463 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

    • Philosophy
    • 4.6 • 1.8K 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. 263: Lise Van Boxel's "Warspeak" on Strategies for Valuing (Part Two)

    PREVIEW-Ep. 263: Lise Van Boxel's "Warspeak" on Strategies for Valuing (Part Two)

    Continuing on Warspeak: Nietzsche's Victory Over Nihilism with guests Jeff Black and Michael Grenke.
    To hear this second part, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.

    • 12 min
    Ep. 263: Lise Van Boxel's "Warspeak" on Strategies for Valuing (Part One)

    Ep. 263: Lise Van Boxel's "Warspeak" on Strategies for Valuing (Part One)

    On Warspeak: Nietzsche's Victory Over Nihilism (2020) with Dylan, Seth, and guests Michael Grenke and Jeff Black.
    What's a viable counter-ideal to the asceticism that Nietzsche thought is so pervasive? Lise's book works out strategies for re-valuing that emphasize Nietzsche's positive comments about the feminine and the power of words.
    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: Get 50% off The New Yorker and a free tote bag at NewYorker.com/PEL. Use Uber.com/pel to get $50 credit to buy rides or meal deliveries. Visit TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/PEL for a free 14-day trial of unlimited access to The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service. Organize your Inbox: Get a free trial and save $25 at sanebox.com/pel. Learn about St. John's College at SJC.edu.

    • 47 min
    PEL Presents (sub)Text: Love and Nostalgia in Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall”

    PEL Presents (sub)Text: Love and Nostalgia in Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall”

    Alvy Singer is not, he tells us, a depressive character. It’s just that as a child he always worried that the expanding universe would one day break apart; and as an adult that romantic relationships must always fall apart. With Annie Hall, he thought he had finally found something that would last, in part because she could -- like the audiences of Woody Allen -- endure and make sense of his fragmented neuroticism: by finding it, on occasion, funny, or endearing, or even informative. While Annie’s patient, quirky fatalism does not prevent her from outgrowing Alvy and leaving him behind, the nostalgic and wistful frame of Allen’s film does have something to say about what helps keep love alive, and people connected.
    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 5 min
    PREVIEW-Ep. 262: Nietzsche on Self-Denial (Part Two)

    PREVIEW-Ep. 262: Nietzsche on Self-Denial (Part Two)

    More on essay three of Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals on the meaning of ascetic ideals. How does asceticism fit into N's overall morality, and how does he use it to critique scientists?
    To hear this second part, you'll need to go sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.

    • 11 min
    PEL Presents PMP#80: Reliving Groundhog Day (and Palm Springs, Russian Doll, etc.)

    PEL Presents PMP#80: Reliving Groundhog Day (and Palm Springs, Russian Doll, etc.)

    Happy Groundhog Day! The '93 film has had dozens of imitators spanning various genres in recent years, but the idea goes back more than a century. Mark, Erica, Brian, and guest Ken Gerber touch on popular and obscure examples examples from film and TV to explore the philosophical themes and storytelling techniques. 
    For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
    Sponsor: Get premium wireless service at $15/month from MintMobile.com/PRETTY.

    • 48 min
    Ep. 262: Nietzsche on Self-Denial (Part One)

    Ep. 262: Nietzsche on Self-Denial (Part One)

    On Friedrich Nietzsche's The Genealogy of Morals (1887), "Third essay: what do ascetic ideals mean?"
    Self-regulation, where we tamp down certain aspects of our personality, is necessary for disciplined action, but it can clearly go too far. Nietzsche uses this concept of asceticism to analyze both geniuses and the masses. It is a chief tool of the will to power, highly dangerous to human flourishing but also unleashing many new capabilities beyond our animal nature. Does this picture of motivation and greatness make sense?
    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: Get $35 off meal delivery at SunBasket.com/PEL, code PEL. Get 50% off The New Yorker and a free tote bag at NewYorker.com/PEL. Get $200 off a mattress and two free pillows at HelixSleep.com/PEL. Get audible for $9.95 a month for 6 months at audible.com/EXAMINED or text "EXAMINED" to 500-500. Learn about St. John's College at SJC.edu.

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
1.8K Ratings

1.8K Ratings

smoyle2 ,

Enrichment for scientists

Love this podcast. It’s all the thinking I want to do but never have time to do (nor anyone to do it with).

Hudesqhivcbhf ,

It makes you think

I’ve recently discovered this podcast and have really enjoyed the content. While I do not agree with all the analyses and views espoused, it always makes me think. I especially appreciate Wes’ input—I find him to be the most open minded and insightful of the four commentators. If fact, I’m not sure this podcast would even work without his circumspect approach to philosophy and ideas. There is definitely a leftist slant to the entire podcast, obviously most evident in the political episodes, but it’s not too overly oppressive...for the most part. It is unfortunate there isn’t a better representation of different views by people who actually have those views. Overall, it’s a great podcast.

adriancolesberry ,

My Favorite Podcast

I have been listening to this podcast for years. It is simply the best. I have read a good deal of philosophy in the original with mixed results from an enlightenment point of view. I very much enjoy being pulled through readings that I am sure I would either not do at all or not get much out of. The colloquium these four have set up is pitch perfect for me. There is no useless philosophy infighting, a very intelligent side-stepping/acknowledgement of Very much enjoy that make some philosophy so tedious and somewhat useless, and very little to no politics. The readings are always generous, reminding me of a wise statement on reading generously that Elizabeth Grosz wrote in her intro to her book on Lacan, who is truly impossible to read in the original if you ask me.
On another note, I want to weigh in on the recent erection of a paywall. I was flatly relieved when the change made me join. I am somewhat abashed that I needed this prompt to pay for something I so enjoy. I thank you for making do it and apologize for not doing it earlier.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the nightcaps a’t realize that some of you ha’ attended UT. GraduatedUT. I graduated from UT in the 80s in Biomedical Engineering, so it's not like we went to the same place at all in many ways. Anyhow, thanks for what you do. It is a heroic project and I deeply appreciate your efforts to keep it going.

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