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The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast

Culture

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 feature episodes from other podcasts by our hosts to round out your partially examined life, including Pretty Much Pop (prettymuchpop.com, covering all media), Nakedly Examined Music (nakedlyexaminedmusic.com, deconstructing songs), Philosophy vs. Improv (philosophyimprov.com, fun with performance skills and philosophical ideas), and (sub)Text (subtextpodcast.com, looking deeply at lit and film). Learn about more network podcasts at partiallyexaminedlife.com.

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 feature episodes from other podcasts by our hosts to round out your partially examined life, including Pretty Much Pop (prettymuchpop.com, covering all media), Nakedly Examined Music (nakedlyexaminedmusic.com, deconstructing songs), Philosophy vs. Improv (philosophyimprov.com, fun with performance skills and philosophical ideas), and (sub)Text (subtextpodcast.com, looking deeply at lit and film). Learn about more network podcasts at partiallyexaminedlife.com.

Location:

Madison, WI

Description:

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 feature episodes from other podcasts by our hosts to round out your partially examined life, including Pretty Much Pop (prettymuchpop.com, covering all media), Nakedly Examined Music (nakedlyexaminedmusic.com, deconstructing songs), Philosophy vs. Improv (philosophyimprov.com, fun with performance skills and philosophical ideas), and (sub)Text (subtextpodcast.com, looking deeply at lit and film). Learn about more network podcasts at partiallyexaminedlife.com.

Language:

English


Episodes

REISSUE-Ep 35: Hegel on Self-Consciousness (w/ New Intro)

9/13/2021
We re-introduce an episode from ten years ago that's long been behind our paywall on G.F.W. Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, Ch. 4A, "Self-Consciousness," which features guest Tom McDonald. We've removed the "review" section of the old episode (the first half), because it's duplicative of our recent three-episode run on this book. The discussion thus picks up in the book right where ep. 277 leaves off. Get more vintage episodes like this by becoming a PEL supporter. Sponsors: Get a free...

Duration:01:17:15

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Dead Wall Reveries in "Bartleby, the Scrivener" by Herman Melville

9/11/2021
Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener” is subtitled a “Story of Wall St.,” yet there is almost nothing in it of the bustle of city life, and entirely nothing in it of the hustle of the trading floor. The story’s walls block out the streets, serving on the one hand as a container for a colorful assortment of human Xerox machines, on the other as a blank projection screen for the reveries of a man who seems to quietly rebel against the very concept of imitation. Can we continue to live and work,...

Duration:00:32:20

PEL Presents PMP#104: King Arthur Reigns O'er Pop Culture

9/9/2021
With the recent theatrical release of The Green Knight, Mark and Brian along with Den of Geek's David Crow and the very British Al Baker consider the range of cinematic Arthuriana, including Excalibur (1981), Camelot (1967), King Arthur (2004), King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017), First Knight (1995), Sword of the Valiant (1983), Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1973), and Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975). For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at...

Duration:00:59:05

PEL Special: Nightcap Early September 2021

9/6/2021
A little political ranting precedes a consideration of what we might read in aesthetics, philosophy of science, and philosophy of sport. What do we remember about emotions? Finally, Seth's morbid interests and Devo. If you enjoy this kind of free-form discussion, you can get it on the reg by becoming a PEL Citizen via one of the methods identified at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.

Duration:00:30:18

PREMIUM-Ep. 277: Hegel on Our Understanding of Physics (Part Two)

9/6/2021
Continuing on The Phenomenology of Spirit, ch. 3, "Force and the Understanding." We start off by considering the players in force: the thing exerting the force and the thing receiving. By arguing that these are not so different, Hegel moves to arguing that knowledge and the world are likewise not sharply distinguished. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.

Duration:00:11:47

Ep. 277: Hegel on Our Understanding of Physics (Part One)

8/30/2021
On The Phenomenology of Spirit, ch. 3, "Force and the Understanding." What is "force" as physics describes it? And scientific law? Do these terms denote objects in the world, or models for how we describe the world? Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts. Get it now or listen to a preview. Sponsors: Get life insurance quickly and easily at LadderLife.com/PEL. Have a donation of up to $1000...

Duration:00:57:18

PEL Presents PMP#103: Queering Video Games w/ Naomi Clark

8/29/2021
"Queering" doesn't just mean adding LGBTQ+ representation to games; it's disruption of norms through added player freedom. Mark and guest co-host Tyler engage game designer Naomi Clark on sandbox games, character creation, how games train us, glitches, speed runs, and more, touching on The Sims, The Last of Us, Cyberbpunk, Mass Effect, and her own games like Sissyfight 2000 and the card game Consentacle. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at...

Duration:00:58:54

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Cursed Kids or Psych-Au Pair? "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James

8/28/2021
The story begins and ends with two variations on the meaning of the title. On the one hand, to give another turn of the screw is to ratchet up the horror of a good ghost story, in this case by involving children in it. On the other, it’s to treat the cause of that horror as if it were just another of life’s many obstacles, to be overcome both by screwing one’s courage to the sticking place, and by suppressing awareness of what is revoltingly unnatural in it. Whose screw turns out to be...

