PEL Episodes by Topic

Updated 1/6/14

Given how many episodes we’ve done, even we lose track of where we’ve been. We aim (among other things) to present the equivalent of an introductory course in all the major areas of philosophy. Here’s where I’ll periodically comment on our progress. Feel free to weigh in on our direction suggest additional topics as comments to this page.

We’re covered the equivalent of an introductory ethics course and most of a 300-level one too. We first covered the three main divisions:

With those basics out of the way, our next step was meta-ethics: How can moral commands exist in a natural universe? We covered Nietzsche (episodes 11 and 84) and one on moral sense theory (Hume and Adam Smith), and Owen Flanagan spoke to us about naturalistic ethics in episode 53. For the sake of completeness, I’ll include Spinoza’s deterministic ethics (episode 25) in this context. On the flip side, Plato in the Euthyphro (episode 46) argues that morality can’t be just be reducible to the attitudes of God, and G.E. Moore (episode 58) argues that morality can’t be reducible to any factual claims, whether natural or supernatural. Also in the Moore episode, C.L. Stevenson argues that ethical claims just express emotions; they aren’t claims at all. Alasdair MacIntyre (covered more fully in episode 59) argues that without something like Aristotle’s notion of teleology, all ethical claims will be groundless. MacIntyre’s challenge was prefigured by G.E.M. Anscombe (episode 88), who argued that all our modern moral language presupposed some kind of divine command theory, so we either need to throw it away completely or return to something more like Aristotle’s teleology.

Related to this is moral psychology: how do we smooth-skinned animals come to think about moral considerations? We interviewed Pat Churchland in episode 41 about the neurobiology of ethics and discussed moral development patterns according to Carol Gilligan in episode 42.

Moral responsibility is the primary concern of any discussion of free will, and in episode 93, we considered Galen Strawson’s claim that moral responsibility is impossible given that free will doesn’t make sense, and his father P.F. Strawson’s counter-claim that we simply have to treat each other as morally responsible regardless of our metaphysical convictions about free will. For a very different take on this, see episode 87 for Sartre’s views on freedom and self-deception.

More broadly, the fundamental question of philosophy, “how should I approach the world” yields approaches that aren’t quite ethics but are closer to that than to epistemology. Though you’ll get some of this in many of our readings, those most conforming to this picture that we discussed are:

Looking ahead, we hope to get to more of the classical ethical schools (Epicurus, the stoics) before too long, and will have some more existentialist/phenomenological ethics.

We’ve provided a decent historical survey:

Future near-term episodes are planned on Michael Sandel and Robert Nozick, and we’d very much like to get into some economics with Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations.

We’ve put out the basic array of views:

Much of our reading in continental philosophy is following up on Kantianism, retaining Kant’s view that perception is not a mind apprehending an independent reality while getting rid of his notion of the “thing-in-itself” independent of our experience.

What else is ahead? More pragmatism. More philosophy of science. Yet more phenomenology, existentialism, and post-modernism.

We’ve been shamefully scattershot on this and plan to start a concerted effort to fill out a historical survey on this as soon as we can get around to it. Our efforts have included:

We’ll be doing more “metaphysics proper,” e.g. we’ve had an Aristotle episode planned for a long time. We’d also like to look more into modern cosmology, i.e. the findings of recent science, and much more into the philosophy of mind.

We’re planning one on the romantics (Herder or Schopenhauer), on on Adorno, and would like to go into more specific areas of art: music, film, poetry, etc.

Relatedly, we’ve covered Henri Bergson’s philosophy of humor and will do another episode or two on humor, since we’re now making more contact with comedians to have on as guests.

