Podcast Episodes



You can also browse the descriptions (oldest episodes, middle, most recent) or see them organized by topic.

Ep. 0: Introduction to the Podcast: What is the format, and why are we doing this? (very short)

Ep. 1: Plato’s Apology. Part 2. (Get the text.)

Ep. 2: Descartes’s Meditations (Get the text.)

Ep. 3: Hobbes’s Leviathan

Ep. 4: Camus: “The Myth of Sisyphus” and “An Absurd Reasoning”

Ep. 5: Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics

Ep. 6: Leibniz’s Monadology

Ep. 7: Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Part 1

Ep. 8: More Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, Carnap’s “The Rejection of Metaphysics”

Ep. 9: Bentham’s An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, J.S. Mill’s Utilitarianism, and Peter Singer’s “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”

Ep. 10: Kant’s Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals

Ep. 11: Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals

Ep. 12: Chuang Tzu

Ep. 13: Werner Heisenberg’s Physics and Philosophy

Ep. 14: Machiavelli’s The Prince and Discourse on Livy.

Ep. 15: Hegel’s Introduction to the Philosophy of History.

Ep. 16: Arthur Danto’s The Philosophical Disenfranchisement of Art

Ep. 17: Hume’s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

Ep. 18: Plato’s Theaetetus and Meno

Ep. 19: Kant’s Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics

Ep. 20: William James’s Pragmatism plus C.S. Peirce

Ep. 21: Essays on mind by Alan Turing, Gilbert Ryle, John Searle, Thomas Nagel, Dan Dennett

Ep. 22: William James’s “The Will to Believe” and more Pragmatism

Ep. 23: Rousseau’s Discourse in Inequality

Ep. 24: Spinoza’s Ethics

Ep. 25: More Spinoza’s Ethics

Ep. 26: Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents

Ep. 27: 2nd century Buddhist Nagarjuna’s Reasoning and Emptiness

Ep. 28: Nelson Goodman’s Ways of Worldmaking

Ep. 29: Kierkegaard’s The Sickness Unto Death

Ep. 30: Schopenhauer’s On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason

Ep. 31: Husserl’s Cartesian Meditations

Ep. 32: Heidegger’s Being and Time

Ep. 33: Montaigne’s Essays

Ep. 34: Frege’s “Sense and Reference,” “Concept and Object,” and “The Thought”

Ep. 35: Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit

Ep. 36: More Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit

Ep. 37: Locke’s Second Treatise on Government

Ep. 38: Bertrand Russell’s Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy

Ep. 39: Friedrich Schleiermacher’s On Religion; Speeches to its Cultured Despisers

Ep. 40: Plato’s Republic

Ep. 41: Patricia Churchland’s Braintrust (with her as a guest), plus Hume

Ep. 42: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland and Carol Gilligan’s In a Different Voice

Ep. 43: J.L. Mackie’s The Miracle of Theism: Arguments For and Against the Existence of God

Ep. 44: Selections on atheism by Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Dan Dennett.

Ep. 45: Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature, Book III and Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments

Ep. 46: Plato’s Euthyphro

Ep. 47: Sartre’s Transcendence of the Ego

Ep. 48: Merleau-Ponty’s World of Perception and “The Primacy of Perception”

Ep. 49: Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish

Ep. 50: Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Ep. 51: Ferdinand de Saussure’s Course in General Linguistics, Claude Levi-Strauss’s “The Structural Study of Myth,” and Jacques Derrida’s “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences”

Ep. 52: W.E.B. DuBois’s “Of Our Spiritual Strivings,” Cornel West’s “A Genealogy of Modern Racism,” and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and “The Black Power Defined”

Ep. 53: Owen Flanagan’s The Bodhisattva’s Brain: Buddhism Naturalized (with Flanagan as guest)

Ep. 54: More Owen Flanagan’s The Bodhisattva’s Brain: Buddhism Naturalized

Ep. 55: Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations

Ep. 56: More Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations

Ep. 57: Henri Bergson’s Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic

Ep. 58: G.E. Moore’s Principia Ethica, C.L. Stevenson’s “The Emotive Meaning of Ethical Terms,” and Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue

