Cover image of The Partially Examined Life
(1643)

Rank #8 in Philosophy category

Comedy
Society & Culture
Philosophy

The Partially Examined Life

Updated 10 days ago

Rank #8 in Philosophy category

Comedy
Society & Culture
Philosophy
Read more

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. 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), and (sub)Text (lit, film, psychoanalysis). Learn about more network podcasts at partiallyexaminedlife.com.

Read more

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. 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), and (sub)Text (lit, film, psychoanalysis). Learn about more network podcasts at partiallyexaminedlife.com.

iTunes Ratings

1643 Ratings
Average Ratings
1377
102
72
44
48

Very good

By city of pod - May 04 2020
Read more
Stretches me all the way to the limit.

A great listen.

By r.m.lankford - Apr 11 2020
Read more
Thoroughly enjoyable. Interesting content.

iTunes Ratings

1643 Ratings
Average Ratings
1377
102
72
44
48

Very good

By city of pod - May 04 2020
Read more
Stretches me all the way to the limit.

A great listen.

By r.m.lankford - Apr 11 2020
Read more
Thoroughly enjoyable. Interesting content.
Cover image of The Partially Examined Life

The Partially Examined Life

Latest release on May 25, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 10 days ago

Rank #1: Episode 119: Nietzsche on Tragedy and the Psychology of Art

Podcast cover
Read more

On Friedrich Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy (1872). Nietzsche thought that you could tell how vital or decadent a civilization was by its art, and said that ancient Greek tragedy was so great because it was a perfect synthesis of something highly formal/orderly/beautiful with the intuitive/unconscious/chaotic. But then Socrates ruined everything! With guest John Castro.

Includes a preview of the Aftershow feat. Greg Sadler.

End song: "Some Act" by Mark Lint and the Fake from "So Whaddaya Think?" (2000).

Jul 06 2015

2hr 46mins

Play

Rank #2: Ep. 224: Kierkegaard Critiques The Present Age (Part One)

Podcast cover
Read more

On Soren Kierkegaard's essay "The Present Age" (1846) and Hubert Dreyfus’s "Nihilism on the Information Highway: Anonymity vs. Commitment in the Present Age" (2004).

What's wrong with our society? Kierkegaard saw the advent of the press and gossip culture as engendering a systematic passivity and shallowness in his fellows, and Dreyfus thinks this is an even more apt description of the Internet Age. With guest John Ganz.

Don't wait for part 2; get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!

Sponsor: Try the OmniFocus to-do list manager at omnifocus.com.

Aug 26 2019

48mins

Play

Rank #3: Episode 213: Nietzsche's Zarathustra (Part One)

Podcast cover
Read more

On Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, books 1 and 2 (1883).

What is wisdom? In this text whose style parodies the Bible, we get pithy advice and allegorical imagery to guide us away from self-defeating, life-denying attitudes and orient us towards creative self-overcoming (i.e. exertion of the Will to Power). The Last Man who no longer knows how to give birth to a dancing star is a rotten egg!

Don't wait for part 2! Get your ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!

Sponsors: St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi. Listen to the Hi-Phi Nation podcast at hiphination.org.

Apr 15 2019

55mins

Play

Rank #4: Ep. 229: Descartes's Rules for Thinking (Part One)

Podcast cover
Read more

On René Descartes's Rules for Direction of the Mind (1628).

Is there a careful way to approach problems that will ensure that you'll always be right? What if you just never assert anything you can't be sure of? This is Descartes's strategy, modeled on mathematics. We likewise carefully move step-by-step through this text.

This is part 1 of 3; get the whole discussion now via the Citizen Edition now? Please support PEL!

Sponsor: Visit HempFusion.com for CBD supplements and use code PEL at check-out for 20% off/free shipping.

Nov 04 2019

50mins

Play

Rank #5: Ep. 218: The Hard Problem of Consciousness (Chalmers et al) (Part One)

Podcast cover
Read more

On "Consciousness and Its Place in Nature" by David Chalmers (2003), with special guest Gregory Miller from the Panpsycast Philosophy Podcast.

Can we explain human experience using the terms of brain physiology? Chalmers thinks not, and lays out the arguments against this and the range of positions philosophers have taken in response to these objections. 

Continues on part two, or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!

Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.

Jun 17 2019

56mins

Play

Rank #6: PREVIEW-Episode 32: Heidegger: What is “Being?”

Podcast cover
Read more
Discussing Martin Heidegger's Being and Time (1927), mostly the intro and ch. 1 and 2 of Part 1.

Feb 08 2011

32mins

Play

Rank #7: Episode 192: "The Closing of the American Mind": Allan Bloom on Education (Part One)

Podcast cover
Read more

On Allan Bloom's 1987 best-selleing polemic. What is the role of the university in our democracy? Bloom thinks that today's students are conformist, relativistic, and nihilistic, and that great books and thinking for thinking's sake are the cure.

Continued on part 2, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition plus an exclusive follow-up discussion. Please support PEL!

Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a one-month free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.

Jun 11 2018

53mins

Play

Rank #8: Episode 124: The Stoic Life with Epictetus

Podcast cover
Read more

On the Manual of Epictetus, aka The Enchiridion (135 CE). What's a wise strategy for life? Stoicism says that the secret is mastering yourself. Nothing external can break your spirit unless you let it. So, how weird and misguided is that advice? With guest Alex Fossella.

End song: "But I Won't" by Mark Lint from Spanish Armada: Songs of Love and Related Neuroses (1993).

