Episode 120: A History of “Will” with Guest Eva Brann (Part One)


We discuss Un-Willing: An Inquiry into the Rise of Will’’s Power and an Attempt to Undo It (2014) with the author, covering Socrates, Augustine, Aquinas, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Sartre, compatibilism, the neurologists’ critque of free will, and more.

Become a PEL Citizen and get part 2 ad-free now, and be eligible for the 8/3 drawing to win Eva’s book.

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Ep. 118 Aftershow (Preview) on Songwriting feat. ex-Camper Chris Molla


A highlight from our musician-packed breakdown of our songwriting episode. Featuring a third (ex-) member of Camper Van Beethoven, plus Chase Fiorenza, Mike Wilson, Maxx Bartko, Danny Lobell, Mark Linsenmayer, and (not heard on this preview) Adrian Cho and Fischerspooner’s Warren Fischer. We discuss authenticity, the state of the music biz, humor in music, and more.

Join us this Sunday at 3pm Eastern for the ep. 119 Nietzsche aftershow on on our YouTube channel (where you can watch all of our Aftershows in full), or become a Citizen and join the discussion.

Lucian: the Well of Laughter


Lucian of Samosata (c. 125–180 CE) was a Greek-speaking Assyrian satirist, who falls within the tradition of the laughing philosophers. He was the George Carlin or perhaps the Bill Maher of his day, eloquently mocking both the credulous masses and the charlatans who made a living off of them.

Episode 119: Nietzsche on Tragedy and the Psychology of Art (Part Three)

Friedrich Niezsche

Pt 3 of 3 on Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy on the evils according to Nietzsche of “Socratism,” i.e. scientific optimism: Everything useful, beautiful, and good must be reasonable, fodder for scientific investigation. Why would Greek tragedy show us that this Enlightenment ideal is somehow misguided?

Attend Watch the Aftershow featuring Dr. Greg Sadler and Seth Paskin.

Listen to parts one and two.

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Book Review: The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science


Wandering through an Athens bookstore, biologist Armand Leroi stumbled upon a set of translations of Aristotle. He shared the prejudice of many scientists that Aristotle was hopelessly obscurantist who set back the dawn of science for centuries, but, letting curiosity get the better of him, he opened a biological text at random. He recognized in Aristotle a fellow scientist, and took on the study of Aristotle in order to more fully appreciate the scope and magnitude of Aristotle’s scientific achievement.

Episode 119: Nietzsche on Tragedy and the Psychology of Art (Part One)

On Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy (1872). Nietzsche thought that you could tell how vital or decadent a civilization was by its art, and said that ancient Greek tragedy was so great because it was a perfect synthesis of something highly formal/orderly/beautiful with the intuitive/unconscious/chaotic. But then Socrates ruined everything!

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The Aftershow discussion that you can participate in via Google Hangout will be on 7/26 at 3pm Eastern time.

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Reading ‘Antigone’ with Hegel

Hegel sitting

Listeners to the PEL Antigone episodes who want to dig deeper into the meaning of the play can benefit from Mark W. Roche’s overview of Hegel’s remarks on tragedy, put forth in his essay “Introduction to Hegel’s Theory of Tragedy.” Roche specifies four Hegelian questions audiences might ask of any tragedy in an attempt to understand its characters and their interactions, and the ultimate outcomes.