Ep. 59: More Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue

Ep. 60: Aristotle’s Politics

Ep. 61: Nietzsche’s “On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense”

Ep. 62: Voltaire’s Candide

Ep. 63: Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men

Ep. 64: Tom Payne’s Fame: What the Classics Tell Us About Our Cult of Celebrity with guest Lucy Lawless

Ep. 65: Selections from The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison and also two Letters from Brutus

Ep. 66: W.V.O Quine’s “On What There Is” and “Two Dogmas of Empiricism”

Ep. 67: Rudolph Carnap’s The Logical Structure of the World

Ep. 68: David Chalmers’s Constructing the World, with him as a guest

Ep. 69: Plato’s Gorgias with our audio-play of the dialogue.

Ep 70: Karl Marx’s The German Ideology

Ep 71: Martin Buber’s I and Thou

Ep. 72: Articles on terrorism by Donald Black, J. Angelo Corlett, Igor Primoratz, Karl Heinzen, Bhagat Singh, and Carl von Clausewitz

Ep. 73: Why Do Philosophy? The podcasters expound their own views and histories

Ep. 74: Jacques Lacan’s “The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I as Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience” and Bruce Fink’s The Lacanian Subject

Ep. 75: Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Purloined Letter,” Jacques Lacan’s “Seminar on ‘The Purloined Letter,’” and Jacques Derrida’s “The Purveyor of Truth”

Ep. 76: Gilles Deleuze/Felix Guattari’s What Is Philosophy?

Ep. 77: George Santayana’s The Sense of Beauty.

Ep. 78: Ayn Rand’s Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology and “The Objectivist Ethics”

Ep. 79: The Logos of Heraclitus by Eva Brann, with her as guest

Ep. 80:  Heidegger’s “Letter on Humanism” with the introduction by Seth Paskin

Ep. 81: Carl Jung’s Man and His Symbols with the introduction by Wes Alwan

Ep. 82: Karl Popper’s Conjectures and Refutations with the introduction by Dylan Casey

Ep. 83: Frithjof Bergmann’s New Work, New Culture with the introduction by Mark Linsenmayer and a follow-up Q&A with Bergmann

Ep. 84: Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Gay Science.

Ep. 85: John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice with the introduction by Seth Paskin

Ep. 86: Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions with the introduction by Dylan Casey

Ep. 87: Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Existentialism is a Humanism,” “Bad Faith” (pt. 1, ch. 2 of Being & Nothingness, and his play No Exit with the introduction by Mark Linsenmayer and us doing an audio-play of No Exit featuring Lucy Lawless and Jaime Murray

Ep. 88: G.E.M. Anscombe’s “Modern Moral Philosophy,” Intention sections 22-27, and “War and Murder” with the introduction by Philosophy Bro

Ep. 89: George Berkeley’s Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous with the introduction by Wes Alwan

Ep. 90: David Brin’s Existence with Brin as guest, with the introduction by Mark Linsenmayer

Ep. 91: More on Brin’s Existence, plus Nick Bostrom’s “Why I Want to Be a Posthuman When I Grow Up”

Ep. 92: Henri Bergson’s “An Introduction to Metaphysics” with the the introduction by Matt Teichman.

Next will be Peter Strawson’s “Freedom and Resentment” and Galen Strawson’s “The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility”; listen to the introduction by Tamler Sommers.

After that will be Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia, and then likely some Thoreau and/or Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Not School Digest Episodes and other Bonus Material:

Highlight Reel: 7 min of clips through episode 45, released 11/8/12

Not School Digest Nov.-Dec. 2012: Segments on David Chalmers’s The Conscious Mind, Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos, and and Paul Auster’s City of Glass

Not School Digest Jan 2013: Segments on Deleuze & Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus, “More Is Different” by physicist P.W. Anderson, John Searle’s Mind: A Brief Introduction, and Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics

Not School Digest #3 (Aug. ’13): Segments on Frithjof Bergmann’s New Work, New Culture, Cormac McCarthy’s novel Blood Meridian, George Lakoff/Mark Johnson’s Philosophy in the Flesh, and Martin Heidegger’s “Letter on Humanism”

