Best Alwan podcasts we could find (Updated February 2019)
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A Philosophy Podcast and Philosophy Blog
 
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Between the Ears
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Celebrating 20 years of innovative and thought-provoking features that make adventurous use of sound and explore a wide variety of subjects. Made by leading radio producers
 
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Continuing on Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment (2018). Fukuyama recommends a "creedal national identity" as a solution for tribalism; does this work? Is this "demand for recognition" that he describes foundational for the act of making an ethical claim? For self-consciousness itself? How does ideology prejudice th ...…
 
Talking with the author about Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment (2018). What motivates people? Frank points to thymos, the demand for recognition, as at the root of both the "end of history" (i.e., democracy as demand for equal recognition) and our current tribalist stalemates, involving desires to be seen—in virtu ...…
 
More on the ethics-related fragments of Epicurus and accounts by Martha Nussbaum and Tim O'Keefe. What would a purely therapeutic philosophy consist of? Does philosophy as pursuit of pleasure mean that you eschew political action or other substantial goals? Mark, Wes, and Dylan try to figure out which of our desires are vain and whether society ...…
 
Robert Heinlein's short story "All You Zombies" (and the later film adaptation Predestination) starts with the classic "grandfather paradox" trope and ties it in knots. Get more Constellary Tales podcasts, and read original sf in the magazine at constellary.com.By Brian Hirt.
 
On the extant fragments of Epicurus (341–270 BCE) dealing with ethics, including his "Letter to Menoceus," “The Principal Doctrines,” and “The Vatican Collection of Epicurean Sayings.” Plus Tim O’Keefe’s Epicureanism (2010) and Martha Nussabum’s The Therapy of Desire (1994). How are we supposed to act once we understand nature as atoms bouncing ...…
 
A rising panic ... a crippling fear ... a secret shared ... one last chance of redemption, as ghosts of the famous float past. Singing Not Drowning is a compelling story about a remarkable psychologist of humanity imbued with the exotic heat of a Mediterranean summer, sung out into 250 thousand gallons of chlorinated seawater.The world's most b ...…
 
Continuing on Johann Gottfried von Herder's “The Causes of Sunken Taste among the Different Peoples in Whom It Once Blossomed” (1775), then moving to “On the Influence of the Belles Lettres on the Higher Sciences” (1781), “Does Painting or Music Have a Greater Effect? A Divine Colloquy” (1785), and and some of Critical Forests: Fourth Grove (wr ...…
 
On Johann Gottfried von Herder's “The Causes of Sunken Taste among the Different Peoples in Whom It Once Blossomed” (1775), “On the Influence of the Belles Lettres on the Higher Sciences” (1781), “Does Painting or Music Have a Greater Effect? A Divine Colloquy” (1785), and some of Critical Forests: Fourth Grove (written 1769). With guest rock g ...…
 
Mark and Wes go into more textual detail re. Lucretius’s take on atomism and the metaphysical and epistemological problems it entails. Start with Part one. This is a preview; become a PEL Citizen or $5 Patreon supporter to get the full, 50 minute conversation.By Mark Linsenmayer.
 
More on Lucretius’s poem about Epicurean science: On the Nature of Things from the first century BCE. We talk more about how macroscopic phenomena are supposed to come out of the interaction of atoms, including mind and its processes of knowledge and illusion, including the illusion of love. One conclusion: life after death is not possible. Can ...…
 
On Lucretius’s poem about Epicurean science: On the Nature of Things aka De Rerum Natura from the first century BCE. How does the world work? Lucretius presents a system that is surprisingly modern, and raises philosophical issues that are still on point today: What are the basic building blocks of the universe? How could these give rise to min ...…
 
Mark and Wes discuss Durkheim's Suicide (1897), getting into more of the details of his account and exploring comparative modes of explanation: Are there really "sociological facts" distinct from mere generalizations about psychological facts? Get the full discussion as a PEL Citizen or $5 Patreon supporter!…
 
More on philosophical and psychological interpretations of and judgments about suicide with guest Drew Pinsky. Is suicide an epidemic or a choice? Could it be both? Socrates didn't fear death and inspired Stoics and others to see suicide in some circumstances as brave. Or is it always cowardly? Does meaninglessness motivate suicide? Listen to p ...…
 
We open with an audio production of "Kill Switch," cover story of Constellary Tales Issue #1, narrated by Mark Linsenmayer. Then we go behind the scenes in an interview with the story's author, Henry Szabranski. Get more Constellary Tales podcasts, and read original sf in the magazine at constellary.com.…
 
The magical North Pennines landscape of deaf shepherd-poet Josephine Dickinson, which inspires her life and work and is the fertile backdrop to her real and imagined sound world. Welcome to her remote hill farm near Alston – near the highest market town in England – where Josephine looks after her sheep and writes her poetry. It’s her in-betwee ...…
 
We are rejoined by Drew Pinsky to discuss philosophical and psychological readings by Seneca, Arthur Schopenhauer, Sigmund Freud, Emile Durkheim, Albert Camus, plus two 2017 survey papers on predictors of suicide. Is suicide ever morally permissible? If it's a symptom of mental illness rather than a chosen behavior, is it even appropriate to mo ...…
 
