300 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 (lit, film, psychoanalysis). Learn about more network podcasts at partiallyexaminedlife.com.

The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast Mark Linsenmayer

    • Philosophy
    • 4.7, 1.7K 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 (lit, film, psychoanalysis). Learn about more network podcasts at partiallyexaminedlife.com.

    Ep. 247: Aristotle on Rhetoric and Emotions (Part One)

    Ep. 247: Aristotle on Rhetoric and Emotions (Part One)

    On the Rhetoric (ca. 335 BCE) book 1, ch. 1-6 and book 2, ch. 1-5, 18-24.
    What role does persuasion play in philosophy? Aristotle (contra Plato) argues it can and should be used for good: in law courts, political debates, public speeches. He describes the arguments forms used in rhetoric ("enthymemes") and analyzes the emotions that an audience might have so that speakers know what points are worth dwelling on and how to best argue them.
    Don't wait for part two! Get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!
    Sponsor: Get 15% off game-changing wireless earbuds at BuyRaycon.com/pel.

    • 54 min
    REISSUE-PEL Ep 75: Lacan & Derrida Criticize Poe's "The Purloined Letter" (w/ New Intro)

    REISSUE-PEL Ep 75: Lacan & Derrida Criticize Poe's "The Purloined Letter" (w/ New Intro)

    Enjoy this normally paywalled episode from Apr. 2013 about Jacques Lacan’s “Seminar on ‘The Purloined Letter'” (1956) and Jacques Derrida’s “The Purveyor of Truth” (1975).

    How should philosophers approach literature? Lacan read Edgar Allen Poe’s story about a sleuth who outthinks a devious Minister as an illustration of his model of the psyche, and why we persist in self-destructive patterns. Derrida thought this reading not only imposed a bunch of psychobabble onto the story, but demonstrated that Lacan just didn’t know how to read a text.
    Plus, Mark starts things off explaining some things about these Friday releases and what's ahead. Ep. 74 introducing Lacan is now available with a $1 Patreon pledge. 
    End song: "Came Round" (solo version) by Mark Lint. Read about it.

    • 2 hr 11 min
    Ep. 246: Susan Sontag on Interpreting Art (Part Two)

    Ep. 246: Susan Sontag on Interpreting Art (Part Two)

    Continuing on Sontag's essays “On Style” (1965) and "The Death of Tragedy” (1963).
    Mark, Wes, Seth and Dylan keep talking about the appropriate distance to retain (or not) to a work of art, which is supposed to be relevant to moral action in the world. We also spell out how this is relevant to our recent episodes on tragedy.
    Start with Part One or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL!
    End song: "Mela" by Julie Slick, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #115.

    • 52 min
    Pretty Much Pop #49: Conspiracy Theories as Pop w/ Al Baker

    Pretty Much Pop #49: Conspiracy Theories as Pop w/ Al Baker

    Al works for Logically, a company that fights misinformation. He joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to try to discuss the appeal of conspiracy theories, whether their fandom is like other fandoms, the relation between pernicious and fun theories, and theories that end up true.
    We touch on echo chambers, the role of irony and humor in spreading these theories, how both opponents and proponents claim to be skeptics, Dan Brown Novels, Tom Hanks, the Mel Gibson film Conspiracy Theory, and documentaries like Behind the Curve and The Family.
    For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.
    Sponsor: Visit sunbasket.com/pretty and use promo code pretty to get $35 off healthy, delicious meal deliveries.

    • 50 min
    Ep. 246: Susan Sontag on Interpreting Art (Part One)

    Ep. 246: Susan Sontag on Interpreting Art (Part One)

    On Sontag's essays “Against Interpretation” (1964), “On Style” (1965), and "The Death of Tragedy” (1963).
    What is it to understand a work of art? Sontag objects to critics' need to decode art into its "meaning" or "content," divorcing it from how this content is embodied. She argues that the content vs. form distinction isn't tenable; that the style of a work is an essential part of experiencing it. Sontag thinks we're too analytical, too divorced from our instincts, and a direct encounter with art is essential to enliven us.
    Don't wait for part two; 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.

    • 46 min
    Pretty Much Pop #48: The Arts in Reality TV w/ Skin Wars' Robin Slonina

    Pretty Much Pop #48: The Arts in Reality TV w/ Skin Wars' Robin Slonina

    Fine art and reality TV are typically rated our highest and lowest forms of entertainment, yet creative competition shows combine them. Robin Slonina, who was a judge on the body painting show Skin Wars, helps Mark, Erica, and Brian figure out the degree to which that format lets the art shine through.
    We also touch on Work of Art-The Next Great Artist, Face Off, American Idol, Project Runway, cooking shows, art as commodity, public art like the BLM D.C. street mural, paint-offs and other game-show gimmicks, and the RuPaul ethic.
    For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
1.7K Ratings

1.7K Ratings

ohilyssa ,

A+ critical theory and philosophy

Fascinating and engaging episodes. Insightful analyses!

alexM.92-14 ,

The first and the last

If you’re looking for a philosophy podcast, look no further.

PEL was the very first podcast show I ever listened to. Almost five years later, the only podcast show that has remained in my library when other shows have come and gone, is PEL. Thanks for the great content. Thanks for representing the University of Texas Philosophy Department.

asdjk48 ,

Possibly the best philosophy podcast around

The only real competition for that title might be Peter Adamson’s “History of Philosophy without any gaps,” but he’s been on this podcast too so maybe it’s a tie.

They hosts are very thorough and thoughtful, yet also a pleasure to listen to - never boring, even when discussing continental philosophy!

My favorite episodes were the ones on Wittgenstein (ep. 7 and 8) and Parmenides (ep. 197). They also did a performance of Aristophane’s Lysistrata (featuring Lucy Lawless!) that was just amazing.

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