Not School Digest #4 (Feb. ’14): Segments on Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea, Heidegger’s “The Question Concerning Technology,” Slavoj Zizek’s Year of Dreaming Dangerously, Marx and Engels’s “Communist Manifesto,” Peter Schaffer’s play Equus, and Cormac McCarthy’s The Sunset Limited: A Novel in Dramatic Form

Episode posts (excluding those from the first year) include a link to “get more information and the text” where we’ve written an essay on the topic. For other discussion and supplementary material on the episodes, look first at the trackbacks at the bottom of the episode post to see which other posts refer to it, or do a keyword search on the author’s name or other term, or you can use the Archives links (scroll down and look to the right side of the page) to see posts put up immediately following the episode’s release date.


 Posted by at 9:59 am  Add comments

  191 Responses to “Podcast Episodes”

  1. !!!Important Post Alert!!!

    For some unknown reason, I think of you guys as corresponding to Seinfeld characters. Roughly, my mind correlates Mark = Jerry, Wes = George, Seth = Elaine, Dylan = Kramer. Sometimes I wish that Jerry had a little more Kramer but Kramer is Kramer and not Elaine. As for George, he mixes two parts Jerry with a pinch of Elaine and a sprinkling of Kramer. Elaine is amusing despite being a minor character from time to time.

    !!!End Important Post!!!

    • Not too sure if that makes sense:here is what I think
      Seth is Kramer for his use of logic and reason and for his patience
      Mark Is Kramer KRAM-MARK
      Wes is Also Kramer
      and Dylan is Jerry….
      That guy that guested on one of the eps about Deleuze, the really annoying guy that talked about himself and his classes…. blah blah… the interrupter guy…. hes Bania and Newman.

  2. Some suggestions: John Balguy, Ralph Cudworth******, Samuel Clarke, Richard Price (all these 4 wrote important works on morality, which I can refer you to, but Cudworth and Clarke had important things to say about metaphysics, etc.).

    Also: Suarez, Malebranche, Arnauld, Louis de La Forge, Arnold Geulincx, Pufendorf.

    Locke’s ‘Essay’… Leibniz’s ‘New Essays’…etc.

    • Thanks for the suggestions. However, tell me a bit about what major themes we’re missing by not covering these folks. The only ones I’m really familiar with here are the moral rationalists you mention, which I tried to cover enough for our purposes in the Hume on moral sense episode. Likewise I tried to get some juice out of Locke in covering Hume on epistemology, though we have a perpetually planned ep on personal identity that would pull out another chunk of Locke’s essay. More Leibniz is definitely a possibility, and if we ever do a series on the history of logic we’d hit Arnauld, but the rest of those guys aren’t on our radar; give me some more motivation to consider one or two of them seriously!

  3. Any chance for an episode on the Marquis de Sade? Interested to hear a discussion about an amoralist and how his ideas represented the most extreme rejection of society, morality and religion. The historical context is intruguing, as Enlightenment ideals and the idolization of reason by the likes of Rousseau were facing turbulent chaos amidst the French Reolution. In a way, de Sade’s chaotic ideas were a clever satire of Rousseau and the historical context itself seems to manifest these ideas.

    • Is there a particular text you have in mind here?

      • There are 3 in particular I had in mind, I’d love it if you guys did it on at least one.

        1. Justine or the Misfortunes of Virtue
        2. Philosophy in the Bedroom
        3. Dialogue Between A Priest And A Dying Man

        All three of these sum up much of the Marquis’ philosophy, but if I had to choose one it’d be Justine. He was most notorious for this one in his time (and lead up to his arrest, personally ordered by Napoleon).

        All have philosophical ideas interwoven in their words, the second and third are dialogues and Justine is a novel. Anyways, I’m glad you guys got Ayn Rand out of the way, good riddance.

