The Partially Examined Life
Episode 105: Kant: What Is Beauty?11/15/14
On Critique of Judgment (1790), Part I, Book I. What is beauty? Disinterested pleasure!
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!
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.
Precognition of Ep. 104: Robert Nozick
Seth Paskin introduces Anarchy, State, and Utopia about libertarianism and the limits of legitimate government power.
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!
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.
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"
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.
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"
Episode 97: Michael Sandel on Social Justice and the Self
On "Liberalism and the Limits of Justice" (1982) where Sandel critiques Rawls's version of liberalism as based on a bogus picture of us as purely choosing beings.
Episode 96: Oppenheimer and the Rhetoric of Science Advisers
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On two unpublished essays considering the implications of Godel's incompleteness theorems and asserting mathematical realism.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...
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