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The Partially Examined Life

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The Partially Examined Life is a philosophy 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.

The Partially Examined Life is a philosophy 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.
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Location:

Madison, WI

Description:

The Partially Examined Life is a philosophy 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.

Language:

English


Episodes

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

3/18/2019
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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,"...

Duration:00:47:57

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

3/11/2019
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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...

Duration:00:59:01

Constellary Tales #6: Philip K. Dick's "Minority Report" (PEL Crossover Special)

3/10/2019
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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.

Duration:00:59:06

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

3/4/2019
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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...

Duration:01:03:44

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

2/25/2019
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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!...

Duration:00:52:31

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

2/23/2019
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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.

Duration:00:39:19

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

2/18/2019
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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...

Duration:01:26:14

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

2/10/2019
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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...

Duration:01:02:29

NEM#91: Rachel Taylor Brown's Decorated Aphorisms

2/8/2019
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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.

Duration:01:09:17

Episode 208: Epicurus on Seeking Pleasure (Part Two)

2/4/2019
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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:...

Duration:00:57:49

Episode 208: Epicurus on Seeking Pleasure (Part One)

1/28/2019
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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...

Duration:00:50:16

NEM#90: Sam Phillips Brings Intuition Out of Dreams

1/25/2019
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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.

Duration:01:01:08

Episode 207: Herder on Art Appreciation (Part Two)

1/21/2019
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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?...

Duration:01:25:29

Episode 207: Herder on Art Appreciation (Part One)

1/14/2019
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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...

Duration:00:56:56

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

1/12/2019
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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.

Duration:00:14:24

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

1/7/2019
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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...

Duration:01:13:59

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

12/31/2018
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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...

Duration:00:58:18

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

12/31/2018
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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!

Duration:00:19:41

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

12/22/2018
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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,...

Duration:00:54:46

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

12/19/2018
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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...

Duration:01:05:17