  4. Ok, some more ideas:

    Anscombe’s – Intention
    Kripke’s – Naming and Necessity
    Kant’s Critique of Judgement
    Aristotle’s Metaphysics
    Sartre’s Being and Nothingness
    A unitary episode of German (the metaphysics of Hegel, Fichte and Schelling) and British (McTaggart [his Unreality of Time in particular], Bradley [excerpts of his Appearance and Reality]) Idealism
    And an episode dedicated to the pre-Socratics and/or the various Greek philosophers (Parmenides, Heraclitus, the Pythagoreans, Diogenes, Epicurus, Sextus etc.) maybe…

    • Hmmm. If you care to help us narrow down some exact selections for your metaphysics idea, that would be helpful. I wouldn’t mind reading some tiny bits of Hegel, Fichte and Schelling rather than having another full Hegel episode soon.

      I had wanted to hit that McTaggart essay at some point but haven’t been sure what else to do (more things on time, I expect) with it, assuming it’s not a full meal in itself. It seems a bit much to try to do it with the Germans as you suggest.

      Philosophy Bro will be coming back (this fall?) for an Anscombe episode. Not sure which book.

      B&N is way too long and difficult to get a hold on for our purposes, I think, but we’ll have some more Sartre coming up pretty soon.

      • I suggest something from Rorty, maybe y Gasset?. Also, The Passions by Robert Solomon like you said on the second Spinoza episode.

  5. An episode on anarchism would be awesome. You could read Proudhon’s ‘What is Property?’, Bakunin’s ‘God and the State’ and Kropotkin’s ‘The Conquest of Bread’.

  6. Any chance of tackling Wilfrid Sellars’s Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind?

    • Yes! That and Naming & Necessity are the next “analytic” ones on my list, though at this point I can’t say exactly when we’ll be returning to that path.

    • good call

      talking about rigid designators and whether ‘richard nixon’ refers to richard nixon in all possible worlds is actually pretty fun, particularly when you try to push the intuition pumps to their limits.

      i remember kripke’s example of kurt goedel where when we use that term, we still somehow refer to the guy who wrote the famous incompleteness theorem and not the guy we mistakenly believe is goedel

      my god analytic philosophy

  7. Have you guys found someone to do a rorty/neopragmatism episode? If not, how would I get on the short list of candidates?

    • Hi, Glen,

      Thanks for the interest… Talking internally, it looks like we’ll do that one sans guest. (However, we can always use bloggers to support the presentation when the time comes.)

  8. You’re so cool! I do not believe I’ve truly read through anything like this before.
    So nice to discover another person with some genuine thoughts
    on this subject matter. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up.

    This website is one thing that is required on the web, someone with a bit
    of originality!

  9. Hi guys!

    Tried to do the PEL citizen thing via Paypal but it froze in the middle so I don’t know if I succeeded (lots of rain and thunderstorm right now). Guess I’ll retry tomorrow. No problems on your side?

  10. It worked today, plus I guess I did post in the wrong place. Sorry!

  11. Hey guys, love PEL, I got turned onto this about a year and half ago and have listened to every episode. I’m an ABD doctoral student in Interdisciplinary Arts. I wish I’d known about this podcast during our Seminars. There are some texts/authors I’d love to hear you discuss, though they might not really be in your area(s):

    Umberto Eco: I’m thinking something like The Limits of Interpretation, though any of his novels (I love Foucault’s Pendulum) would also be interesting.

    Judith Butler: Gender Trouble or Bodies that Matter, I know Butler has a reputation for being an impenetrable author, but honestly I think that’s not a fair assessment and her analysis of gender has always been valuable in my research.

    Roland Barthes: many to choose from, Mythologies is well known, though I’ve always had a real fondness for Camera Lucida.

    Theodore Adorno (and Max Horkheimer): whenever I read Dialectic of Enlightenment I’m always startled how much it still rings true, especially the section on the Culture Industry.

    anyway, keep up the awesome show!

    • Thanks Erin! All of those names are on our radar. We’ll be getting to Adorno/Horkheimer before the rest I suspect. Welcome aboard!

    • Regarding Umberto Eco, I would suggest reading him as part of a semiotics episode. Say, his “A Theory of Semiotics”. Perhaps together with more recent cognitive semiotics / linguistics? (George Lakoff, John R. Taylor)

  12. Excellent pod! Thank you!

    I would also like to hear something about critical realism (Roy Bhaskar et. al), a full fledged philosophy of science, and how it critiques positivism as well as subjectivist oriented philosophies.

