show 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 featu ...
 
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show series
 
Continuing on "Situated Knowledges" and other essays with guest Lynda Olman. We try to get at the practical import of Olman's scheme and get further into her use of metaphors and what those mean for her critical stance. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexamin…
 
Mark led the Pop Group through two albums in the late 70s two later reunion album and has released nine solo albums of trippy, experimental dance music. We discuss “Rage of Angels” (feat. Front 242) from VS (2022), “Age of Miracles” by The Pop Group from Citizen Zombie (2015), and “Liberty City” by Mark Stewart & the Maffia from Learning to Cope wi…
 
On "Situated Knowledge" (1988), "A Cyborg Manifesto" (1985), etc. featuring guest Lynda Olman. What is scientific objectivity? Haraway rejects both relativism and traditional, "god's eye" objectivism in favor of a "cyborg" view that looks for alternate ways of seeing and acknowledges the ways that science and technology are tied to politics. Part t…
 
Mark led the Pop Group through two albums in the late 70s two later reunion album and has released nine solo albums of trippy, experimental dance music. We discuss "Rage of Angels" (feat. Front 242) from VS (2022), "Age of Miracles" by The Pop Group from Citizen Zombie (2015), and "Liberty City" by Mark Stewart & the Maffia from Learning to Cope wi…
 
In the beginning, Colonel Nicholson seems to be a stickler for principle, willing to die rather than have his officers do menial labor in a Japanese prison camp. In the end, his principles seem to be a cover for personal vanity. He is willing to put his officers to work building a bridge for his enemies, as long as it leaves him with a legacy. The …
 
Contemplate the difference between signs, symbols, and symptoms. Did our improv scene get Zoom-bombed, or is that just real life intruding? THINK OF THE CHILDREN (eating Doritos)! What flavor of chip is Bill trying to teach today? Why is Brooke sad? For more information about this whole signs vs. symbols thing, listen to The Partially Examined Life…
 
We discuss Art Spiegelman's Maus (1980-91) and other war-related graphic novels like Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis (2000) and George Takei’s They Called Us Enemy (2019). Mark is joined by comics scholar Vi Burlew, comics blerd/acting coach Anthony LeBlanc, and comedian/graphic novelist Daniel Lobell. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus con…
 
Concluding on Susanne Langer's Philosophy in a New Key (ch. 8-10). We continue discussing whether and how music is symbolic. Sing along with us! 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.
 
Ben started releasing sardonic retro rock records with the Ben Vaughn Combo in the early ’80s, and has now released over 20 of them exploring various genres, while also working on TV soundtracks like Third Rock from the Sun and That ’70s Show, hosting a radio show, and producing for several artists including Ween. We discuss “Wayne Fontana Was Wron…
 
On Susanne Langer's Philosophy in a New Key (1942), ch. 8-10. Is music (the supposedly non-representational artform) a language? If it's "expressive," what exactly does it express? 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. Sponsors: Get a free T-shirt wit…
 
…which, as I was saying, is right in the middle of a sentence or scene! Sheesh! How should our personal and family histories shape our behavior, both in real life and in improv scenes? Do these histories, these stories we tell ourselves, nail us down as people? Are we all old before our time? Are those your real parents? Hang on to your poser walle…
 
Are protest songs effective, either as protest or songs? Four songwriters including your host Mark Linsenmayer, Lilli Lewis, Rod Picott, and PMP's audio engineer Tyler Hislop discuss how protest works in various musical genres, who it's aimed at, and when it goes wrong. Has the day of the protest song passed, or is it alive and well? For more, visi…
 
Continuing our discussion on the symbolic value of religion and its antecedents, primary at this point discussing Susanne Langer's Philosophy in a New Key, ch. 7. 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.…
 
Bob released six albums with Hüsker Dü in the ’80s, went solo, had a wash of fame as Sugar in the early ’90s, and has released around a dozen solo albums. We discuss “Forecast of Rain” from Blue Hearts (2020), “I Don’t Know You Anymore” from Beauty & Ruin (2014), “JC Auto” by Sugar from Beaster (1993), and “In A Free Land” by Hüsker Dü, 1982 singe …
 
On Ernst Cassirer's An Essay on Man (1944), ch. 6-7, and Susanne Langer's Philosophy in a New Key (1942), ch. 6-7. Why do people produce ritual, mythology, and religion? According to our authors, these are spontaneous, symbolic modes of self-expression. They're not opposed to rational, scientific thought, but are necessary preconditions for it. Par…
 
Bob has released 20+ albums since the early '80s. We discuss "Forecast of Rain" from Blue Hearts (2020), "I Don’t Know You Anymore" from Beauty & Ruin (2014), "JC Auto" by Sugar from Beaster (1993), and "In A Free Land" by Hüsker Dü, 1982 singe remixed for Savage Young Du (2017). End song: the title track to his new acoustic EP, The Ocean. Intro: "…
 
