show episodes
 
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 on Dialogues on Metaphysics and Religion (1688), ch. 1-4. We talk about the character of the intelligible world, how we generate general concepts, the existence of God, seeing God, original sin, and more. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedli…
 
Thi is a philosopher of games, making him a perfect match for this podcast. Why are games worthy of philosophical study? What counts as a game, anyway? We play a frustration game, finish each others’ sentences, and ask dumb questions on a museum tour. It’s an unusually discussion-focused episode! Picture is by Zahra, grabbed from this article. The …
 
Fellini called his film "La Strada" a dangerous representation of his identity, and had a nervous breakdown just before completing its shooting. Perhaps this identity, and its vulnerability, have something to do with the film’s representation of a disappointed hope that love might vanquish pride, if properly assisted by the forces of playfulness an…
 
Did it make sense for Steven Spielberg to remake one of our nation's most beloved musicals (with music by Bernstein and Sondheim!), attempting to fix the parts that did not age well politically? Is the new version a modern classic or a doomed Frankenstein? Your host Mark Linsenmayer is joined by Broadway scholar, theater critic, and actor Ron Fassl…
 
On Dialogues on Metaphysics and Religion (1688), ch. 1-4. We walk through M's rationalist (post-Descartes, pre-Leibniz) epistemology with its surprising implications for the metaphysics of causality and the role of God in nature. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via…
 
Lilli is also an activist, folk-rock diva, record label executive, and daughter of a preacher man. She’s released 10 albums and 3 EPs since 2003. We discuss “Coffee Shop Girl” and listen to “Copper John” from Americana(2021), “Warm and Gentle People” from We Belong (2019), and “Song for the End of Days” from Castles of Her Crystalline (2005). Intro…
 
Mark is joined by Brian Hirt, Erica Spyres, and Mark's son Abe Linsenmayer. With the release of The Matrix Resurrections, we talk through the franchise as a whole. What made the first one remarkable, and does that a bar that any sequel can reach? We talk through the choices that fed into the new film, why people don't seem to care about their matri…
 
Welcome to an extra special, intentionally public edition of Nightcap to catch you up on what Mark, Wes, Seth, and Dylan are all up to personally and intellectually and hash out what we want to potentially cover on the show over the next year. Get this ad-free by signing up to support us via partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Sponsors: Have a donat…
 
Can we have an entertaining discussion inspired by Aristotle’s most boring book? Bill leads Mark and our guest Tommy through some let’s-describe-what’s-in-an-imaginary-room exercises. Dark Tourist, I’m Sorry, the bookCan we have an entertaining discussion inspired by Aristotle’s most boring book, The Categories? Bill leads Mark and our guest Tommy …
 
Continuing on "What Is Man" (1905). We work through Twain's metaphors for human nature, say what he means by "instinct," contemplate his notion of identity and why he thinks you are apparently different from your body-machine, and gauge the practical upshot of his stances. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign …
 
Ray started Asleep at the Wheel in 1969 and has put out 26 albums of original tunes and classic covers while touring constantly. We discuss the title track from Half a Hundred Years (2021), “Pedernales Stroll” from Keepin’ Me Up Nights (1990), and “Am I High” from The Wheel (1977). Intro: “The Letter (That Johnny Walker Read)” from Texas Gold (1975…
 
There’s trouble at the work site! There are secret shifts of emotion going on. Do they make sense? Later, a guy’s car is blocking a driveway. Does he deserve the electric chair, or a beer? It depends on your theory of punishment. Ep. art cribbed from a Psychology Today article. Audio editing by Tyler Hislop at Pixelbox Media. Hear more PvI. Support…
 
Popular shows have commented on wealth inequality by showing how dire the situation is for the poor and/or how disconnected and clueless the rich are. How effective is this type of social commentary? Mark is joined by philosopher and NY Times writer Lawrence Ware, novelist and writing professor Sarahlyn Bruck, and educator with a rhetoric doctorate…
 
On "What Is Man" (1905). Twain describes a person as a machine. We have no free will and always act to win our own self-approval. This was a bleak enough picture that the essay was not printed until after Twain's death. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Pod…
 
The scene is its own entity. What else might be its own entity? Can a machine that passes the Turing test know what it’s like to be a bat? We bring in emotions from irrelevant contexts, and we keep hearing them long after they’re gone. Episode art by Alvin Alvaro. Audio editing by Tyler Hislop at Pixelbox Media. Hear more PvI. Support the podcast t…
 
Continuing on "What Is Love?" (1992). We consider B's account of love as resolution of a paradox: The positions of man and woman in no way overlap, yet all truth is generic, i.e. accessible to everyone. Love makes it happen! If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallye…
 
Chuck joined Green on Red as guitarist in 1985 and has released 15 solo albums of tuneful guitar rock since 1990, touring constantly and doing a lot of co-writing. We discuss “Womankind” from The Land That Time Forgot (2020), “Your Skin” from Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins (2017), “Castro Halloween” from Temple Beautiful (2012, the extended single…
 
Mark is joined by musician David Brookings, Gig Gab host Dave Hamilton, and OpenCulture writer Colin Marshall to discuss Peter Jackson's documentary Get Back and the enduring popularity of The Beatles. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark…
 