    Also Althusser and Badiou.. And the speculative realist and Object Oriented Ontology stuff (Brassier, Harman, Meillassoux).

  13. I would highly recommend this podcast if your goal is to psychoanalyze the hosts from their jaded and opinionated verbosity on GENERAL philosophical topics, but I doubt that is why anyone tunes in to a philosophy podcast. While the podcasters keep it light and conversational and supposedly make the texts accessible to those who are unfamiliar with the “big” philosophical questions, I believe that these guys fail to discuss the texts and ideas in a generous or reserved manner. Their knowledge of philosophy is equivalent to a systematic philosophy survey course that provides all of the terms, trends, and theories without having to dig for the meat of the texts. I’m glad that I did not waste my tuition dollars to attend their philosophy department—that is, of course, assuming that the reason they did not complete their studies is not because they simply couldn’t handle the rigor in the field.

    If you hope to develop a general understanding of the big philosophical themes, arguments, or ideas as most academics understand them, I recommend looking elsewhere. These guys present Aristotle’s ethics as close to the real thing as a pumpkin is close to being a carriage. Everyone tends to bring interpretational baggage to historical texts and ideas, but these three stooges approach the text in such an idiosyncratic fashion that even Kant and Heidegger would roll over in their graves. And I know that they are not about “fetishizing a bunch of dead philosophers”, but approaching texts with humility, you know, that posture which demonstrates personal reservations about your understanding of the text because you might be wrong, is not an action that demonstrates awe and reverence for the texts as if each is holy writ.

    Also, their apparent disgust for all things religious and theistic is at best immature and at worst absolutely discriminatory and pathetic. This goes to show that they are not as open-minded and liberal as they may have you to believe. I recall Mark’s comment about MacIntyre as one that opposes Christian sentiments in the field of ethics, not knowing that MacIntyre is Catholic! How informed are they about the material?

    I recommend approaching this podcast in an informed fashion with the purpose of enjoying a few guys comically (I might have guessed satirically) ranting about complex ideas from their personal, severely biased opinions in a manner that is irrelevant to the popular academic discourse, because looking to these guys for fair and accurate assessments of philosophical ideas is like believing that an anxious, hormonal teenage boy that is looking for freedom and social acceptance when shopping for his first car will make a mature, informed decision when his proclivity depends on his knowledge of cars that consists only of which cars are cool and fast, but lacks all understanding a car’s mechanics. If you want a mature decision when buying a car, you have an experienced car buyer help the boy make the decision, and you might even take the car to an honest and seasoned mechanic.

    All in all, I listen to the podcast to hear what might be the inexperienced philosophy student’s opinion of popular philosophical ideas and texts, and perhaps you could take away a simple enjoyment of hearing three old friends ramble on about difficult ideas. I must say that I do admire their stamina and willingness to put themselves out their—that takes balls.

    • Hi, Mark,

      Thanks for your feedback. Made me chuckle.

      You may be somewhat more enthusiastic about our more recent episodes as far as the whole being-charitable-towards-the-text thing goes. Your review sounds like you haven’t ventured past the first dozen episodes. Still, there is an ideological difference expressed here; for the record, I have recently tried to defend/analyze our methodology re. textual analysis: http://www.partiallyexaminedlife.com/2013/07/18/speaking-across-history-two-models-of-reading/, but if you simply thing we’re not scholarly enough to be qualified to talk about any of these topics knowledgeably based on (in many cases) simply giving the text a careful reading, then I doubt I’ll convince you otherwise.

      Even looking at the early episodes, I find it difficult to accept the criticism that we didn’t take on the meat of the text when, e.g. struggling with the Tractatus or Spinoza’s Ethics or Hegel’s Phenomenology for two episodes. The Aristotle ep itself is one that I don’t recall us previously getting much if any flack about, and part of this process is that go the apparently expert listener should go to the blog post for the episode (in this case http://www.partiallyexaminedlife.com/2009/07/16/episode-5-aristotle%E2%80%99s-nichomachean-ethics/) and say something specific and helpful so that people wanting to learn more about it will then see your helpful comment. So please contribute to the discussion!

