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The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast

By Mark Linsenmayer

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The Partially Examined Life is a philosophy 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

Customer Reviews

Intelligent and funny - a rare combo

The best philosophy podcast on iTunes. In fact, one of the best podcasts on iTunes. These guys know their stuff, and importantly, know how to explain obscure philosophical concepts to the uninitiated. The fact that all 3 guys have a sense of humor doesn't hurt, either. Highly recommended. Some of the early episodes suffer from twitchy audio, but they've resolved those problems now. The episodes on Hobbes and Nietzsche are particularly good episodes with which to start.

Seriously fun and informative conversations

Like: Unlike most philosophy podcasts, this one really works. It's a long-form (over an hour, usually) discussion among three former philosophy grad students discussing brief readings from core philosophy. What keeps this show on my subscribe list is that they explain their core arguments in clear English, and don't hesitate to object to it, or each other, in an entertaining and unpretentious way. This is not an abstract discourse on ideas, either; these guys care about how philosophy helps us better undstand what's really going on in our experience. In their own words, they focus on ideas instead of fetishizing dead guys. Further, it's not a contentious-for-the-sake-of-"good radio" show, but a fun and collaborative discussion among people who appear to care about the personal philosophical enterprise. Needs Improvement: They sometimes break one of their self-imposed rules, by assuming that you *do* know some philosophy. For example, in the show on Camus, they just start discussing Existentialism (a term that's taken on all kinds of meanings in the wild) without any introductory definition of what it is or how it arose. So before they get to the text's core argument I would appreciate a bit more stage setting which better indicates who this philosopher was, when they lived, and what they're reacting to. They often get to much of this material, but often much later in the episode. Verdict: If you've been looking for an accessible philosophy podcast, and don't mind the long format, you should try this show. I strongly advise starting with episode 1, as references to previous episodes appear to accrete. Definitely worth listening to.

Really wonderful way to grab and engage your brain for two hours

The chemistry among these three guys is but one of the assets of the listening experience. A lot of good analysis is also delivered of these many classic and contemporary texts, and always leavened with good spirits. Even when the occasionally "stupid" exhortation of one member gets expressed, it inevitably gets caught by one or both of the other two. But such "stupid" exhortations, being also often shared by the listener herself (i.e., ME!!), when taken seriously in the larger discussion, often help work out even more insights that might not have been achievable had the s.e. not been expressed in the first place.

All this is meant to say that I really like the model set up so far for this podcast. So don't tinker with it too much just yet!!

The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast
View In iTunes
  • Free
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Language: English

Customer Ratings