On "What Is Love," which is ch. 11 of Conditions (1992). We see what it means to call love a "truth procedure": It's a new way of seeing, through the eyes of the Two, not the merger of two souls or the loving of god through another. Does B's pseudo-mathematical language about this make sense? Part two of this episode is only going to be available t…
 
What is “othering”? Why did Bill get such a bad grade? Is it because of his feather quill pen? Don’t miss our anti-vaxxer drama! This is our first episode with a real philosophy professor on it, and we get to talk about her experience as an academic as it relates to this most socially relevant philosophical topic. Listen to Jenny talk in more depth…
 
Continuing on Conditions, "The (Re)turn of Philosophy Itself." What makes philosophy possible? The four "conditions," i.e. mathematics, politics, art, and love, generate the truths, and philosophy is the pincers that gather these together in thought. But how exactly? If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via…
 
John has released 45 albums since 1975 of original folk, traditional folk, children’s music (garnering six Grammy nominations for those), and instrumentals: He is fluent on guitar, banjo, violin, dulcimer, and more. His songs very often tell stories, and we discuss several of those: “Atonement” from Bucket List (2021), “Soup” from John McCutcheon’s…
 
Let’s all lose our jobs and talk instead about fundamental ontology and social dynamics. Image by I don’t remember. Audio editing by Tyler Hislop. Hear more PvI. Support the podcast to get bonus stuff and good karma! Sponsors: Visit betterhelp.com/improv to be matched with a licensed, professional therapist. Learn about St. John’s College at sjc.ed…
 
Mark is joined by Brian Hirt, Erin Conrad, and Brian Casey to discuss the new film, the old ones, and the book series. Is it really adaptable given the deep lore and the vast time jumps? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podcasts to the Mark Lintertainment…
 
On Conditions (1992), Ch. 1 "The (Re)turn of Philosophy Itself." Against post-structuralists who deny Truth, Badiou argues that truths are generated by the truth conditions (politics, art, love, and science/math) which philosophy then thinks into a unified vision. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at parti…
 
Hell is NOT other people, and the more the merrier, with our second episode with guests being with TWO guest improvisers, Jill, co-founder of HUGE Theater and her friend Michelle, owner of Improv MKE. Bill and our guests each start a scene to explore something of what utopia might amount to, and of course how it will inevitably go bad. Then we disc…
 
Continuing on Against Method (1975) about the non-rational progress of science. Given that according to F., epistemological conformity can't proceed by an appeal to reason, how does it proceed? Through indoctrination, propaganda, and coercion, even when our goal is to encourage freedom and rationality. If you're not hearing the full version of this…
 
Steve is best known as guitarist/arranger for Oingo Boingo through their eight albums from 1981-1995 and for following its leader Danny Elfman into a life creating movie soundtracks, often for filmmaker Tim Burton. However, his activity as composer goes all the way back to the late ’60s and continues today. We discuss “Tango” by jackiO from their s…
 
In light of the release of The Last Duel, we talk about the trope of the honor-resolving duel in movies and TV. Mark and guest co-host Dylan Casey from PEL are joined by Clif Mark, host of the Good in Theory podcast. We touch on The Duelists, A Knight's Tale, The Duelist and The Duel (two 2016 films), Dune, Hamilton, and philosophers like Hegel and…
 
On Against Method (1975). In dialogue with Lakatos, Feyerabend claimed that scientific progress can not be explained rationally, so how does it progress? Is F. just arguing against the possibility of any philosophy of science? Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Ap…
 
Riffing on resemblance. Eventually invoking the spirit of a toaster. Mark is wrong: the God Emperor of Dune can’t drink water at all, just dried food. Learn about Del Close. Philosophy barely makes it in, but if you want to chase down this nonsense about whether a robot cat is still a cat or not, check out the Twin Earth stuff in PEL’s Putnam episo…
 
Continuing on "Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes" (1970). We distinguish various kinds of falsificationism and give more details about Lakatos' concept of a scientific research program. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexamin…
 
What long-term effects do songs that we’re exposed to early have on our adult tastes? As children we (hopefully) learn to love music, but then our critical faculties and peer pressure kick in, and many early influences become unacknowledged or transformed into guilty pleasures. Is the generation gap in musical taste really just due to how styles ch…
 
As board games are becoming increasingly popular with adults, we ask: What's the relationship between a board game's mechanics and its narrative? Does the "message" of a board game matter? Mark is joined by game designer Tommy Maranges, educator Michelle Parrinello-Cason, and ex-philosopher Al Baker to talk about re-skinning games, designing player…
 
On "Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes" (1970). In what way is scientific progress rational? Lakatos splits the difference between Popper and Kuhn to argue that some scientific research programs are more progressive than others, meaning that they make dramatic, unexpected predictions. Part two of this episode is onl…
 
Do you believe in miracles? If doctors believed in miracles, would they just let surgeries finish themselves? Do assumptions of a logical universe make it not just unjustified by psychologically impossible for us to really believe in miracles? Read about our VERY FIRST guest, Tim Sniffen at timsniffen.com. Follow him @MisterSniffen and hear him tal…
 
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