      We do have a whole 1.3 episodes later on MacIntyre, and while I don’t remember that specific comment about him in the Aristotle ep, it’s still clear that he thinks we don’t need an explicitly religious basis for ethics (if you want to argue that he’s covertly relying on a religious viewpoint, however, I’d agree).

      Also, re. the religious, you may want to listen to eps 43-44; we were pretty harsh on the new atheists and had a bona fide theist on with us.

      So I’m impressed that we elicited enough of a reaction out of you to warrant your lengthy comment, but find your choice of speech act here peculiar and think you probably have a little more work to do to accurately psychoanalyze us if that is in fact your intent in listening. Your grade = B- , softened however by a smiley :)



      • First, let me thank you for allowing my tongue-in-cheek post and for responding to the criticism. I hope that everyone reads my comment as having been written in the same spirit as that in which the podcast is recorded. Perhaps I should have noted my intended tone before spouting my profuse “profundity”.

        Second, you are absolutely right, Mark, I only listened through the first 5 episodes and skipped around to a few other episodes after that. I will definitely check out your more recent episodes. I only began to listen to them because a couple philosophy students that I tutor have been listening to the podcast and raved to me about its excellence, but they received re-writes on their papers for Aristotle’s Politics because they were more influenced by you guys than the IEP and SEP articles to which I referred them–and I LIKE TO THINK that it was in no way my fault that they misunderstood the material.

        Third, in my comment about MacIntyre, I was referring to episode 58 where you referred to the possible Christian’s response to MacIntyre at 1:50:00, but did not yourself realize that MacIntyre further develops a Thomistic theory (which is found in his work Three Rival Versions). The other guys immediately corrected you, but I was concerned that you were unaware of the fundamental beliefs that influenced MacIntyre’s writings.

        Fourth, when I listen to Wes, I cannot help but to picture the character Paul Kinsey from Mad Men wearing a cardigan and smoking his pipe.

        Fifth, I am not posting to contend against you guys and to draw you into some sort of academic discourse; I commented only so that listeners with the proclivity to rely on secondary sources will think twice before using the contents of this podcast to inform their essays in a Phil 101 course. If my intentions were to cultivate constructive dialogue, I would have approached it in a different manner.

        And finally, I would comment on the specific episodes if I had enough time; it really is not constructive nor is it fair for me to give such a general criticism, but again, my only intention in commenting was to lend some advice to those who are wondering what listeners think about the podcast as a whole.

        What you guys have here is pretty cool, and although it goes without saying, keep it up.

    • Mark, as a response to your criticism’s I have somewhat summarized from Episode 0, the purpose of PEL’s podcasts:

      “We do not assume any prior philosophical knowledge, not that you have taken a course, not that you’ve read the text that we are talking about. You may read the text in order to better interact with the podcast. We will try to keep the conversation jargon free enough and name dropping free enough so you can follow. As we do more podcasts, over time you will eventually understand what we are talking about even if we do name drop and try to explain along the way. The podcast is meant to be educational but not boring–like going out with friends and talking over a beer, a discussion in the dorm room, not the lecture hall–the fun parts of our academic days. Since we have dropped out of philosophy academically and have gotten jobs elsewhere, which gives us a certain objectivity about the craziness that is this self-referential edifice that is academia. We provide perspective on the idiosyncrasies of academic professors’ strange lectures which are weird and of no interest to anyone who is not a philosopher. We represent the common man’s perspective on philosophy.”

      Mark, it sounds like you are an academic who was offended by PEL’s anti-academic stance, and accounts for the negative comments you make while providing little corroborating evidence–a polemical rather than academic critique.

      It doesn’t help to critique apples (PEL) with oranges (Academic Philosophy). The first question is if PEL achieves its purpose (stated above) well or not. Apples are the purpose, not oranges. In fact the purpose of apples (PEL) seems to be clear communication of significant (philosophical) issues. Apples are meant to be different from oranges.

      Secondarily, one can ask if oranges are better than apples:

      1) Oranges: The History of Philosophy is an astounding record of human intellectual capacity. The field of philosophy has made philosophy possible (as opposed to the field of academia/power).