Sep 21 2015

2hr 8mins

Play

Rank #9: PREVIEW-Episode 61: Nietzsche on Truth and Skepticism

Podcast cover
Read more

On Friedrich Nietzsche's "On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense" (1873). What is truth? This essay, written early in Nietzsche's career, is taken by many to make the extreme claim that there is no truth, that all of the "truths" we tell each other are just agreements by social convention. WIth guest Jessica Berry, who argues that that Nietzsche is a skeptic: our "truths" don't correspond with the world beyond our human conceptions; all knowledge is laden with human interests. Get the full discussion at partiallyexaminedlife.com.

Aug 15 2012

31mins

Play

Rank #10: Episode 178: Nietzsche as Social Critic: "Twilight of the Idols" (Part One)

Podcast cover
Read more

On Friedrich Nieztsche's 1888 book summarizing his thought and critiquing the founding myths of his society. He defends "spiritualized" instinct and frenzied creativity, but also Napoleon and war. We try to figure out what kind of social critic he'd be today. Would we actually like him?

Dec 04 2017

55mins

Play

Rank #11: PREVIEW-Episode 70: Marx on the Human Condition

Podcast cover
Read more

On Karl Marx's The German Ideology, Part I, an early, unpublished work from 1846. What is human nature? What drives history? How can we improve our situation? Marx thought that fundamentally, you are what you do: you are your job, your means of subsistence. All the rest, this culture, this religion, this philosophy, is just a thin layer over our basic situation. Ideas are not primarily what changes the world; it's economics. Get the full discussion at partiallyexaminedlife.com.

Jan 30 2013

30mins

Play

Rank #12: Episode 189: Authorial Intent (Barthes, Foucault, Beardsley, et al) (Part One)

Podcast cover
Read more

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 meaning.

No need to wait for part 2. Support us for access to the ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition plus a one-hour follow-up conversation.

Sponsors: Rover.com/partiallyexamined, code "partiallyexamined" = $25 off pet care, storyworth.com/pel for $20 off. partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjc to learn about St. John's College.

May 07 2018

57mins

Play

Rank #13: Episode 116: Freud on Dreams

Podcast cover
Read more

On Sigmund Freud's On Dreams (1902) and other stuff. Are dreams just random, or our best key to understanding the mind?

After you listen to this, check out the Aftershow.

End song: "Sleep" by Mark Lint. Read about it.

May 25 2015

2hr 25mins

Play

Rank #14: PREVIEW-Episode 65: The Federalist Papers

Podcast cover
Read more

On Alexander Hamilton/James Madison's Federalist Papers (1, 10-12, 14-17, 39, 47-51), published as newspaper editorials 1787-8, plus Letters III and IV from Brutus, an Anti-Federalist. What constitutes good government? These founding fathers argued that the proposed Constitution, with its newly centralized (yet also separated-by-branch) powers would be a significant improvement on the Articles of Confederation, which had left states as the ultimate sovereigns. Get the full discussion at partiallyexaminedlife.com.

Oct 27 2012

31mins

Play

Rank #15: PREVIEW-Episode 84: Nietzsche’s “Gay Science”

Podcast cover
Read more

On Friedrich Nietzsche's The Gay Science (1882, with book 5 added 1887).

What is wisdom? Nietzsche gives us an updated take on the Socratic project of challenging your most deeply held beliefs. Challenge not just your belief in God (who's "dead"), but uncover all your habits of thinking in terms of the divine. Realize how little of your life is actually a matter of conscious reflection, and the consequent limits on self-knowledge. The very act of systematization in philosophy overestimates what we can know; instead, we need a "gay" (in the sense of cheerful, carefree, and subversive) science (in the sense of organized knowledge) that chases after fleeting insights and is able to question, i.e. laugh at, the pretensions of its own activity.

Looking for the full Citizen version?

Nov 11 2013

32mins

Play

Rank #16: Episode 201: Marcus Aurelius's Stoicism with Ryan Holiday (Part One)

Podcast cover
Read more

On The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (ca. 180 C.E.) plus Ryan's The Daily Stoic (2016).

What does Stoicism look like in practice, in both ancient and modern contexts? You might think that eschewing the shallow, out-of-our-control trappings of fame and wealth in favor of personal cultivation would make one unambitious, but Ryan uses Marcus as a prime example of how to be a Stoic while trying to accomplish great things.

Continue on part 2, or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now along with the Citizen-only follow-up discussion getting more into the text of Marcus. Please support PEL!

Oct 22 2018

59mins

Play

Rank #17: Episode 197: Parmenides on What There Is (Part One)

Podcast cover
Read more

On the fragments referred to as "On Nature" from ca. 475 BCE, featuring guest Peter Adamson from the History of Philosophy without Any Gaps podcast.

Parmenides gives "the Way of Truth," which is that there is only Being, and talking of Non-Being is nonsense. So everything you experience is wrong!

Continue on part two or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL!

Aug 20 2018

1hr

Play

Rank #18: PREVIEW-Episode 35: Hegel on Self-Consciousness

Podcast cover
Read more
On G.F.W. Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit (1807), Part B (aka Ch. 4), "Self-Consciousness," plus recapping the three chapters before that (Part A. "Consciousness"). With guest Tom McDonald.

Apr 02 2011

29mins

Play

Rank #19: Episode 2: Descartes’s Meditations: What Can We Know?

Podcast cover
Read more
On Descartes's Meditations 1 and 2.

May 14 2009

1hr 39mins

Play

Rank #20: Episode 85: Rawls on Social Justice

Podcast cover
Read more
On John Rawls's A Theory of Justice (1971), most of ch. 1-4.

Dec 07 2013

1hr 46mins

Play