Podcast Episodes

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  1. Episode 8: Wittgenstein’s Tractatus (and Carnap): What Can We Legitimately Talk About?


    Continuing last ep’s discussion of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus with some Rudolph Carnap (a logical positivist from the Vienna Circle: “The Rejection of Metaphysics” from his 1935 book Philosophy and Logical Syntax) about what kind of crazy talk is outside of legitimate discourse.…Read more »

  2. Precognition of Ep. 82: Popper


    A summary of the first three essays in Karl Popper’s collection Conjectures and Refutations, read by Dylan Casey.

  3. Precognition of Ep. 87: Sartre


    Mark Linsenmayer lays out some themes from Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Existentialism is a Humanism” and the “Bad Faith” chapter (Part 1, Ch. 2) of Being & Nothingness.

  4. Episode 94: Schopenhauer on Reading, Writing, and Thinking


    On Arthur Schopenhauer’s essays, “On Authorship and Style,” “On Thinking for Oneself,” and “On Genius” (all published 1851). Is the best way to do philosophy (or any art) to self-consciously build on the work of others to advance the genre? Schopenhauer says no!

  5. Episode 95: Gödel on Math


    On two unpublished essays considering the implications of Godel’s incompleteness theorems and asserting mathematical realism. With guest Adi Habbu.

  6. Episode 96: Oppenheimer and the Rhetoric of Science Advisers


    Discussing Lynda Walsh’s book “Scientists as Prophets: A Rhetorical Genealogy” (2013) with the author, focusing on Robert J. Oppenheimer. What is the role of the science adviser? Should scientists just “stick to the facts,” or can only someone with technical knowledge make decisions about what to actually do?

  7. Episode 101: Maimonides on God


    On Guide for the Perplexed about God’s lack of properties, featuring guest comedian Danny Lobell of the Modern Day Philosophers podcast.

  8. Episode 102: Emerson on Wisdom and Individuality


    On Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “The American Scholar” lecture (1837) and his essays “Self-Reliance” and “Circles” (1841). Be yourself! Don’t conform! Realize your oneness with the universe!

  9. Precog of Ep. 104: Robert Nozick


    Seth Paskin introduces Anarchy, State, and Utopia about libertarianism and the limits of legitimate government power.


  1. Jake

    August 1, 2014

    Hey! I’m sure you read this a lot, but, where is your Judith Butler’s “Gender Trouble” episode?

    • Profile photo of Mark Linsenmayer

      Mark Linsenmayer

      August 3, 2014

      I was contemplating a 2-fer for her a la Sandel. If gender trouble is her “classic” work to discuss w/o her, what would be the newer work to have her on w us to talk about, and is her current book good?

      • dmf

        August 3, 2014

        if you want a sort of conversational/topical text Dispossession isn’t bad but if you want a more systematic work than Giving an Account of Oneself would probably be the answer, would be a good guest/topic to push the Rhetoric/Philosophy issue and to perhaps eventually make a foray into ordinary language philosophy.

      • Brennan Lester

        December 14, 2014

        “Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex” is a book Butler wrote 3 years after Gender Trouble that is considered in many ways an essential clarification and refinement of her insights from that one. Butler’s “Sex and Gender in Simone de Beauvoir’s Second Sex” may be a very helpful short essay to read (her elucidation of Beauvoir’s famous dictum “One is not born, but rather becomes, woman” makes it much easier to understand the aim of Butler’s theory of performativity).

        Not to get wrapped up in the specter of influence, but if precursory readings are a concern; Foucault’s The History of Sexuality, if only the first volume, is the work that most closely defines Butler’s methodology concerning history and subjectivity. I was just recently listening to your episode on Foucault’s Discipline & Punish and his History of Sexuality came up over and over again, so perhaps now would be a good time to revisit Michel!

  2. Caroline

    August 2, 2014

    After being confined to bed by bronchitis for the last few days, I have found your discussions to be a great source of comfort. Although it is much easier to turn on TV instead of giving a damn about existential questions, the struggle itself, even without certain answers, is valuable. Thank you so much for the time and effort you guys have put into these talks.

  3. Ian

    August 7, 2014

    Hey, I love this whole project, and I want to thank you so much for it. It’s helped me think clearly through a lot of problems (both personal and academic) and I think you guys have done a great job of providing access to a difficult and sometimes exclusivist field without sacrificing content. Thank you.

    I know you guys probably get requests all the time, but I hope you don’t mind if I pitch another at you: could you guys please please maybe do some kind of introduction to Habermas? Maybe an outline of the theory of communicative action, or maybe the Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, or anything really. I could really use some help. Thanks so much for being awesome!

    • Jason

      August 11, 2014

      Ditto on Habermas.

  4. Malebranche

    August 28, 2014

    When are you going to do an episode on Malebranche?

  5. Gabriel

    September 1, 2014

    Hi guys! Very much enjoying your shows and would like to suggest a recommendation
    George Spencer Brown ‘Laws of Form’
    I read it every now and then and feel that it expresses densely logical and phenomenological topics you touch. At the same time I wonder as an amateur philosopher how legit the work is, so to have it reflected by you guys would be a treat

  6. Adiste

    October 2, 2014

    I’d love to hear an episode on Korzybski and General Semantics.