More on this classic text by (perhaps) Vyasa, with guest Shaan Amin. Should we acquire good karma or behave "beyond good and evil"? How can everything be Krishna while Krishna is also the an element of virtue we're supposed to pursue? How does this compare with Stoicism? Plus, behold Krishna unveiled and be freaked out! Listen to part one first ...…
 
On the classic Hindu text (ca. the third century BCE), part of the Indian Epic poem Mahabharata, attributed to Vyasa, using Keya Maitra's 2018 translation/commentary. What is it to live wisely? What grounds duty? Listen as the supreme God Krishna convinces archer hero Arjuna that it's OK for him to kill his relatives because, you know, reincarn ...…
 
Concluding on Julia Kristeva's Powers of Horror (1980) and focusing on H.P. Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu" (1928). Does Lovecraft's presentation of nameless terror capture (or improve upon) what Kristeva means by "abjection"? End song: "The Other" by Mark Lint feat. Lucy Lawless. Read about it and support the project. Listen to part one firs ...…
 
A smart house outlasts humanity in Ray Bradbury's 1950 short story "There Will Come Soft Rains." Also: Tex Thompson describes the annual "experience camp" for authors, Writers in the Field. Get more Constellary Tales podcasts, and read original sf in the magazine (Issue no. 1 is now online) at constellary.com.…
 
More on Julia Kristeva's Powers of Horror (1980) plus H.P. Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu" (1928). What is the object of fear? Mark, Seth, and Dylan get clearer on Kristeva's view of the establishment and loss of the integrity of the self, what the "object" of abjection is, and what this all might have to do with feminism. Most of the Lovecra ...…
 
Hear the new Mark Lint song featuring your favorite PEL guest on lead vocals. …And other witty and pleasurable tunes! Support the effort and earn a full hour chatting directly about philosophy with your practically human PEL host!By Mark Linsenmayer.
 
Mark takes a very close look at pages 1–4 of the first chapter of On Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection (1980) as a supplement to episode 202. Get the full, 55-minute experience as a PEL Citizen, or get it by supporting us on Patreon for a mere $1!By Mark Linsenmayer.
 
Continuing on Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection, ch. 1 and 2. We try to get clearer on Kristeva's talk of "object," the relationship between language and abjection, how Kristeva is advancing on Freud, how to be a mom that allows a kid to separate in a healthy way, and how abjection plays into religion and writing. Listen to part one first ...…
 
On Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection (1980), ch. 1 and 2. Kristeva writes about "abjection," where we violently reject things like corpses, bodily wastes and other fluids, and the Lovecraftian unnameable that lurks at the edge of our awareness. Her book is also all about the self, suggesting modifications to Freud's Oedipal complex and La ...…
 
Mark and Seth get further into the specifics of Marcus's metaphysics and how this is supposed to relate to behavior. Can his directives really come solely "from reason" as he claims? How does this interact with the behaviors that we pursue "by nature," i.e., without conscious deliberation required? Seth is concerned with how individualistic the ...…
 
More on The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (ca. 180 CE) plus Ryan's The Daily Stoic (2016). We talk Stoicism as "pre-mourning," love of fate, the divine plan, political ethics, ethical models, and overwriting your brain with the Stoic operating system. Hear part 1 first, or get the full, unbroken Citizen Edition, as well as the follow-up discus ...…
 
Please wander over to patreon.com/marklint to help support the new album!By Mark Linsenmayer.
 
On The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (ca. 180 C.E.) plus Ryan's The Daily Stoic (2016). What does Stoicism look like in practice, in both ancient and modern contexts? You might think that eschewing the shallow, out-of-our-control trappings of fame and wealth in favor of personal cultivation would make one unambitious, but Ryan uses Marcus as a ...…
 
Continuing on "What Is Enlightenment" by Immanuel Kant (1784), "On Enlightening the Mind" by Moses Mendelssohn (1784), and "What Is Enlightenment" by Michael Foucault (1984). We finish up Kant (the courage to know!) and lay out the Mendelssohn (cultivation vs. enlightenment) and Foucault (ironically heroize the present!). Will this conversation ...…
 
Octavia Butler's "Bloodchild" is (among other things) a successful example of a certain kind of pregnancy story. Also: Brian puts Ken to the test about films nominated both for the Hugo and the Oscar, and some spoiler-free recommendations. Get more Constellary Tales podcasts, and read original sf in the magazine (issue no. 1 coming in November) ...…
 
On "What Is Enlightenment" by Immanuel Kant (1784), "On Enlightening the Mind" by Moses Mendelssohn (1784), and "What Is Enlightenment" by Michael Foucault (1984). At the end of the historical period known as The Enlightenment, a Berlin newspaper asked what exactly that is, and Kant and Mendelssohn responded. Both were concerned with whether to ...…
 
Wes Alwan is joined by Tracy Morgan and Louis Scuderi to discuss Freud's classic 1917 essay. Note: Part two will NOT be appearing on this feed. Become a PEL Citizen to get the full discussion. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to learn how. Listen to more (sub)Text.By Mark Linsenmayer.
 
