theory? Not theory-free observations, as Quine shows us by considering how we figure out foreign languages. Instead of basing science on epistemology, Quine thought we need to make epistemology part of science. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexamin…
 
Babette teaches at Fordham and recently edited the collection "Reading David Hume's 'On The Standard of Taste,'" which Mark made use of for PEL#289. So, more philosophically beefy than our typical PvI episode, and yet also live and hence unpredictable. Taste it! Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chica…
 
Continuing on "Situated Knowledges" and other essays with guest Lynda Olman. We try to get at the practical import of Olman's scheme and get further into her use of metaphors and what those mean for her critical stance. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexamin…
 
On "Situated Knowledge" (1988), "A Cyborg Manifesto" (1985), etc. featuring guest Lynda Olman. What is scientific objectivity? Haraway rejects both relativism and traditional, "god's eye" objectivism in favor of a "cyborg" view that looks for alternate ways of seeing and acknowledges the ways that science and technology are tied to politics. Part t…
 
In the beginning, Colonel Nicholson seems to be a stickler for principle, willing to die rather than have his officers do menial labor in a Japanese prison camp. In the end, his principles seem to be a cover for personal vanity. He is willing to put his officers to work building a bridge for his enemies, as long as it leaves him with a legacy. “The…
 
Concluding on Susanne Langer's Philosophy in a New Key (ch. 8-10). We continue discussing whether and how music is symbolic. Sing along with us! If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
 
On Susanne Langer's Philosophy in a New Key (1942), ch. 8-10. Is music (the supposedly non-representational artform) a language? If it's "expressive," what exactly does it express? Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts. Sponsors: Get a free T-shirt wit…
 
Continuing our discussion on the symbolic value of religion and its antecedents, primary at this point discussing Susanne Langer's Philosophy in a New Key, ch. 7. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.…
 
On Ernst Cassirer's An Essay on Man (1944), ch. 6-7, and Susanne Langer's Philosophy in a New Key (1942), ch. 6-7. Why do people produce ritual, mythology, and religion? According to our authors, these are spontaneous, symbolic modes of self-expression. They're not opposed to rational, scientific thought, but are necessary preconditions for it. Par…
 
In 1906, presumably finished with his short story collection Dubliners, James Joyce wrote to his brother with dissatisfaction that, though he set about to create a comprehensive portrait of Ireland’s capital city, he had not managed to render its famous, unrivaled hospitality. His efforts to rectify this omission resulted in “The Dead,” the book’s …
 
Bob has released 20+ albums since the early '80s. We discuss "Forecast of Rain" from Blue Hearts (2020), "I Don’t Know You Anymore" from Beauty & Ruin (2014), "JC Auto" by Sugar from Beaster (1993), and "In A Free Land" by Hüsker Dü, 1982 singe remixed for Savage Young Du (2017). End song: the title track to his new acoustic EP, The Ocean. Intro: "…
 
Continuing on Philosophy in a New Key (1942), ch. 1-5. Is symbolism the software running on the hardware of our senses, or are symbols baked even into that hardware? We talk pictures vs. symbols, types of symbol-pictures, and what it means for experience to be symbolic. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up …
 
On Philosophy in a New Key (1942), ch. 1-5, plus as background most of us looked at Ernst Cassirer's An Essay on Man (1944), ch. 1-5. What does it mean to say that humanity is homo symbolicus, the symbol-making creature? Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Po…
 
We get into more detail on David Hume's "The Standard of Taste" (1760). How does he resolve the paradox that it seems both that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yet some judgments about beauty are obviously wrong? If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexamine…
 
How do we know what opinions about beauty are correct? We read The Moralists: A Philosophical Rhapsody (1709) by Anthony Ashley-Cooper, aka the third Earl of Shaftesbury, Part III section 2 "Beauty," and An Inquiry Concerning Beauty, Order, Harmony, Design (1725) by Francis Hutcheson, and "The Standard of Taste" by David Hume (1760). Part two of th…
 
Stephen Spielberg once said that he was “still waiting to get out of [his] Peter Pan shoes and into [his] loafers.” Being a filmmaker, he said, was his way of remaining a child. Sort of. While his film “E.T.” is told from a child’s vantage point, it does not completely honor the wish to remain there. Like the alien he befriends, Eliot has been aban…
 
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