show episodes
 
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 featu ...
 
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show series
 
Do you believe in miracles? If doctors believed in miracles, would they just let surgeries finish themselves? Do assumptions of a logical universe make it not just unjustified by psychologically impossible for us to really believe in miracles? Read about our VERY FIRST guest, Tim Sniffen at timsniffen.com. Follow him @MisterSniffen and hear him tal…
 
Continuing on the Categories, considering artifacts, social construction in cutting up the world, different kinds of properties, and more. 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.
 
Mark Linsenmayer is joined by Tim Quirk of Too Much Joy, Aaron David Gleason, and Chris Sunami to talk about what makes a cult band. We touch on artists like Tom Waits, Velvet Underground, Big Star, XTC, and The Cure. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podc…
 
Dar has released 11 albums on labels since 1993 of highly literate, introspective folk-pop songs. We discuss “Berkeley” (and listen to “Today and Everyday”) from I’ll Meet You Here (2021), “Empty Plane” from Emerald (2015), and ” Are You Out There” from End of the Summer (1997). Intro: “As Cool As I Am” from Mortal City (1996). For info see darwill…
 
Who stole Carmine’s lunch? I think you know. Are there only a certain number of “logical” directions from one idea to another? Are there no mistakes, or are there mistakes that know? This week’s image (which definitely has an eye in it) cribbed from Child’s Own. Audio editing by Tyler Hislop. Hear more PvI. Support the podcast to get bonus stuff (l…
 
Mark Linsenmayer is joined by Tim Quirk of Too Much Joy, Aaron David Gleason, and Chris Sunami to talk about what makes a cult band. We touch on artists like Tom Waits, Velvet Underground, Big Star, XTC, and The Cure. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by subscribing via Apple Podc…
 
On the Categories (ca. 350 BCE), which purports to describe all the types of entities that exist. We mostly talk about substances, as A's presentation raises interesting questions about, e.g. the status of the species of substance, and the rest of the categories (e.g. quality, quantity, relative) rely on substances existing. So how exactly do these…
 
Are so-called "material objects" really just a scam? These two cut-ups (Bill and Mark) cut up the world in various ways, showing you how to teach, how to act, and how to haggle. Mark philosophizes at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Bill improvises (and teaches) at chicagoimprovstudio.com. Hear more Philosophy vs. Improv. Support the podcast to get our p…
 
Are so-called “material objects” really just a scam? These two cut-ups (Bill and Mark) cut up the world in various ways, showing you how to teach, how to act, and how to haggle. Learn more about Berkeley’s idealism with PEL #89. Image by Sam (called “Sharp Dressed Man”). Audio editing by Tyler Hislop. Hear more PvI. Support the podcast to get bonus…
 
The land is not just ancient but “antique,” and while many of its artifacts end up as the possessions of distant museums, they may yet be capable of overpowering their audiences. Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias” is traditionally taken as an exploration of hubris, and of the obliviating effect of time on power and its pretensions. But the poem al…
 
Continuing on Faces At the Bottom of the Well (1992), with guest Lawrence Ware. We discuss "The Racial Preference Licensing Act" (ch. 3). 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.
 
Jerry is DEVO's co-frontman and chief philosopher. They've released nine albums since 1978. His solo career has been sporadic, with a release as Jihad Jerry & the Evildoers in 2006 and a few singles. We discuss his new song and video "I'm Gonna Pay U Back," and one of those Jihad Jerry tracks (that album now reissued to include the new track) "The …
 
Jerry has co-fronted Devo since its founding in the mid-70s, releasing nine albums with them, but his solo career has been sporadic, with a release as Jihad Jerry & the Evildoers in 2006 and a few singles. We discuss his new song and video “I’m Gonna Pay U Back,” and one of those Jihad Jerry tracks (that album now reissued to include the new track)…
 
Mark discusses how Internet culture has changed stand-up with three comedians: past guests Rodney Ramsey and Daniel Lobell, plus Dena Jackson. How have YouTube, social media, and virtual spaces changed the way comedians work? We talk about story-telling vs. one-liners, repping your hometown, comedy cliques, surviving negativity, and more. For more,…
 
On Faces At the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism (1992), a foundational text in critical race theory that presents thought experiments in the philosophy of law, including "The Space Traders." With guest Lawrence Ware. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via…
 
For our final 2021 installment on G.W.F. Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, we give you a second episode originally posted in 2011, where Mark and Seth continue from ep. 35 with guest Tom McDonald to cover the rest of chapter 4, focusing on sections 178-230. We cover the famous "master and slave" parable, plus stoicism, skepticism, and the "unhappy c…
 
Emma-Jean is a trumpeter, singer, multi-instrumentalist, techie… She even runs her own record label. She’s had five releases since 2016. We discuss “Say Something” (and listen at the end to “Spectre” from Yellow (2021), “Open – Remix feat. Blu” (a 2020 single), and “Um” from Um Yang (2020). Intro: “Baro Bop” from Walrus (2016). For more see emmajea…
 
Mark is joined by novelist Sarahlyn Bruck and playwright Kayla Dryesse to discuss the conventions, evolution, and influence of daytime soaps. Are they actually terrible, or is critical dismissal of them largely sexist? Are prestige TV shows like Downton Abbey and White Orchid really just soaps in disguise? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bo…
 
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 th…
 
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 ful…
 
Melvin has played bass on over 200 albums since 1980 in the worlds of jazz, rock, and hip-hop, and has numerous songwriting credits, doing stints with Defunkt, Arto Lindsay, Rollins Band, SociaLybrium (with Bernie Worrell), The Zig Zag Power Trio (with Vernon Reid), etc. We discuss his solo tune featuring Kokayi “Get Some” from 4+1 Equals 5 for May…
 
Why is lying wrong? Scene conceptions clash. It is hard to lie in a pretend scene, because the pretending is already a lie. You can lie inside-out or outside-in. The relevant PEL episode to find out about Kant on lying is #10. Image cribbed from this article. Just look at that goddamned liar in the middle of the picture His deceit is captured perfe…
 
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…
 
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 Podcast…
 
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 …
 
Mark and Bill do impressions of people you don’t know. The is-ought distinction is bravely explored. Does pretending to be cavemen help? Magic business is afoot. Childhood speaks. We’ve now passed the point where the post-game discussion is just included with the episode here. If you want to hear our reflections on the episodes going forward and ou…
 
"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 …
 
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'…
 
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”…
 
Does it make sense to try to have everyone get what they “deserve”? We act out the desert machine but yet get no predictable cake. Judgebot 5000 enters our lives. Is this our first really good episode? Maybe. To hear more about meritocracy, try the Partially Examined Life’s recent interview with the great Michael Sandel. Audio editing by Tyler Hisl…
 
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 wit…
 
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!
 
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