Schopenhauer’s Pessimism Read Aloud

There are a number of read-aloud Schopenhauer selections on the web that you should be aware of, which cover very directly the pessimism he is most famous for but which we didn’t cover in the episode. For instance: Listen on youtube (There’s nothing really to watch). Read the text. This is over half an hour […]

David Foster Wallace on Wittgenstein

Slate Magazine recently posted a great article on the recently-departed author and essayist David Foster Wallace, focusing on how Wallace (correctly?) interpreted Wittgenstein’s early and late philosophy to cope with his allegedly crushing sense of solipsistic dread. I’m not sure I buy this thesis, but Wallace’s suicide implies something was clearly bothering him. Even so, […]

Schopenhauer on Euclid’s Geometry

One point on our Schopenhauer episode that we didn’t take much time to get into was his attitude towards geometric demonstration, which was of course the model for all philosophy for thinkers like Descartes. Here’s a short selection from section 39 of the Fourfold Root, which illustrates his idea that our knowledge of geometry is […]

Topic for #32: Heidegger: What is “Being?”

When philosophers do ontology (coming up with a list of types of things that “exist,” what are they actually doing? Martin Heidegger thinks this is a real problem: What is existence? What is “being?” It is, he thinks, the core problem behind all of philosophy, the underlying thought nagging us that needs to be settled […]

The Personal Philosophy of (i.e. for) The Atlantic’s Jared Keller

Atlantic associate editor Jared Keller attracted our oracular, magnetic Personal Philosophy pen by asking someone who tweeted about this series for more information. Does this mean he’ll write a Pulitzer-winning article about us as the inevitable end point of the juxtaposition of high culture and the Internet? Only he knows for sure! (Well, Santa too.) […]

The Personal Philosophy of (i.e. for) Kathleen M. Ryan

Perhaps best known (by me) for being the person on Facebook who complained about all these Personal Philosophy postings (see inset), Ms. Ryan is also known for her excellent sense of humor and her facility with plastic explosives. This personal philosophy has been commissioned for her by an elderly billionaire who is too shy to […]

The Personal Philosophy of (i.e. for) Lee Abramson

A while ago, I reviewed my ex-bassist Lee’s project Rumi Music, which is just one of several albums he’s finished since being knocked out of the bass-playing (and walking and talking) business by ALS. His latest shtick is a 2012 Presidential run, so as a speech-writer audition I thought I should create a personal philosophy […]

Schopenhauer’s Mom

Apparently Johanna Schopenhauer, Arthur’s mom, was an author, “the first German woman writer to publish books without making use of a pseudonym,” and “the most famous author in Germany” for a while in the 1820s. She wrote fiction, travelogues, and biography, and Arthur considered her work juvenile, and told her so. Her wikipedia page gives […]

Philosophy of the Future Book of Matt Gantner

Mr. Matt Gantner of Gantner Creative Media (a company with no web site Google has heard of) has donated more money to P.E.L. than anyone not actually on the show, despite our not knowing him personally or having provided him any quid pro quo philosophical favors like putting in a good word for him with […]

Frederick Copleston and Bryan Magee on Schopenhauer

Here Bryan Magee gives some background on Schopie, which leads into an interview with philosophical historian (and Jesuit priest, known for debating Bertrand Russell on the radio re. the existence of God) Frederick Copleston: Watch on youtube. At the end of this first clip, Copleston points out that Kant thought of things in themselves as […]

The Personal Philosophy of (i.e. for) Mike “Mr. Murph” Murphy

Today’s Personal Philosophy is sponsored by Melissa Murphy and created expressly for her handle-bar mustachioed high-school-physics-teaching husband. Michael K. Murphy’s Personal Philosophy* I believe that we need to act now to preserve our fragile ecosystem. I also believe that robots are our future. Giant robots with rockem’ sockem’ type arms and lasers that shoot out […]

The Personal Philosophy of (i.e. for) Salon.com’s Laura Miller

So far none of the select celebrities whom I have gifted an ultra-personal Personal Philosophy have sent me so much as a dry-cleaning coupon, which I guess means that they’re not Internet-obsessed, self-Google-alerting, must-personally-respond-to-everything-associated-with-their-names kind of people, unlike, say, me. But what about journalists? Will Laura Miller, writer about books for salon.com, notice without my […]

The Personal Philosophy of (i.e. for) Frank Conniff

I hope it’s obvious from my inclusion of this MST3K alum, given my past comments on MST3K, that I am not slamming these needy celebrities by creating for them spiffy brand new personal philosophies (give one today to someone who’s name you’ve drawn for secret Santa!). I am not implying that such celebrities do not […]