  7. Jackson

    October 5, 2014

    One idea for a different kind of episode might be to review a film with philosophic issues and have a regular or two or a guest portray a philosopher who joins in the review.

    Have you considered reviewing Richard Linklater’s Waking Life?

    • jackson

      October 18, 2014

      I discovered that the diet soap podcast did an episode on waking life but barely from a Marxist perspective. I think there is more there that you all could discuss. it would tie a number of ideas from different episodes. but perhaps u aren’t interested….your call

  8. Schizophrenic Hegel

    October 10, 2014

    Hey guys!
    Of course, I think you’re absolutely brilliant and I find your podcast, if not my primary source of education, my primary source of entertainment.

    I was just thinking, you’ve had some episodes about Hegel and you’ve also mentioned Fichte and Schelling. I’ve found very little material about them, besides them being mentioned, and I was wondering as a suggestion if you perhaps could do an episode about them and their impact on Hegel’s metaphysics. I find german idealism to be something very insane and totally bat-shit exciting – I think it would be a great and inspiring episode. Also, I think, maybe, Hegel will make a lot more “sense” to people if they know something about his predecessors.

    I have no idea what your supposed to read – perhaps some groundwork from Fichte and Schelling and then some general discussion about their impact on Hegel…?

    It would really make things a lot more easy – okay, maybe not easy, but at least – enjoyable.

    Some signs of appreciation – from Sweden.

    • Profile photo of Mark Linsenmayer

      Mark Linsenmayer

      October 12, 2014

      Hi, SH from Sweden,

      I’d definitely like to do some Fichte and/or Schelling within the next year. Thanks for reminding me! Best, -Mark

  9. Fred

    October 16, 2014

    Loved listening to you destroy Ayn Rand. Now you have Nozick lined up and that’s all good but I’d like to suggest that you take a look at Michael Huemer’s The Problem of Political Authority. Unlike Rand and Nozick I dare say you will find it extremely challenging. (Philosophically that is, it’s an easy and accessible read)

    • Fred

      October 16, 2014

      Clarification: the *first half* of Michael Huemer’s The Problem of Political Authority, not the second half.

  10. Dan

    October 19, 2014

    Ok, here is yet another request. Plato’s Philebus (huzzah, let’s talk knowledge and pleasure) and an episode on philosophy and literature (or philosophy of literature) with some examples from literary works that have a philosophical bent e.g. works of Jane Austen or Shakespeare. I’m guessing you’ll need a guest for either of these topics.

  11. Sina

    October 23, 2014

    Hi I really love your podcast. However, there is one thing that gets me distracted. Recently I’ve noticed it’s the fact that it’s a traditional podcast, i.e. it doesn’t have a video. Everytime I listen to something without video it’s very likely for me to zone out. Would that be a possibility to film yourselves as well?


    • Profile photo of Seth Paskin

      Seth Paskin

      October 23, 2014

      Hey Sina
      When we first started the podcast 5 years ago, the bandwidth requirements for video were prohibitive and we had issues just keeping the audio strong over Skype. We could add video now through Google hangouts or something else but there’s really nothing to see. Us sitting there with headphones. In my case you would just see my spit guard.

      Also, we record about 2.5 – 3 hours that get edited down to the 1.5 average podcast. I wouldn’t want to be on display for that length of time :)

  12. Professor Onion

    November 3, 2014

    Chomsky says that there is no relation between words and things out there in the world. Would like to hear you guys chat about this, specifically in response to Wittgenstein.

  13. Profile photo of Cezary


    November 5, 2014

    Here’s my suggestion: Capital in the 21st Century by Piketty.

    I feel this is one of the few works in economics that has made it into popular parlance. This would also be an opportunity to discuss a work that has resonated with more people than the select few that enjoy academic philosophy.

    It would be easy to edit the reading selection down as the brunt of the book is statistics supporting his theses. You could also discuss the Wall Street Journal response and Piketty’s rebuttal.

    Just a suggestion. Have loved all the episodes so far.

    • Jean

      November 8, 2014


  14. joe

    November 6, 2014

    good work and great podcast…

  15. A Aron Mcluggins

    November 12, 2014

    EY MAN. Why YALL aint do a episode on doug hofstadter “I AM A STRANGE LOOP” Thats my JAAAAAYYAMMMM

  16. bob

    November 24, 2014

    Love the range of thoughts… have you ever considered covering of the distopian novels of Orwell, Huxley or Zamyatin? (1984, Animal Farm, Brave New World, We?) Cumulatively the political ideas expressed within encompass many of the fine philosophies of thinkers before. Just a suggestion…

  17. Blair Nicholson

    December 2, 2014

    I wanted to suggest an episode on Sam Harris’ novel “The Moral Landscape” Particularly a philosophical break down at its weak and strong points. Thanks for your time and I wanted to express my enjoyment in your podcast, great work!

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