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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 196: Guest Simon Blackburn on Truth (Part Two)

8/13/2018
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Continuing with Simon on his book On Truth (2018). We move to part two of the book, where we get down to the procedures used to obtain truth in art, ethics, and science. Yes, truth is objective, but it's not best described as correspondence, and in fact this elaboration of how truth is actually obtained is more enlightening than any abstract definition meant to cover all the different types of truth-seeking. Listen to part one first, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition, and also...

Duration:01:07:44

Episode 196: Guest Simon Blackburn on Truth (Part One)

8/6/2018
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The Cambridge/etc. prof joins Mark, Wes, and Dylan to discuss his book On Truth (2018). What is truth? Simon's view synthesizes deflationism and pragmatism to avoid relativism by fixing on the domain-specific procedures we actually engage in to establish the truth of a claim, whether in ethics, science, art, or whatever. A gift of clarity after two episodes threshing through the jungles of analytic philosophy! Don't wait for part 2! Get the full, unbroken Citizen Edition now. Keep an eye...

Duration:00:52:36

NEM#79: Prateek Kuhad's Bi-Lingual Love Songs

8/4/2018
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Prateek was named artist of the year for 2016 by MTV India and has been releasing tasteful, lyrics-focused songs about relationships in English and Hindi since 2011. We focus on his 2015 album Tokens and Charms: "Go," "Oh Love," and "Flames," plus the 2017 single "Tum Jab Pas," and the title track from his brand new EP cold/mess. Intro/Outro: "Raat Raazi" (2013). For more, visit prateekkuhad.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.

Duration:01:15:40

Episode 195: Truth-The Austin/Strawson Debate (Part Two)

7/29/2018
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Continuing on "Truth" by J.L. Austin and "Truth" by P.F. Strawson both from 1950. We proceed to the Strawson article, which critiques the notion of a "fact" as explaining why a sentence might be true. A "fact" is not a thing in the world! So what do we add when we change "The cat is on the mat" to "'The cat is on the mat' is true?" Listen to Part One first, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Troof" by Shawn Phillips, as interviewed for Nakedly...

Duration:01:01:51

Episode 195: Truth-The Austin/Strawson Debate (Part One)

7/23/2018
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On two articles in the "ordinary language" tradition of philosophy called "Truth" from 1950 by J.L. Austin and P.F. Strawson. Is truth a property of particular speech acts, or of the propositions expressed through speech acts? Does truth mean correspondence with the facts, or does the word "fact" make this definition totally uninformative? Does saying "is true" add any information content to a sentence over and above just stating that sentence? Don't wait a week to hear about Strawson!...

Duration:01:01:26

Bonus Discussion: Wes Interprets Shakespeare's "Tempest" (Part One)

7/21/2018
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Wes Alwan and Bill Youmans discuss the 1611 play about revenge, forgiveness, and authorship. Or maybe it's about exploitation, or how we react to changes in status, or perhaps how a liberal education can give you magical powers! Note: Part two will NOT be appearing on this feed. Become a PEL Citizen to get the full discussion. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to learn how.

Duration:00:33:31

Episode 194: Alfred Tarski on Truth (Part Two)

7/16/2018
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Continuing on Tarski's “The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics" (1944), Hartry Field's “Tarski's Theory of Truth” (1972), and Donald Davidson's “The Folly of Trying to Define Truth” (1977). What was Tarski really doing? What are the implications of his project? Does it even make sense to define "truth," and what should a definition look like? Listen to part one first, or get the ad-free Citizen Edition. Look out for the Citizen-only bonus discussion of...

Duration:01:12:02

Episode 194: Alfred Tarski on Truth (Part One)

7/8/2018
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On Tarski's “The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics" (1944), Hartry Field's “Tarski's Theory of Truth” (1972), and Donald Davidson's “The Folly of Trying to Define Truth” (1977). What is truth? Tarski gives a technical, metaphysically neutral definition for truth within a particular, well-defined language. So how does that apply to real languages? He thought he was defining truth (a semantic concept) in terms of more primitive (physical?) concepts, but Field and...

Duration:00:54:46

PREVIEWS-Eps 192-193 Allan Bloom & Liberal Education Follow-Ups

7/7/2018
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Hear highlights from two supporter-only discussions: Allan Bloom on Nietzsche/Freud/etc. and Leo Strauss vs. Richard Rorty on liberal education and democracy.

Duration:00:16:35

Episode 193: The Theory and Practice of Liberal Education (Part Two)

7/2/2018
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Continuing with the current St. John's College president on articles on liberal education by Jacob Klein, Sidney Hook, and Martha Nussbaum. What's the practical application of a liberal education? Is it really liberating or indoctrinating? We continue discussion of the Great Books model. Listen to part 1 first or get the ad-free Citizen Edition along with the follow-up discussion. Please support PEL! End song: "Preservation Hill" by The Bevis Frond; Mark interviewed Nick Saloman on...