The Personal Philosophy of (i.e. for) Callum Keith Rennie

Donating another philosophy to a needy minor celebrity, this time the guy who played the most sensitive cylon and other roles. For y’all just tuning in, read this to learn how to order your own special personal magical cool-ass philosophy. I have to credit my dad, noted children’s performer Mr. Bob, for giving me the […]

To Go or Not to Go: The Philosophy Grad School Question

Via Leiter, here’s a typical sober (read: utterly pessimistic) guide to determining whether or not to go to grad school in philosophy. Despite the fact that I’ve read many of these pessimistic assessments, the answers to questions 8 and 9 — “Can I advance in the profession through talent and hard work?” and “Will I […]

The Personal Philosophy of (i.e. for) Martin Starr

We have received an actual donation now with a commission to create a personal philosophy, but I’m working with the donator and trying to figure out the result, and I don’t want Gigi Edgley to feel unfairly singled out if she somehow gets ahold of the link, so I have identified another needy celebrity to […]

Kung Fu Pragmatism

Editor’s Note: You may recall our new contributor Dylan Casey from our quantum physics and pragmatism episodes. He’s a physics Ph.D. who teaches philosophy, literature, and other things at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, and I’m married to his sister. -ML This article from “The Stone” (as in philosopher’s stone) in the NYTimes argues […]

Special Offer: Your Own Personal Philosophy for $20

Are you confused? Directionless? Tired of trying to figure it all out? Does the thought of slogging through the history of philosophy trying to figure out what does and doesn’t make sense to you depress and/or intimidate you? Well, now there’s an answer. For a mere $20 donation to the Partially Examined Life podcast and […]

Martial Arts Without the Mysticism

A trivial generalization about modern Western philosophy is that it splits between the more scientific “analytic” and more humanistic “continental” traditions.* A crass — but more true than false — characterization of these two traditions is that the analytic tradition attempts to solve problems, and the continental traditions…um…don’t. Similarly, one might roughly divide East Asian […]

Simon Blackburn vs Sam Harris: Can Science Tell us Right from Wrong?

In a debate with Patricia Churchland, Peter Singer, Sam Harris, and Lawrence Krauss, Simon Blackburn explains why Harris simply has it wrong on whether science can provide substantive guidance on morality: Youtube There is no doubt, he notes, that “science can inform our values” (and I would add that this goes trivially for many other types […]

John Searle’s Course Audio Available Online

OpenCulture.com has posted links to three complete, free courses from the great philosophy of mind and language professor John Searle from UC-Berkeley. You may remember Searle from the Chinese Room argument as discussed in our philosophy of mind episode. These courses are on mind, language, and “philosophy of society,” which I will surely be checking […]

The Philosophy of Jumping Around and Yelling

We’ve some great discussion and sharing of experiences going here, with reasonable people (including the author of the article I linked to… someone’s got a Google alert out for his own name, I’m thinking. ) talking about the aesthetic approach to physical competitiveness and other cool things. But what does master YouTube think? Watch on […]

Tripe, the full PDF

Just right click this here link to and choose “save target as” or whatever your browser’s version of that is to get the full book: Tripe, the full and naked PDF. (The commentary starts here. Its ending is forever indistinct.) -Mark Linsenmayer

Tripe, the full PDF

Just right click this here link to and choose “save target as” or whatever your browser’s version of that is to get the full book: Tripe, the full and naked PDF. (The commentary starts here. Its ending is forever indistinct.) -Mark Linsenmayer

Beating and Nothingness

Here’s an article by the University of Melbourne philosophy professor and poet Damon Young (who did actually write a book called Beating and Nothingness),defending martial arts against those that would dismiss all fighting as mere savagery: Here’s the article. What do you readers think of this connection? Personally, I’m resistant to it. Yes, exercise is […]

Beating and Nothingness

Here’s an article by the University of Melbourne philosophy professor and poet Damon Young (who did actually write a book called Beating and Nothingness),defending martial arts against those that would dismiss all fighting as mere savagery: Here’s the article. What do you readers think of this connection? Personally, I’m resistant to it. Yes, exercise is […]

Tripe, Part Seven

Start at the beginning. In the Seventh Sitting of Tripe, it’s made clear that as soon as the goal of the book’s being an organic growth-in-itself is stated, it dissolves, following the pattern of self-transcendence that the book has set up. If the purpose of an endeavor is to evade all purposes, then to succeed, […]

The Sickness Unto Death, the PowerPoint!

I mentioned on the Kierkegaard episode having prepared a PowerPoint on The Sickness Unto Death, so I submit to you, the morbidly curious, TSUD: The PowerPoint! (Warning, it’s over 700KB, and might take a while to download on slower connections.) I believe Seth made some minor corrections and improvements, but any errors in spelling, interpretation, […]