      2) Apples: Philosophy as practiced academically can not only retard the goals of good philosophy, but hyperfocus on the inessential, leaving a wide-open need for approaches such as PEL.

      3) I personally argue for both oranges and apples, minus the negatives of academia.

      So Mark, if you could bring whatever philosophical chops you have and add to PEL’s efforts to clearly communicate significant philosophical concepts, I for one would appreciate your contributions. –Wayne

      • Great points. Read my above reply to Mark. Please note that I am not offended by their discussions. See my original post as a review of the podcast rather than as a critique.

  14. I was hoping to find more Freud.
    I was disappointed there wasn’t any Marx or Engels (or Lenin, or Trotsky, the Frankfurt School, Althusser… ).

  15. Thank you guys This is such a .great resource
    I may suggest “Difference and repetition ” by Deleuze and later Heidegger

  16. I know you guys have done a lot of Plato, but any chance you could squeeze in Phaedo? Words can’t express how much I love that one.

  17. Could you guys maybe do Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy?

  18. I would love to hear a episode devoted to the Marxism of Louis Althusser. I have long believed under his opaque and obscurantist style of writing (BS in short), there is something of real substance there.

  19. As a very ignorant person still learning and actively seeking the perspectives of others, I cannot thank you enough for these podcasts. I work nights and have been trying to catch up on an undergrad philosophy program without actually attending a university (I have a degree, just in the wrong field), so I will set up my computer, listen to your podcasts, and think. Now, thirty-two episodes in, I am wishing I had read along with you guys! It’s ridiculous how much I don’t know because I didn’t do the work. I’ll get there, though.

    Anyway, thank you so much for your time and for making philosophy personal instead of academic (although, I would argue, the people who listen are probably both by nature).

    And, Seth should talk more! He’s not Jesus (the silent listener to every conversation!)

    • Thanks for the positive feedback and the vote of confidence. Glad you are enjoying and finding the podcast interesting.

      My participation varies, yes, but consider we’ve recorded these over 4+ years. Can’t always be “on”…:)

  20. Something by Ralph Waldo Emerson or Karl Jaspers? Even F.H Bradley…..

  21. Hey,

    Why haven’t you covered any Nozick yet?


  22. How about an episode on Bernard Lonergan’s “Insight”?

  23. Parmenides’ Way of Truth, Plotinus’ The Enneads, Nishida Kitaro’s Last Writings: Nothingness and the Religious Worldview?

  24. Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America.

  25. G. Spencer Browns’ “Laws of Form”. A classic in universe creation including space and time as emergent (necessary but not sufficient) qualities of any universe. Goes into Godel’s Incompleteness theorem as another necessary component of existence.

  26. When will you do Malebranche’s “Search After Truth” and “Dialogues on Metaphysics”?

    • Pitch it to me! Convince us that it’s worth our while!

      (In other words, I’m open to it, but it’s not currently on the list.)

      • If you’ve ever read Malebranche, it should be plainly obvious why it’s worth your while. He was a big influence on both Berkeley and Hume, and regarded as one of the best philosophers of the age by Leibniz, Bayle, and Locke. I see you haven’t covered Berkeley either…

        • Berkeley will be #89. We didn’t cover him earlier because while he’s important historically, he’s pretty obviously wrong, and so not that interesting. However, we’ve now gone way beyond covering only philosophers we think are right, and idealism comes up so often in so many contexts that we thought we have to do that now.

          I only read a little Malebranche way back in the day, and from what I understand he was a Cartesian with some idiosyncratic concerns that I’m not sure speak to any live philosophical debates. So, I’m not trying to crap on your suggestion, and of course I can just go read the Stanford Encyclopedia on him, but since you brought it up, I’m asking you what in particular you think is so awesome.

  27. First, let me say I’m a big fan.

    I’d love to see you guys do a podcast on Augustine or Aquinas. As a doctoral candidate in specializing in political theory, it has been my experience that these medieval thinkers often get overlooked which is a shame because I think they have genuine philosophical merit still today. I also think it would be cool for you guys to cover one (or both) of these medievals because it’s an important period in the history of philosophy that you guys haven’t really covered yet.