Mark, Wes, Seth, and Dylan continue to discuss “What Is the Point of Equality?” (1999) and how it lays foundations for Private Government (2017). What is democratic equality, and can a Rawlsian/liberal/neutral-with-regard-to-defining-the-good state consistently advocate for this ideal? Our interview with Liz starts in Part One. You can get all ...…
 
Continuing on Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (2017) and “What Is the Point of Equality?” (1999). Should the amount of respect that a worker gets be proportional to his or her market value? Our guest tells us more about how all citizens have the right to have their interests considered and what this means for how the relationsh ...…
 
The U. of Michigan prof joins us to discuss Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don't Talk about It) (2017) and "What Is the Point of Equality?" (1999). What is a government? Liz argues that this includes companies, and that we should thus apply political science concepts in evaluating their power. Her egalitarianism in ...…
 
We get down to the specific questions considered in this perplexing Platonic dialogue: Are there Forms for all adjectives? Does the Form of a property itself have that property? How do Forms connect with particulars? How can we mortals have any connection to heavenly Forms anyway? Listen to part one first or get the full, ad-free Citizen Editio ...…
 
A new podcast for the Partially Examined Life podcast network! Kurt Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron" turns up in unusual places, plus two film adaptations. Brian quizzes Ken on writing advice from famous authors.By Brian Hirt.
 
On the most peculiar Platonic dialogue, from ca. 350 BCE. Are properties real things in the world, or just in the mind? Plato is known for claiming that these "Forms" are real, though otherworldly. Here, though, using Parmenides as a character talking to a young Socrates, Plato seems to provide objections here to his own theory. What's the deal ...…
 
Wes discusses the film with philosophy professor David Kyle Johnson. What is there to fear in artificial intelligence? How does this shed light on what it means to be fully human? Note: Part two will NOT be appearing on this feed. Become a PEL Citizen to get the full discussion. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to learn how.…
 
Continuing with guest Peter Adamson with "On Nature" (475 BCE). We finally get to fragment 8, which describes why Being must be singular and eternal, given that the notion of Non-Being is nonsense. But how could we as individuals be asking these questions then? Does his "Way of Seeming" work to explain the appearances, as opposed to reality? Li ...…
 
On the fragments referred to as "On Nature" from ca. 475 BCE, featuring guest Peter Adamson from the History of Philosophy without Any Gaps podcast. Parmenides gives "the Way of Truth," which is that there is only Being, and talking of Non-Being is nonsense. So everything you experience is wrong! Don't wait for part two! Get the unbroken, ad-fr ...…
 
Episode 2 of Wes's new podcasting endeavor, featuring Mary from the Phi Fic podcast, who's also the managing editor of the PEL blog. Note: Part two will NOT be appearing on this feed. Become a PEL Citizen to get the full discussion. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to learn how.By Wes Alwan.
 
Continuing with Simon on his book On Truth (2018). We move to part two of the book, where we get down to the procedures used to obtain truth in art, ethics, and science. Yes, truth is objective, but it's not best described as correspondence, and in fact this elaboration of how truth is actually obtained is more enlightening than any abstract de ...…
 
The Cambridge/etc. prof joins Mark, Wes, and Dylan to discuss his book On Truth (2018). What is truth? Simon's view synthesizes deflationism and pragmatism to avoid relativism by fixing on the domain-specific procedures we actually engage in to establish the truth of a claim, whether in ethics, science, art, or whatever. A gift of clarity after ...…
 
Continuing on "Truth" by J.L. Austin and "Truth" by P.F. Strawson, both from 1950. We proceed to the Strawson article, which critiques the notion of a "fact" as explaining why a sentence might be true. A "fact" is not a thing in the world! So what do we add when we change "The cat is on the mat" to "'The cat is on the mat' is true"? Listen to P ...…
 
On two articles in the "ordinary language" tradition of philosophy called "Truth" from 1950 by J.L. Austin and P.F. Strawson. Is truth a property of particular speech acts, or of the propositions expressed through speech acts? Does truth mean correspondence with the facts, or does the word "fact" make this definition totally uninformative? Does ...…
 
Wes Alwan and Bill Youmans discuss the 1611 play about revenge, forgiveness, and authorship. Or maybe it's about exploitation, or how we react to changes in status, or perhaps how a liberal education can give you magical powers! Note: Part two will NOT be appearing on this feed. Become a PEL Citizen to get the full discussion. Visit partiallyex ...…
 
Continuing on Tarski's “The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics" (1944), Hartry Field's “Tarski's Theory of Truth” (1972), and Donald Davidson's “The Folly of Trying to Define Truth” (1977). What was Tarski really doing? What are the implications of his project? Does it even make sense to define "truth," and what shoul ...…
 
On Tarski's “The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics" (1944), Hartry Field's “Tarski's Theory of Truth” (1972), and Donald Davidson's “The Folly of Trying to Define Truth” (1977). What is truth? Tarski gives a technical, metaphysically neutral definition for truth within a particular, well-defined language. So how does ...…
 
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