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The Partially Examined Life

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A Philosophy Podcast and Philosophy Blog
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346 episodes

Displaying episodes 346 through 326
Episode 167: Hume on Intelligent Design (Philosophize This! Crossover) (Part One) (47:59) July 03, 2017 | 6:22 am
On David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779). How would a scientifically minded person argue for the existence of God? In Hume’s dialogue, a character named Cleanthes argues from this point of view for God’s existence based on...
Episode 166: Spinoza on Politics and Religion (Part Two) (01:35:48) June 26, 2017 | 12:26 am
Concluding on the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1670) and Tractatus Politicus (1677). What's the relationship between ethics, reason, and revelation? What could "faith" possibly mean to a hard-core rationalist like Spinoza? Is it possible to buy...
Episode 166: Spinoza on Politics and Religion (Part One) (54:25) June 19, 2017 | 6:26 am
On Benedict de Spinoza’s Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1670), ch. 12-20 and the Tractatus Politicus (1677). What’s the relationship between ethics and political power? Given that religious factions tend to create strife, what’s the optimal...
Episode 165: Spinoza on Biblical Criticism (Part Two) (01:08:04) June 12, 2017 | 7:00 am
Continuing on the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1670), ch. 1–11. We go more into natural laws vs. ordinances; does it make sense to say that God makes rules for people? Also, how does Spinoza deal with alleged miracles given that natural laws are...
Peter Balint on Respecting Toleration (58:06) June 06, 2017 | 6:00 am
An excerpt from the 2017 book, Respecting Toleration: Traditional Liberalism and Contemporary Diversity. Listen to an interview with the author on The New Books in Philosophy Podcast.
Episode 165: Spinoza on Biblical Criticism (Part One) (1:06:59) June 05, 2017 | 6:00 am
On Benedict de Spinoza's Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1670), ch. 1–11. - For Spinoza, the Bible was a political issue, and he was interested in a way to read it that didn't lead to people fighting wars and persecuting each other.
REISSUE-Ep. 24: Spinoza on God and Metaphysics (1:49:14) May 29, 2017 | 8:12 am
Discussing Spinoza's Ethics (1677), books 1 and 2. God is everything, therefore the world is God as apprehended through some particular attributes, namely insofar as one of his aspects is infinite space (extension, i.e.
Nakedly Examined Music: Steve Hackett, Nik Kershaw, Ken Stringfellow, Robbie Fulks (1:14:46) May 26, 2017 | 11:00 am
PEL Network crossover magic, featuring clips (a full song plus explanation) from four recent episodes of Mark's other podcast. Hear the full episodes and many more at Steve was the guitarist for Genesis in the 70s,
Episode 164: Dostoyevsky’s “The Idiot” on Perfection (Part Two) (1:24:27) May 22, 2017 | 6:00 am
More on the novel with guest Corey Mohler, considering Dostoyevsky qua existentialist in terms of his analysis of the crisis of meaning and his consequent views on religion. - Listen to part 1 first, or get unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. -
Episode 164: Dostoyevsky’s “The Idiot” on Perfection (Part One) (59:49) May 15, 2017 | 6:00 am
On Fyodor Dostoyevsky's philosophical novel from 1869. Could a morally perfect person survive in the modern world? Is all this "modernity," which so efficiently computes our desires and provides mechanisms to fulfill them,
Episode 163: Guest Stewart Umphrey on Natural Kinds (Part Two) (1:13:14) May 08, 2017 | 6:00 am
Continuing our interview about Natural Kinds and Genesis: The Classification of Material Entities. Buy Stewart's book at and use the code LEX30AUTH17 to get 30% off. - Listen to part 1 first or get the ad-free Citizen Edition. -
Episode 163: Guest Stewart Umphrey on Natural Kinds (Part One) (56:49) May 01, 2017 | 6:00 am
On Natural Kinds and Genesis: The Classification of Material Entities (2016). Are general terms like "water" or "dog" just things that we made up to order the world? Aristotle thought that some universals constitute natural kinds,
PEL Special: Phi Fic on James Baldwin’s Fiction (1:43:55) April 24, 2017 | 6:00 am
On the short stories "This Morning, This Evening, So Soon" (1960) and "Sonny’s Blues" (1957). - Mark joins the Phi Fic crew (go subscribe at!) to supplement PEL ep. 162 by delving into Baldwin's fiction,
Episode 162: James Baldwin on Race in America (Part Two) (58:10) April 17, 2017 | 6:00 am
Continuing on I Am Not Your Negro, "Notes of a Native Son" (1955), and The Fire Next Time (1963). - We (and Law Ware) discuss Baldwin's critique of the American dream, how to oppose the inhumanity of others without becoming inhuman yourself,
Episode 162: James Baldwin on Race in America (Part One) (47:53) April 10, 2017 | 6:00 am
On the film I Am Not Your Negro and the essays "Notes of a Native Son" (1955) and The Fire Next Time (1963). With guest Law Ware. - Baldwin diagnoses our racism-related psycho-social maladies, but how can we best translate his observations into genera...
Episode 161: White Privilege (Peggy McIntosh, Charles Mills, et al) (Part Two) (1:21:25) April 03, 2017 | 6:00 am
Continuing with guest Law Ware on the philosophical underpinnings of the rhetoric of white privilege, with readings as listed in part 1. - Get the Citizen version to hear this without commercials. Please support PEL! -
Episode 161: White Privilege (Peggy McIntosh, Charles Mills, et al) (Part One) (55:59) March 27, 2017 | 6:00 am
Is the rhetoric of "White Privilege" just the modern way of acknowledging historical and systemic truths of racism, or does it point to a novel way for acknowledging injustice, or does it on the contrary obscure these insights by involving confused cla...
Episode 160: Orwell on Totalitarianism and Language (Part Two) (1:15:51) March 20, 2017 | 6:00 am
Continuing with 1984. How does the book relate to real-world politics? Is this something that we should actually be afraid our society will turn into? Was he predicting history, or was it satire, or what? We discuss the the realms of intimacy vs.
Episode 160: Orwell on Totalitarianism and Language (Part One) (55:49) March 13, 2017 | 6:00 am
On the novel 1984 (1949) and the essays “Politics and the English Language” (1946) and “Notes on Nationalism” (1945). - What's the relation between language and totalitarianism? Orwell shows us a society where the rulers have mastered the art of retai...
Episode 159: Confucius on Virtuous Conduct (Part Two) (1:21:16) March 06, 2017 | 5:00 am
Continuing on the Analects without our guest. We cover passages on glibness, using names properly, filial conduct, remonstrance, love of learning, places where he sounds like Socrates, and more! - End song: "Please Allow Me to Look at You Again,

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