The Partially Examined Life
Episode 96: Oppenheimer and the Rhetoric of Science...07/01/14
Discussing Lynda Walsh's book "Scientists as Prophets: A Rhetorical Genealogy" (2013) with the author, focusing on Robert J. Oppenheimer. What is the role of the science adviser? Should scientists just "stick to the facts," or can only someone with...
Episode 95: Gödel on Math
On two unpublished essays considering the implications of Godel's incompleteness theorems and asserting mathematical realism. With guest Adi Habbu.
Precognition of Ep. 96: Oppenheimer’s Rhetoric
Guest Lynda Walsh describes her book Scientists as Prophets: A Rhetorical Genealogy, focusing on J. Robert Oppenheimers conflicted position after WWII as science advisor and anti-nuke spokesman.
Episode 94: Schopenhauer on Reading, Writing, and Thinking
On Arthur Schopenhauer's essays, "On Authorship and Style," "On Thinking for Oneself," and "On Genius" (all published 1851). Is the best way to do philosophy (or any art) to self-consciously build on the work of others to advance the genre?...
Precognition of Ep. 95: Gödel on Math
Guest Adi Habbu lays out Kurt Gödels famous incompleteness theorems and describes some highlights from Some Basic Theorems on the Foundations of Mathematics and their Implications (1951) and The Modern Development of the Foundations of Mathematics in...
Episode 93: Freedom and Responsibility (Strawson vs. Strawson)
On P.F. Strawsons Freedom and Resentment (1960), Galen Strawsons The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility (1994), and Gary Watsons Responsibility and the Limits of Evil: Variations on a Strawsonian Theme (1987). Do we ordinarily act with the right...
Episode 92: Henri Bergson on How to Do Metaphysics
On An Introduction to Metaphysics (1903) How does metaphysics differ from science? While Kant had dismissed metaphysics as groundless speculation about things beyond human knowledge, Bergson sees it as a matter of grasping things from the inside. He...
Precognition of Ep. 93: Free Will (via Strawsons)
Guest Tamler Sommers (from the Very Bad Wizards podcast) summarizes Galen Strawsons The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility (1994) and his father P.F. Strawsons Freedom and Resentment (1960).
Episode 91: Transhumanism (Plus More on Brin)
Continuing discussion of David Brins novel Existence (without him) and adding Nick Bostroms essay Why I Want to Be a Posthuman When I Grow Up (2006). Are our present human capabilities sufficient for meeting the challenges our civilization will face?...
Episode 90: Sci-Fi and Philosophy with Guest David Brin
Discussing David Brins novel Existence (2012) with the author. Whats the point of thinking? Brin sees the future as a pressing threat, and Existence speculates that the reason we dont see evidence of life on other planets is that no species survives...
Precognition of Ep. 92: Henri Bergson
Guest Matt Teichman (from the Elucidations podcast) introduces Bergsons essay An Introduction to Metaphysics. Read more about the topic at partiallyexaminedlife.com.
Episode 89: Berkeley: Only Ideas Exist!
On Bishop George Berkeleys Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous (1713). While only a goon would deny the real existence of things like tables and chairs, does real existence have to mean existence as matter, i.e. as something that could exist...
Not School Digest #4: Sartre, Heidegger, Zizek, Marx, and Theater
Excerpts from PEL podcaster listener discussions on Sartres Nausea, Heideggers The Question Concerning Technology, Slavoj Zizeks Year of Dreaming Dangerously, Marx and Engelss Communist Manifesto, Peter Schaffers play Equus, and Cormac McCarthys The...
Precognition of Ep. 90: Sci-Fi & Philosophy w/ David Brin
Mark Linsenmayer frames our upcoming discussion with sci-fi author David Brin about his 2012 novel Existence. Read more about the topic at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Get a transcript from our Free Stuff for Citizens page.
Episode 88: G.E.M. Anscombe: Should We Use Moral Language?
On Elizabeth Anscombes Modern Moral Philosophy (1958), Intention sections 22-27 (1957), and War and Murder (1961). No, Anscombe thinks that our moral language was developed in a theistic context, and without a law-giver, the idea of a moral law or...
Precognition of Ep. 89: Berkeley
Listen to Wes Alwans introduction and summary for George Berkeleys Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous. Read more about the topic and get the text at partiallyexaminedlife.com.
Episode 87: Sartre on Freedom and Self-Deception
On Jean-Paul Sartres Existentialism is a Humanism (1946), Bad Faith (pt. 1, ch. 2 of Being Nothingness, 1943), and his play No Exit (1944). What is human nature? Sartre says that there isnt one, but there is a universal human condition, which is our...
Precognition of Ep. 88: Anscombe
Special guest Philosophy Bro introduces us to Elizabeth Anscombes essay Modern Moral Philosophy and her book Intention (sections 22-27). Read more about the topic.
Sartre’s “No Exit” Read with Lucy Lawless & Jaime Murray
In support of our upcoming ep. #87 on Sartre, the PEL Players present our 2nd annual dramatic reading of a work of philosophical theater. Mark Linsenmayer and Wes Alwan are joined by real actresses Lucy Lawless (Xena, Battlestar Galactica, Parks...
Episode 86: Thomas Kuhn on Scientific Progress
On The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, published mostly in 1962. Does scientific knowledge simply accumulate as we learn more and more, coming closer and closer to a full and truthful picture of the world? Kuhn says no! Instead, each scientific...
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