Consciousness and Unity (a Froot Loopian perspective)

Just so I’m not just harshing on the religious right, this seemed an opportune time to post a video I ran across during my search for consciousness/mind-related videos a few months back: One of the major interpretations of mystical experience is that in it, we shake off the individual ego and somehow are able to […]

Conservative Christian Response to Pantheism

Whether Spinoza should be technically considered a pantheist or atheist, pastor Mark Driscoll here does sum up how the resultant view is different than the idea of a personal God standing outside of and judging his creation: In reviewing some Buddhist texts and listening to Buddhist podcasts for an upcoming podcast episode (ep 27), I’ve […]

Spinoza and Leibniz: Anthony Quinton and Bryan Magee

We talked a bit on Ep 24 about Spinoza’s relationship to Leibniz, and here’s the first of a series of videos that gives more detail on that relationship: To watch this on youtube: McGee’s introduction for the first three minutes or so just repeats biographical information we gave on the podcast. Quinton focuses on […]

Karen Armstrong on the “Ground Zero Mosque” and Sufism

Via Open Culture, religion scholar Karen Armstrong (whom Mark has discussed several times — and who’s book The Case for God may be the text for a future episode) comes out in favor of the “Ground Zero Mosque,” noting that it would be a Sufi Mosque. “We all need a good dose of Sufi-ism,” she says, […]

Episode 24: Spinoza on God and Metaphysics (Citizens Only)


Discussing Spinoza’s Ethics (1677), books 1 and 2. God is everything, therefore the world is God as apprehended through some particular attributes, namely insofar as one of his aspects is infinite space (extension, i.e. matter) and insofar as one of his aspects is mind (our minds being chunks or “modes” of the big God mind).

End song: “Spiritual Insect,” by Mark Lint and the Fake from So Whaddaya Think? (2000).

Our new blog feed (that you should subscribe to)

People who only check our our podcast via iTunes and bookmark this page can ignore this message (unless you’d like to have blog content delivered to you instead…). If you previously subscribed to the Partially Examined Life via e-mail, or use a feed reader, or have this feed streaming to your site: The blog feed […]

Revaluation of Values

“You know, the very baddest things are dying, and getting killed, and getting eaten, and getting cooked. And kindergarten, that is the next baddest thing.” -My niece, Izzy, age 5, worrying about her future

Experimental Philosophy

At the New York Times’ Room for Debate some philosophy professors are discussing the following question: As philosophy departments have come under attack for being costly and impractical, do experimental methods, called “x-phi” by its proponents, offer new horizons for old problems? Or are they immaterial and a waste of time? Most of the participants note […]

The Philosopher’s Annual

Philosopher’s Annual selects what it takes to be the ten best philosophy in a given year and makes them available online. Leiter has a list of forthcoming 2009 selections, including two that look interesting to me: Selim Berker (Harvard), “The Normative Insignificance of Neuroscience”, Philosophy & Public Affairs 37:4, 293-329 James Dreier (Brown), “Relativism (and Expressivism) […]

A New Atheist on the “Ground Zero Mosque”

Sam Harris makes it clear that his atheism is in fact motivated less by reason and more by spleen: Should a 15-story mosque and Islamic cultural center be built two blocks from the site of the worst jihadist atrocity in living memory? Put this way, the question nearly answers itself. He compares it to building a shrine […]

Armstrong on Dawkins and Harris

This is a follow up to my last post, which you should look at the comments on for some good comments by Wes. I’ve now read the part in Armstrong where she addresses Dawkins directly (from p. 304 of “The Case for God”): For Dawkins, religious faith rests on the idea that “there exists a […]

Armstrong and Dawkins

Continuing my independent (i.e. not directly for the podcast) reading into the atheism debate: Nearly done with the Karen Armstrong book. This is a good bit of secondary literature, with short summaries of the views re. God of a really impressively wide range of historical figures. Her overall view is that of apophatic, or negative […]

The Imagination: The Handmaiden of Tautology

Leiter approves of a recent “very successful” post on the New York Times’ philosophy blog about “reclaiming the imagination.” His wrath has been appeased … for now. Here’s the gist of the piece: Imagination has survival value because it allows one to choose the best plan by running through possible consequences. This is meant to […]

Speaking of John Galt

McSweeney’s does Rand: After all, we’ve managed to raise a bright, self-reliant girl who achieves her goals by means of incentive and ratiocination and never—or very rarely—through the corrupt syllogism of force. We know, despite what you and a number of other parents we’ve met have said—as they carried their whimpering little social parasites away—that […]

The PhD, Visualized

By: Wes Apparently getting a PhD is like trying to impregnate the nothingness beyond the periphery of a vast epistemological cosmos with … a multi-colored logo-phallus.

Favorite Philosophy Blogs?

As I’ve been checking out various philosophy podcasts, it struck me that I’ve neglected looking into online philosophy blogs. There’s good reason for this, of course: if I’m at a computer (or iPhone or whatever) reading philosophy, I’m probably doing research for one of our episodes. If podcasting weren’t such a new medium, and you […]

Social contract R&B video

Just to get that last icky video off of the top spot of our blog here, I’m posting one more Rousseau-related video before I give up on that line of searching. So here’s a parody song video about Rousseau produced by an unidentified high school student. Largely due to the goofiness of the music, this […]

The Social Contract and Libertarianism

Unlike pragmatism or the philosophy of mind, social contract theory is not so hot a topic among academic philosophers in youtube land. Rousseau (and Locke and Hobbes) are, of course, part of the canon and so taught as historical ideas, but I at least can’t name any big time current “social contract” philosophers like some […]

More on Rousseau: Steven Smith

Here’s a lecture by Steve Smith from Yale University which kicks off with some additional juicy details re. Jean-Jacques’s life (Did you know he abandoned five of his kids to an orphanage? What a bastard!) and mentions a few specific points of influence beyond just hippies (also agrarian communist experimenters!) You can follow the links […]