Mark is joined Lawrence Ware, Sarahlyn Bruck and Michael Paskaru to talk about the Showtime TV horror-dramedy shows inspired by Jeff Lindsay's novels, in light of the revival show Dexter: New Blood. People loved this character so much that they were very mad that he didn't die at the end of the show's initial run (2006-2013). What was the appeal of…
 
Panpsycast host Jack, the Liverpudliest Liverpudlian of all, brings his promiscuous philosophy of mind to the show, wherein mind is here, there, and everywhere. But what does that mean? Skits about renting a flat for nefarious purposes and designing software for Nozick’s experience machine reveal all! But the question remains… So what? You have to …
 
Continuing on Philosophy in a New Key (1942), ch. 1-5. Is symbolism the software running on the hardware of our senses, or are symbols baked even into that hardware? We talk pictures vs. symbols, types of symbol-pictures, and what it means for experience to be symbolic. If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up …
 
Wesley started performing as John Wesley Harding in the late ’80s (often eliciting comparisons in his early work to Elvis Costello), moved from England to the U.S. in 1991, and has 20+ releases, switching to his own name in 2013 as a result of his success as a novelist. We discuss “The Impossible She” (and end by listening to “Come Back Yesterday”)…
 
On Philosophy in a New Key (1942), ch. 1-5, plus as background most of us looked at Ernst Cassirer's An Essay on Man (1944), ch. 1-5. What does it mean to say that humanity is homo symbolicus, the symbol-making creature? Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple Po…
 
Comedian Genevieve Joy, philosopher/NY Times entertainment writer Lawrence Ware, and novelist Sarahlyn Bruck join your host Mark to discuss how we deal with entertainers like R. Kelly, Michael Jackson, Woody Allen, et al. We all watched W. Kamau Bell's Showtime documentary We Need to Talk About Cosby. Can we separate the art from the artist? For mo…
 
We get into more detail on David Hume's "The Standard of Taste" (1760). How does he resolve the paradox that it seems both that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yet some judgments about beauty are obviously wrong? If you're not hearing the full version of this part of the discussion, sign up via one of the options described at partiallyexamine…
 
Clive is a keyboardist, orchestrator, singer, and composer of three musicals and several concept albums as a solo artist or collaborator. He’s played with Pendragon since 1986 and has led the bands Shadowlands and Arena since the 90s. We discuss “Dragon Fire” from his most recent solo album, Song of the Wildlands (2021), “Silent Words” from his mus…
 
How do we know what opinions about beauty are correct? We read The Moralists: A Philosophical Rhapsody (1709) by Anthony Ashley-Cooper, aka the third Earl of Shaftesbury, Part III section 2 "Beauty," and An Inquiry Concerning Beauty, Order, Harmony, Design (1725) by Francis Hutcheson, and "The Standard of Taste" by David Hume (1760). Part two of th…
 
Today’s episode is about questioning: how one might question, what sets the parameters for a proper answer, and how to give those answers in an informative and/or dramatically effective way. Watch out for dream pigs! Also, how to get into the VIP room at Stuckey’s. Perhaps a pair of paralegals can help. In the post-game, included JUST THIS ONCE for…
 
In light of Death on the Nile, we discuss the continuing appearance of the works of the world's most successful mystery writer in film and TV. Mark is joined by repeat guests Sarahlyn Bruck, Al Baker, and Nicole Pometti to discuss the recent Kenneth Branagh films, the Sarah Phelps TV adaptations (like The ABC Murders), the Poirot BBC TV series, and…
 
Concluding on Beauty (2009). Why would we be attracted to beauty if on Scruton's account it takes so much work? We consider the form/function distinction as it applies to architecture and human beauty. 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…
 
David has released 8 albums and some EPs as the London-based Comet Gain since 1994, putting out literate, energetic, sloppy rock, typically splitting the lead vocals with a female voice. As a pandemic project, he just released his first solo album. We discuss “Mum’s and Dad’s Other Ghosts” by David Christian and the Pinecone Orchestra from Those We…
 
On Roger Scruton's Beauty (2009), ch. 5-9. Scruton argues against aesthetic relativism on moral grounds: That the "flight from beauty" in modern art and the crassness of popular art deny important things about being human. Part two of this episode is only going to be available to you if you sign up at partiallyexaminedlife.com/support or via Apple …
 
We are joined by the young purveyor of the Reductio podcast, who wrote his dissertation on normality, which was such a normie thing to do. Can “abnormality” be morally neutral, or is that term cursed? We talk disability studies. You down with OTPs? Repeat after mes! How many towels do you need? Listen to Andrew explain his dissertation uninterrupte…
 
Supergiant's Hades is now the first video game ever to have won a Hugo award and has set a new standard in the Roguelike genre. What is this genre, and what makes Hades unique? With guests Jamie Madigan from psychologyofgames.com, Al Baker, and Tyler Hislop. For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode at patreon.com/prett…
 
Shankar played with John McLaughlin in Shakti in the mid-70s and has released over 25 solo albums while backing A-list artists including Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Frank Zappa, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Metallica, Korn, and more. We discuss “Can’t Wait” (feat. Jonathan Davis) from Chepleeri Dream (2020), “Back Again” from M.R.C…
 
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