Current Episode


Episode 105: Kant: What Is Beauty?

On Critique of Judgment (1790), Part I, Book I. What is beauty? Disinterested pleasure!

From the blog

  1. Democracy and the Freedom of Choice



    There is a fundamental incoherence to the universal prescription of the freedom to choose: since any one choosing anything is impossible, the parameters of this freedom are who is choosing and what they can choose.

  2. Thoreauly Ponderous



    The smoke and noise of 19th century steam engines seem quaint now that we measure annual carbon emissions in billions of tons.

Go to the Full Blog

Why Are We Here?

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 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. 

PEL Facebook Group Feed

Okay so here is my Barthes buying plan for the next two years (Not even kidding)

Roland Barthes Reading List

1. Elements of Semiology

2. Image, Music, and Text

3. Mythologies

4. The Pleasure Of The Text

5. Eiffel Tower and Mythologies

6. Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes

7. Empire of Signs

8. The Responsibility of Forms : Critical essays on music, art, and representation

9. The Semiotic Challenge

10. Mourning Diary

11. A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments

12. Incidents

13. The Language of Fashion

I got books one-four today and it will probably be a while before I get items 5-7 and probably the longest to get book eight because of price. Meanwhile, my Semiotics studies are going well and I am working through David Chandler’s online text:

I am then going to read Thomas Sebeok’s Introductory Text and Umberto Eco’s Signs and The Philosophy of Language. Then I will be ready to tackle Barthes. I am quite excited. In the meantime, if anyone has any comments about any of the books I want to get from Barthes, I welcome all insight.
See MoreSee Less

Attachment UnavailableThis attachment may have been removed or the person who shared it may not have permission to share it with you.

View on Facebook

I read somewhere that you shouldn’t read more than one non-fiction book at a time…anyone follow this trope? I usually have one or two particular philosopher’s projects I’m working through…original material and secondary…and a random mix of the "flavor of the day" books, blogs, articles and so on. See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Guess which one of these books I can’t wait to crack into…and which one will just sit on my book shelf…taunting me? See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Jokes See MoreSee Less

Attachment UnavailableThis attachment may have been removed or the person who shared it may not have permission to share it with you.

View on Facebook

Perhaps the most important edition of The Stone I have read all year. I am wondering how many will echo this sentiment. Joseph Carens calls for open borders and significant reform to both our immigration policies and attitudes. Here was one interesting excerpt from the interview (Which was conducted by a regular contributor to The Stone Gary Gutting)

G.G.: But why should people who are here illegally ever have a moral right to become legal citizens?

J.C.: Living and working in a society makes immigrants members of that society over time, even if they arrived and settled without permission. This is clearest for those who arrived as young children. Everyone has heard stories about the Dreamers, young people who were raised in the United States and who are now stuck in limbo because they do not have legal status. They are Americans in every respect that should count, and they can’t be blamed for coming here because they were only children when they arrived. So it would be morally wrong to kick them out. We should give them status as permanent residents with the normal access to citizenship that this allows.

It sounds reasonable to say that migrants should wait their turn, but to ask people to stand in a line that doesn’t exist or doesn’t move is disingenuous.
Their parents admittedly did choose to come without permission, but even if you think this was wrong, the life they have been living since they arrived matters much more from a moral perspective. We should recognize them, too, as members of society and give them legal status as permanent residents with normal access to citizenship.

Joseph Carens made a very interesting point that I had not afforded much contemplation to until I read it. What about the "ethical" status of illegal immigrants who have lived in the United States for so long they have built a life and cultivated something positive? What if one immigrant does a lot of volunteer work and feeds the homeless and engages in a lot of altruistic behavior? His presence is a positive good that is in almost complete compliance with the established social contract except their citizenship? What of the people who have not even developed their full autonomy/agency to produce anything of any kind such as children? How are we to handle cases such as that?
See MoreSee Less

Attachment UnavailableThis attachment may have been removed or the person who shared it may not have permission to share it with you.

View on Facebook