    May I suggest:
    Augustine’s “Confessions,” or “City of God.”
    Aquinas’s Summa Theologica (selected passages)

    • I’ve done work on Aquinas at the graduate level. There’s a lot of good things in the “Summa Theologiae”, but I recommend especially Aquinas’ “On Being and Essence” above any other work. Aside from that, there’s Aquinas’ short and excellent work on truth: “De Veritate”. Covering Aquinas is such a huge case, like covering Aristotle or Kant. His “Summa Theologiae” is overemphasized, especially the five ways. If you cover him, and want to pick a smaller topic, or want to do a few episodes on him, I’d definitely recommend some of the selections from this short book, that brings together some of the most illuminating writings by Aquinas on metaphysics that no one ever reads: http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Metaphysics-St-Thomas-Aquinas/dp/089526420X …covering anything from that along with his “On Being and Essence (there’s a wonderful commentary on it by Bobik) would give you enough material to talk for years. Aquinas’ “On Being and Essence” is about 20 pages long: http://faculty.fordham.edu/klima/Blackwell-proofs/MP_C30.pdf

      As for Augustine, I’d suggest that you cover his short dialogue on the freedom of the will, and related parts of his work on the trinity.

      I’d really like it if you cover St. Anselm. There’s a book coming out in 1 month via Harvard University Press offering new insight on his ontological argument: http://www.amazon.com/Anselms-Other-Argument-A-Smith/dp/0674725042

      You haven’t covered any medieval philosophers yet………………some of the best philosophy was done during this period.

  28. I second Emerson (or Thoreau), and could you guys maybe also do a comparative episode where you try and find common ground between continental (especially postmodern) and analytic philosophy? I think there’s a lot of room for dialogue instead of all the hostility we’ve had and this’d be the perfect place to get that going. Also maybe some Adorno? I recommend Aesthetic Theory and Negative Dialectics. There’s actually some pretty cool metaphysics and epistemology hidden behind all the social commentary in the latter. Also if in 40 years you have the stomach to do more Heidegger and Sartre, they both have works on philosophy of literature that are worth looking at. And if you do anymore philosophy of religion, you should maybe take a look at “What Would Jesus Deconstruct?” by John Caputo, and anything out of the Kyoto School, which integrates Heidegger and Continental stuff with Mahayana (especially Zen) Buddhism. Nikolai Bardyaev also has some cool existentialism from an Eastern Orthodox Christian perspective instead of a Western Christian one (which is a much bigger difference than you’d think).

    I really love what you guys are doing, thank you for this wonderful service, keep up the good work!

  29. I have to say I absolutely love your podcasts. I would like to request, however, an episode on Arendt’s Human Condition. Not only because it’s an incredible work, but also because she’s an important woman in the “revised” canon, of which there are far too few.

    But thanks for your hilarious episode on Rawls and making Kant intelligible to me! I listen to your podcasts all day long.

    • Thanks! So glad you are enjoying the fruits of our labors.

      Arent has been requested many times and she is on the list. The long, long list. I’m sure we’ll cover her, not sure when.

  30. When are you going to do Slavoj Zizek. He is awsome. He does Lacan throu the lens of Hegel. Basicly he demasks postmodern ideology:

  31. I’d love to hear you’re take on Guy Debord.

  32. I, in general, am not in favor of people making suggestions to you guys about potential future episodes, but I think a Zizek episode would be fascinating. Partially because I find his exact ideas impenetrable, but more importantly, it would give me supreme delight to hear Wes destroy him in a surgical fashion.

  33. Have you guys considered going back to texts that you’ve covered only part of in previous episodes? For example Being and Time or Hegel’s Phenomenology. I’m not necessarily advocating for it, just curious. I understand that you have so much to cover that it’s unlikely to happen any time soon.

  34. Thanks for all these great podacasts. How about some neo-pragmatism? Perhaps Rorty/B Williams – great reads in NYRB archive and LRB (they try to shred each other, politely). And then Rorty/Dennet.

  35. I’m currently reading Henri Lefebvre’s The Production of Space and would love to hear an episode on it!

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