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The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast

Mark Linsenmayer, Wes Alwan, Seth Paskin, Dylan Casey

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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 featu ...
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Elucidations is an unexpected philosophy podcast produced in association with Emergent Ventures. Every episode, Matt Teichman temporarily transforms himself back into a student and tries to learn the basics of some topic from a person of philosophical interest. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
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The Hitchhikers and Appetizers co-host joins Mark and Bill to talk about cultural relativism. We talk about foreign-ness, what parts of ethics seem to apply to all cultures, the Museum of Soup, pushing back tactfully in a scene, and more. In my culture, listening to this episode while in a work meeting is polite. Everything you want to know about t…
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Mark, Dylan, Seth, and Theo Brooks discuss the Zhuangzi (ca. 325 BCE) UNSW Sydney prof. Karyn, co-author of the History of Philosophy Podcast Chinese series. We talk through Daoist advice about virtue, political action, perspectivism, and more. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes an…
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The Hitchhikers and Appetizers co-host joins Mark and Bill to talk about cultural relativism. We talk about foreign-ness, what parts of ethics seem to apply to all cultures, the Museum of Soup, pushing back tactfully in a scene, and more. In my culture, listening to this episode while in a work meeting is polite. Mark philosophizes at partiallyexam…
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Concluding on The Philosophy of Nature: A Guide to the New Essentialism (2002) with guest Chris Heath. Are we OK with the metaphysical necessity of natural laws? How do Ellis' mind-independent fundamental objects in the world relate to higher level things, whether biological species or human nature or even things like colors? Get more at partiallye…
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Singer-songwriter Lynn has released 10 albums since 2001. We discuss the title track (and listen at the end to "I Waited Too Long") from High Tide (2024), "11:11" from Rise of the Fall (2017), and "Drugstore" from Crossing Frequencies (2001). Intro: "City Life" from Sugar on the Floor (2011). Hear more at lynndrury.com. Hear more Nakedly Examined M…
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Singer-songwriter Lynn has released 10 albums since 2001. We discuss the title track (and listen at the end to “I Waited Too Long”) from High Tide (2024), “11:11” from Rise of the Fall (2017), and “Drugstore” from Crossing Frequencies (2001). Intro: “City Life” from Sugar on the Floor (2011). Hear more at lynndrury.com. Watch some video about the m…
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The incredible post-Seinfeld improvised sit-com Curb Your Enthusiasm has had its finale, and so Mark, Lawrence, Sarah and Al reflect on its format, its characters, its way of exploring puzzles of modern manners, its treatment of race and gender, and more. Was it too repetitive? Did it get too contrived? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus…
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Continuing on The Philosophy of Nature: A Guide to the New Essentialism. Ellis' essentialism about physics and chemistry says that, for example, atoms of various elements are truly and unambiguously different and behave in ways that make them what they are. What does this entail? Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.co…
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The incredible post-Seinfeld improvised sit-com Curb Your Enthusiasm has had its finale, and so Mark, Lawrence, Sarah and Al reflect on its format, its characters, its way of exploring puzzles of modern manners, its treatment of race and gender, and more. Was it too repetitive? Did it get too contrived? For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus…
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Your four hosts plus book editor Chris Sunami reflect on doing the podcast for 15 years and making the new book, which you should order on April 25. Plus, the three rules, future ambitions, and more. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion. Sponsor: Get a $1…
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When we write, how much is planned vs. improvised? How much is inspirational vs. double-or-triple checked? How does this factor weigh into how much music we release, how eclectic our sound is, and how well we improvise with others? This discussion features three returning guests: Roger Joseph Manning Jr. was the keyboardist/singer for Jellyfish and…
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You can watch this discussion as unedited video. It’s a new, discussion-only format, just for this episode (and perhaps some rare ones in the future)! When we write, how much is planned vs. improvised? How much is inspirational vs. double-or-triple checked? How does this factor weigh into how much music we release, how eclectic our sound is, and ho…
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David is co-host of the excellent Overthink podcast, popular among the young people today, and so we have him monologue to children as an anti (?) drug speaker. How can drugs change us, our sense of self, and the ways we see the world? Can some drugs be considered “natural”? Also, legally defensible drug use at work, and Nancy Reagan the Heel. Foll…
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Continuing on The Philosophy of Nature: A Guide to the New Essentialism (2002) with guest Chris Heath. We get further into the text about metaphysical realism, criteria for a natural kind, properties vs. predicates, and much more. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonu…
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When we write, how much is planned vs. improvised? How much is inspirational vs. double-or-triple checked? How does this factor weigh into how much music we release, how eclectic our sound is, and how well we improvise with others? This discussion features three returning guests: Roger Joseph Manning Jr. was the keyboardist/singer for Jellyfish and…
