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.
REISSUE-Ep 36: Hegel on the Social Dimension of Self-Consciousness
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 consciousness" (i.e. Christianity).
Hear more vintage episodes like this one by becoming a PEL supporter at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support.
REISSUE-Ep 35: Hegel on Self-Consciousness (w/ New Intro)
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.
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PEL Presents NEM#155: Melvin Gibbs Protests w/ Bass, Jazz Composition, Production, Sound Design
Melvin has played bass on over 200 albums since 1980 in the worlds of jazz, rock, and hip-hop, and has numerous songwriting credits, playing with Defunkt, Arto Lindsay, Henry Rollins, Bernie Worrell, Vernon Reid, etc.
We discuss his solo tune featuring Kokayi "Get Some" from 4+1 Equals 5 for May 25 (2021), the title track from The Terror End Of Beauty (2018) by his trio Harriet Tubman, and "Howard Beach Memoirs" by Power Tools (with Bill Frisell and Ronald Shannon Jackson) from Strange Meeting (1987). We end by listening to "Canto por Odudua" by Melvin Gibbs' Elevated Entity from Ancients Speak (2009) Intro: "Melvin's Tune" from Defunkt (1980). More at music.melvin-gibbs.com.
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PEL Presents (sub)Text: Dead Wall Reveries in "Bartleby, the Scrivener" by Herman Melville
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, if we strongly prefer to do nothing that is derivative? What happens to our aspirations, if we come to fully appreciate the gravity of fate? Could we continue to tell our own stories, if we were liberated from all idiosyncrasies of character? Wes & Erin discuss.
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Bonus content: The conversation continues on our after-show (post)script. Get this and other bonus content at by subscribing at Patreon.
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PREMIUM-Ep. 277: Hegel on Our Understanding of Physics (Part Two)
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.
Ep. 277: Hegel on Our Understanding of Physics (Part One)
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.
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where are the first 150 episodes?
yo i love this podcast and switched my major back in 2015 to philosophy. Id love to listen through those first episodes again!
By the dog!
This is one of my favorite podcasts. I really enjoy the songs at the end of each episode.
Top notch content
This is simply a gem of a podcast. I’ve been a listener for years and they have consistently delivered great content. The hosts have a productive dynamic due to their personalities and backgrounds.
Excellent guests, deep insights into philosophical material, a dash of grounding pragmatism, and seriously funny moments make this a must for the philo-curious.
Thank you guys for what you do!