468 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 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 (subtextpodcast.com, looking deeply at lit and film). Learn about more network podcasts at partiallyexaminedlife.com.

The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast Mark Linsenmayer

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.4 • 17 Ratings

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

    PREVIEW-Ep. 271: Johan Gottlieb Fichte's Transcendental Idealism (Part Two)

    PREVIEW-Ep. 271: Johan Gottlieb Fichte's Transcendental Idealism (Part Two)

    Continuing from part one on The Vocation of Man (1799), Book II.
    In this preview, we clarify whether Fichte is trying to keep the notion of a "real world" beyond our experience or not. It's part of the progression of the text that while at first he assumes that there must be something real behind this experienced world we as individuals create, he gives up that notion in the middle of Book II. So how does he get to his startling reversal?
    To hear that full second part, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.

    • 9 min
    Ep. 271: Johan Gottlieb Fichte's Transcendental Idealism (Part One)

    Ep. 271: Johan Gottlieb Fichte's Transcendental Idealism (Part One)

    On The Vocation of Man (1799), Books I and II. What is reality?
    Fichte's armchair journey starts him considering nature and thus himself as determined, but then he backtracks to say that actually, experience doesn't tell us whether we're determined or free. In Book II, he argues that since our experience is always of something going on in ourselves, then causality, the external world, the self, etc. must be our own mental creations. So we're free after all, yet everything is drained of significance!
    Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support. Get it now or listen to a preview.
    Sponsors: Learn about St. John's College at SJC.edu/PEL. Visit Brightside.com/pel for a free mental health assessment and up to $100 off your first month of treatment. Get $75 off your starter teeth-straightening kit via CandidCO.com/pel (code PEL). Get a loan to lower your monthly payments at Upstart.com/PEL.

    • 57 min
    PEL Presents (sub)Text: At Home with War in "Apocalypse Now" (1979) by Francis Ford Coppola

    PEL Presents (sub)Text: At Home with War in "Apocalypse Now" (1979) by Francis Ford Coppola

    Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore doesn’t flinch for enemy fire, loves the smell of napalm in the morning, and would literally kill for good surfing and a beachside barbecue. His attempts to re-create home within the theater of war render him the perfect foil to a certain upriver madman, who seems intent on making high culture serve the purposes of primitive horror. And yet Kurtz is ready to argue that it is his methods that are more sound, just because they embrace their ruthlessness more honestly, in contrast to the impotent half-measures of an imperial power that can rationalize its atrocities as collateral damage in the service of a larger humanitarian goal. Which approach should evoke more horror? Wes & Erin analyze Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 film “Apocalypse Now.”
    Subscribe: (sub)Text won’t always be in the PEL feed, so please subscribe to us directly: Apple | Spotify | Android | RSS
    Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon.
    Follow (sub)Text: Twitter | Facebook | Website
    Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.

    • 1 hr 14 min
    PEL Presents NEM#149: Rod Abernethy's Return to Acoustic (from Video Game Soundtracks)

    PEL Presents NEM#149: Rod Abernethy's Return to Acoustic (from Video Game Soundtracks)

    Rod released his first album "Solo" in 1975, played in some bands, but after losing on Star Search, turned to soundtrack work, emerging only in 2018 with three straight albums of acoustic singer-songwriter and instrumental material.
    We discuss "My Father Was a Quiet Man" (and listen to "Whiskey & Pie") from Normal Isn't Normal Anymore (2021), "How to Forget" from The Man I'm Supposed to Be (2018), and "Working the Mill" and "Battle in Laketown" from The Hobbit Official Soundtrack (2003). Intro: "Driving to Dan’s" from Rage Original Game Soundtrack (2011). For more, see rodabernethy.com.
    Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    PEL Presents PMP#94: Psychology of Video Game Engagement w/ Jamie Madigan

    PEL Presents PMP#94: Psychology of Video Game Engagement w/ Jamie Madigan

    Why do people play video games, and what keeps them playing? Mark, Erica, and Brian are joined by the host of the Psychology of Video Games podcast to discuss player types, motivation vs. engagement, incentives and feedback, as well as the gamification of work or school environments. We touch on Donkey Kong, Dark Souls, It Takes Two, Returnal, Hades, Subnautica, Fortnite, and Age of Z.
    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.

    • 54 min
    PREVIEW-Ep. 270: Classical Indian (Vedanta and Nyaya) Design Arguments for God (Part Two)

    PREVIEW-Ep. 270: Classical Indian (Vedanta and Nyaya) Design Arguments for God (Part Two)

    Continuing (without Stephen Phillips) on God and the World’s Arrangement: Readings from Vedanta and Nyaya Philosophy of Religion. What does this treatment give us that's fundamentally different than the Western version of the design argument? We talk about these readings in the context of liberation and reflect on reason vs. revelation in this milieu.
    To hear that full second part, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.

    • 10 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

ShaneDiff ,

Hands down - the best philosophy podcast

Best topics, debate and insight.

MichaelBrn ,

Consistently great

have listened to every episode. These guys are amazing - they manage to take even the most obscure philosophical topics and break them down without dumbing them down. What elevates the podcast is the rapport and humour between the guys and their willingness to joke around and also seriously discuss stuff in just the right amounts. The only criticisms I have is that the speakers seem to have become a little drier and less personal as the series has progressed - in the earlier episodes they seemed more willing to offer personal opinions, interpretations and honest feelings about the significance of the texts for their own lives, which made the podcast a lot more interesting and unique. Also some episodes lack structure - the best episodes have the speakers explain the rationale for how and why the different talking points have been ordered and allocated talking time. Nonetheless this podcast is consistently great. The philosophy of mind (21), Why do philosophy (73) feminism (p42) and the episodes on Hegel and Heidegger are some of the best.
Wes is my favourite. Also Mark's music is really good.

hamxxd ,

food for thought

Walter Kaufmann once said that philosophers now write only for the fellow philosophers; Partially Examined Life is bridging this gap by bringing the philosophy to everyone and they are making it fun to discuss and understand too.

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Listeners Also Subscribed To