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In this episode, we are joined by Lainie Ross (University of Rochester Medical Center) and (once again!) Christos Lazaridis (UChicago Medicine), this time to talk about the different ways of defining death. In our previous episode with Christos, we talked about death and the vexed history of attempts to define it. Prior to the advent of modern life…
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David is co-host of the excellent Overthink podcast, popular among the young people today, and so we have him monologue to children as an anti (?) drug speaker. How can drugs change us, our sense of self, and the ways we see the world? Can some drugs be considered "natural"? Also, legally defensible drug use at work, and Nancy Reagan the Heel. Mark…
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Mark, Lawrence, Sarahlyn, and Al discuss the American version, and to a lesser extent the British and Australian versions, of this reality game show that originated in 2021 in the Netherlands, based on the party game Mafia (aka Werewolf), plus Survivor-like challenges and a gothic tone. How does such a simple (stupid?) concept end up creating compe…
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On The Philosophy of Nature: A Guide to the New Essentialism (2002). What kind of metaphysics underlies chemistry and physics? Ellis argues that items such as chemical elements and physical particles have essences, and that these essential properties determine their behavior, which is characterized by scientific laws. Thus, these laws are necessary…
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Illinois singer/bassist Paul had his first release in 1985 and joined with drummer Ric Menck to form a band that was eventually called Velvet Crush, which released six studio albums from 1991-2004. He has since played a lot in Matthew Sweet’s band and has now released two albums with drummer John Richardson under the name The Small Square. We discu…
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To conclude our discussion of Aristotle's Metaphysics, we finish discussing potency by talking about the potential to learn (the Meno problem), the metaphysical priority of the actual over the merely potential, and how the Unmoved Mover motivates all primary beings to strive toward their full actualization. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Vi…
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Illinois singer/bassist Paul had his first release in 1985 and joined with drummer Ric Menck to form a band eventually called Velvet Crush, which released six albums from 1991-2004. He has since played in Matthew Sweet's band and has released two albums under the name The Small Square. We discuss "Can't Let Go (Oh, Tommy)" by The Small Square from …
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The co-host of the Those Who Aunt podcast joins Mark and Bill to joke about the family as the fundamental political unit and its special place in ethics. On the flip side, what questions should you ask yourself about your character at the start of a scene? Plus, Jan. 6, Platonic eugenics, transcending physical desire, a story that doesn’t quite get…
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We read portions of books 9 (Theta) and 12 (Lambda) of Aristotle's Metaphysics, first on "being-at-work" (actuality) vs. mere potency, then on Aristotle's famous argument for the existence of God. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-free episodes and tons of bonus discussion. Sponsors: Get a $1/m…
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Mark, Seth, and Dylan are joined by the editor of our new book (see partiallyexaminedlife.com/book) to talk a bit about his background, meeting celebrities (or being met qua celebrity) and more generally how a writer or performer's real personality relates to their work, various things we're reading and watching, scientists' attitudes towards philo…
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We discuss the 4-Oscar-winning film Poor Things as well as the other creations of writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos, including most notably The Lobster, Dogtooth, and The Killing of a Sacred Deer. These films mix high concepts, purposively stilted line-readings, and increasingly rich cinematography with horror and gross sex. For more, visit prettymu…
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Continuing on Aristotle's Metaphysics, Book 7 (Zeta), on essences and what sorts of things have them. Contrasting with Plato, Aristotle believes that some changing, visible things have forms. How do they get them? Well, they're received from some previous thing that has a comparable form, e.g. a child from its parents, or perhaps a form could come …
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It’s another TEAM PLAY episode, with our returning champions, star of improv stages and podcasts Chris and College of Southern Nevada philosophy prof Cole receiving NOT THE INFORMATION THEY EXPECT and gettin’ all rational and such when consoling a friend and wrangling about a math quiz. Luxuriate in the rich characters and philosophy tools! Cole ph…
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Continuing for our third session on Aristotle's Metaphysics, now covering Book 7 (Zeta). What exactly is the type of being that is the chief reason why we call anything being? Aristotle says its the substantial form present in an individual animal or plant. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to get ad-fre…
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Graham is the quintessential British singer-songwriter. Though often compared to Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson, he started before either of those guys, with his first album as Graham Parker & the Rumour coming out in 1976. He released five albums with them by 1980 and then went solo for another 15 albums (sometimes with a backing band, sometimes e…
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Do you Who? Did you Who back in the day, or just from the point of the 2005 revival? Did you Who through Tennant, Smith, Capaldi... Were you still on board for Whittaker, and now as Disney+ and revival creator Russell T. Davies attempt to make this more readily accessible in all ways with the transition to Ncuti Gatwa? Mark, Al, and Lawrence are jo…
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Continuing on Book 4 (Gamma) of the Metaphysics. We discuss further the relations between the logical and metaphysical versions of the principle of non-contradiction and how Aristotle characterizes relativists like Protagoras who he claims violate non-contradiction. Get more at partiallyexaminedlife.com. Visit partiallyexaminedlife.com/support to g…
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