Duration:00:44:28

PREMIUM-Ep. 276: Hegel on Perception (Part Two)

8/22/2021
Focusing on The Phenomenology of Spirit (1807), ch. 2 "Perception." Hegel's critique of the adequacy of perceptual knowledge has metaphysical aspects: The relation of substance to properties, properties to each other, and things to other things and to the perceiver all create difficulties that call for more active participation by the mind. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.

Duration:00:10:47

PEL Presents NEM#154: Chris Connelly (ex-Revolting Cocks/Ministry): From Apocalyptic Industrials to Poets in Love

8/20/2021
Chris started in the Scottish electronic band Finitribe in the early '80s and then moved to Chicago in 1988, doing stints in Revolting Cocks, Ministry, Pigface, et al, before embarking on a 23-album solo career. We discuss "A Phantom Marriage" from The Birthday Poems (2021) feat. Monica Queen, the title track from Bloodhounds (2018), "De Testimony" by Finitribe from Let the Tribe Grow (1986), plus we listen to "God Gets Religion" by Cocksure from Operation C.O.C.K.S.U.R.E. (2020). Intro:...

Duration:01:18:03

PEL Presents PMP#102: What the Pop? Season 1 Wrap-Up

8/19/2021
After 101 episodes and a bit over two years, Mark, Erica, and Brian reflect on what we've learned and set a course for the future. What have we determined about how and why we consume? What's the relation between consumption and creativity? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Get a loan to lower your monthly payments at Upstart.com/PRETTY.

Duration:00:54:28

PEL Presents Philosophy vs. Improv #7: Meritocracy Now!

8/16/2021
Does it make sense to try to have everyone get what they "deserve"? Your hosts Mark Linsenmayer and Bill Arnett (Chicago Improv Studio) act out the desert machine but yet get no predictable cake. Hear more PvI at philosophyimprov.com. Support the podcast to get bonus stuff and good karma!

Duration:00:39:33

Ep. 276: Hegel on Perception (Part One)

8/15/2021
On The Phenomenology of Spirit (1807), ch. 1 "Sense Certainty" and ch. 2 "Perception." We walk through the first step in considering Hegel's dialectical analysis of theories of knowledge. Sense-certainty claims that we have direct access to sensory particulars which can act as foundational. But can we really refer or point to a particular thing without bringing some universal concepts to bear, like "this" (which can refer to any number of things), as well as "here", "now" and even...

Duration:01:03:43

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Gentility and Injustice in "Gone with the Wind" (1939)

8/15/2021
Gone with the Wind— adjusted for inflation, the highest-grossing film in American history— has undergone several critical reappraisals in the 82 years since its production and release. Certainly the film romanticizes the Antebellum South and the Confederacy while glossing over the evils of slavery and stereotyping many of its black characters. Yet it may also provide a sharp critique or even satirization of its white characters— the ambivalent, arrogant, and deluded plantation owners who...

Duration:01:51:42

PEL Presents NEM#153: Steve Kilbey (The Church) Reveals the Secrets to Being Prolific

8/13/2021
Steve has written over 1000 songs across 17 Church albums starting in 1980, 13 solo albums and numerous collaborations. His style is theatrical and psychedelic, and his lyrics aim for "maximum ambiguity." We discuss "Love Song Yet to Be Named" from The Hall of Counterfeits (2021) and some tunes by The Church: "Another Century" from man woman life death infinity (2017) and "Is this Where You Live?" from Of Skins and Heart (1981). Intro: "Under the Milky Way" from Starfish (1988). We conclude...

Duration:01:28:41

PREMIUM-Ep. 275: Hegel's Project in the "Phenomenology of Spirit" (Part Two)

8/8/2021
Continuing on the Introduction, we get into more detail on Hegel's goal and his tricky terminology. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.

Duration:00:11:50

Philosophy vs. Improv #5: What Is Bread? Are You Bread?

8/5/2021
Two scenes reveal our underlying definitions. How will we overcome the lag between our words? How many beats in an heirloom beet if an heirloom hair-looms beets? Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more PvI. Support the podcast to get bonus stuff and good karma!

Duration:00:45:29

Ep. 275: Hegel's Project in the "Phenomenology of Spirit" (Part One)

8/2/2021
On G.W.F. Hegel's 1807 opus: A series of treatments of various theories in epistemology (among other things), seeing how they're internally incoherent, which then moves us to more sophisticated theories. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Podcasts. Get it now or listen to a preview. Don't miss Mark's new podcast Philosophy vs. Improv.

Duration:01:01:32

PEL Presents PMP#101: The "Conjuring" Retroverse

8/1/2021
Mark, Erica, and Brian delve into this 8-film horror franchise started by James Wan in 2013 through The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. Do their demons scare us, and do their Catholic defenses provide a convincing antidote? Is it OK to valorize the Warrens, the supernatural detectives who were most likely hucksters in real life? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Visit hellofresh.com/14pretty and use code...

Duration:00:46:42

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Realism as Cruelty in "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951) by Tennessee Williams

7/30/2021
In the transition from stage to screen, A Streetcar Named Desire retained its long-running Broadway cast with a single exception: the role of Blanche Dubois, which passed from Jessica Tandy to Vivien Leigh. Like Blanche, Leigh was the odd woman out. A symbol of the glories of the studio system, married to the symbol of English stage acting, her classical training ran contrary to that of her Method-trained co-stars. Thus to the clash of wills between Blanche and Stanley Kowalski was added a...

Duration:00:52:50