Duration:00:52:22

Episode 193: The Theory and Practice of Liberal Education (Part One)

6/25/2018
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Pano Kanelos, the president of St. John's College, Annapolis joins us to discuss Jacob Klein's “The Idea of a Liberal Education” (1660) and “On Liberal Education” (1965), plus Sidney Hook’s “A Critical Appraisal of the St. John’s College Curriculum” (1946) and Martha Nussbaum’s “Undemocratic Vistas” (1987). What constitutes a liberal education? Should we all read the Western canon? Klein (and our guest) think that we need to wonder at the familiar, to explore the ancestry of our current...

Duration:00:50:33

Episode 192: "The Closing of the American Mind": Allan Bloom on Great Books (Part Two)

6/18/2018
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Continuing on Allan Bloom's 1987 book critiquing the current fragmented structure of the university that promotes technical and professional education over the ability to think philosophically. Does Bloom's vision require aristocracy, or can a Great Books education be available for all? Listen to part 1 first, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Your Citizenship will also get you access to an exclusive follow-up discussion. Please support PEL! End song: "Greatness (The...

Duration:01:10:35

Episode 192: "The Closing of the American Mind": Allan Bloom on Education (Part One)

6/11/2018
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On Allan Bloom's 1987 best-seller about why students' disconnection from Great Books has led to relativism and ultimately nihilism. What is the role of the university in our democracy? Bloom thinks that today's students are conformist, relativism, and nihilistic, and that great books and thinking for thinking's sake are the cure. Don't wait for part 2! Get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition now; your Citizenship will also get you the follow-up discussion to be released soon. Please...

Duration:00:53:27

Episode 191: Conceptual Schemes: Donald Davidson & Rudolf Carnap (Part Two)

6/4/2018
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Finishing Davidson's "On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme" (1974) and moving on to Carnap's "Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology" (1950). Carnap claims that we talk about mathematical objects or subatomic particles or whatever, we're not really (contra Quine) making metaphysical claims. Ontological questions like "Are there really numbers?" are just pretentious nonsense. With guest Dusty Dallman. Listen to part 1 first, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support...

Duration:01:09:31

Episode 191: Conceptual Schemes: Donald Davidson & Rudolf Carnap (Part One)

5/28/2018
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On Davidson's "On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme" (1974) and Carnap's "Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology" (1950). What does it mean to say that we grasp the world through a conceptual scheme? Are schemes different between cultures or even individuals, such that we can't really understand each other? Davidson thinks that this doesn't make sense. We'll get to Carnap in part 2, but you needn't wait. Get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL! Sponsors: Listen to...

Duration:00:56:10

PREVIEWS-Ep 189: Authorial Intent (Part Three) Plus Identity Politics

5/26/2018
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Listen here to a few highlights from two recent discussions between Mark and Wes: We chase down some issues from ep. 189, relating authorial intent to philosophy of language more generally, then we have some preliminary discussion about the possibility of a future identity politics episode. Get the full discussions by becoming a PEL Citizen or $5/month Patreon supporter.

Duration:00:16:52

NEM#73: David J Colors His Poetry

5/21/2018
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David J. Haskins gained fame with Bauhaus in the late 70s/early 80s, gained more fame with Love and Rockets, and has since 1983 released around ten albums plus several EPs and other collaborations. We discuss "The Auteur (Redux / Reprise)" a 2018 single (featuring Rose McGowan and Emily Jane White), "Vaudeville Ghost Light" from Carpe Noctem (2016), credited to M.C. Nightshade and the Theatre Bizarre Orchestra, and "Eulogy for Jeff Buckley" from Not Long for this World (2011). End song:...

Duration:01:06:56

Episode 190: Film Analysis: "mother!"

5/21/2018
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On Darren Aronofsky's philosophical 2017 film about humanity's relationship to nature. We discuss the philosophical content of the film (Gnosticism, anyone?) and explore the relation between meaning and the sensuous aspects of an artwork. Can a work be both allegorical and yet have fully fleshed out characters and the other elements that make a film feel real? This was a very polarizing film; how do the circumstances of viewing affect reception? With guest Tim Nicholas. End song: “The Day...

Duration:01:28:18

Episode 189: Authorial Intent (Barthes, Foucault, Beardsley, et al) (Part Two)

5/14/2018
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Continuing on "The Death of the Author" by Roland Barthes (1967) and "What Is an Author?" by Michel Foucault (1969), and finally getting to “Against Theory” by Steven Knapp and Walter Benn Michaels (1982). What could it mean to say that a text, once written, speaks itself? We get into Foucault's critique of the cult of the author and the reader-centric types of analysis he proposes in its place. Plus, Knapp and Michaels's poem written by natural forces on a rock. Crazy stuff! Listen to...

Duration:01:19:25

Episode 189: Authorial Intent (Barthes, Foucault, Beardsley, et al) (Part One)

5/7/2018
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On four essays about how to interpret artworks: “The Intentional Fallacy” by W. K. Wimsatt and Monroe Beardsley (1946), "The Death of the Author" by Roland Barthes (1967), "What is an Author?" by Michel Foucault (1969), and “Against Theory” by Steven Knapp and Walter Benn Michaels (1982). When you're trying to figure out what, say, a poem means, isn't the best way to do that to just ask the author? Most of these guys say no, and that's supposed to reveal something about the nature of...

Duration:00:57:11