Also related to this is philosophy of literature, which we introduced with our discussion of Saussure and Levi-Strauss (episode 51), which gives some of the groundwork for what is now called “critical theory.” We followed up on this by looking at Lacan and Derrida’s take on a story by Edgar Allan Poe (episode 75). During episode 63 on Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men, we talked about how philosophy can be conveyed through fiction, including science fiction, for which we spoke with David Brin about his novel Existence for episode 90 (followed up by more in 91). We’ve read some other philosophical novels: Charlotte Perkins-Gilman’s Herland (episode 42), Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (episode 50), and Voltaire’s Candide (episode 62). (No, philosophical dialogues don’t really count as fiction.)

  • Episode 43 considers the major historical arguments for the existence of God (Aquinas, Anselm, Paley, with some discussion of Plantinga and Swinburne; we read a book by J.L. Mackie.
  • Episode 101 on Maimonides considers some logical puzzles surrounding the notion of God and the view that God can’t have any properties at all.
  • Episode 39 on Freidrich Schleiermacher gives a picture of faith that is largely non-cognitivist: it doesn’t make claims that could conflict with those of science.
  • Episode 71 on Martin Buber gives an other phenomenologically grounded picture of religion
  • Episode 22 covers William James’s “The Will to Believe.”
  • Episode 44 discusses “new atheist” critiques of religion.
  • Episode 46 considers the relationship between religion and ethics according to Plato.
  • Episode 27 presents the fundamentals of Mahayana Buddhism.
  • Episode 53 emphasizes different aspects of Buddhism (particularly modern forms primarily influenced by early Therevadan sources).
  • Episode 12 on the Chuang Tzu goes into the fundamentals of Taoism.
  • Our episode 29 on Kierkegaard focused more on psychology than faith per se, but still gives a vivid picture of an existentialist breed of religion.
  • Episode 62 on Voltaire’s Candide delves a bit into the Problem of Evil, but doesn’t go into a lot of depth.

We’ve got a few more tentatively planned: one on Paul Ricoeur (about the “hermeneutics of suspicion”) and another non-Western one (on the Upanishads or Confucius or Zen).

We’ve only barely started with the philosophy of language (with Frege, Saussure), and later Wittgenstein. We plan to go further into that story (e.g. Chomsky, Saul Kripke).

We’ve introduced philosophy of science with Karl Popper (episode 82) and Thomas Kuhn (episode 86). We also discussed scientific ethos on episode 96 and taken on some actual quantum physics in episode 13. We got a bit into futurism by introducing transhumanism (episode 91).

We’ve done a few on psychology, covering Freud (episode 26), Jung (episode 81), and Lacan (episode 74).

As I mentioned above, we’d like to do more in philosophy of mind (we’ve only really done episode 21, plus a consideration of the dangers of artificial intelligence in our interview with Nick Bostrom for episode 108), in all the areas listed above, and the more philosophically relevant findings of contemporary science.


  1. James

    December 17, 2011

    Great podcast. I have been looking for something like this without even knowing it-if that makes sense. I would love to see some stuff on Ken Wilber or Eckhart Tolle. Keep up the great work.

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      Seth Paskin

      December 18, 2011

      Thanks James! I don’t know Ken WIlber but I’ve read A New Earth and I think we have touched on some of the themes that Tolle is trying to address in our episodes on the Self and Buddhism. Check those out.

  2. Doug

    February 18, 2012

    Fantastic podcast, I really enjoy it, particularly the parts where it devolves into grad school nostalgia (and of course, the actual discussions of the work in question are enjoyable as well). If you guys ever want to engage with philosophical aspects of geography, I would suggest and love to hear a discussion of Henri Lefebvre’s work. Keep up the good work, makes my daily commute a hell of alot more interesting.

    • Profile photo of Wes Alwan

      Wes Alwan

      February 18, 2012

      Thanks Doug! I’ll check out Lefebvre and add him to our list of suggestions.

  3. Adam

    March 6, 2012

    Thanks, guys! This podcast is now a regular feature in my life. You really bring these great ideas forward to dilettantes like myself! Wondering if you plan a neo-pragmatist episode (subtitled: what’s the big deal about Rorty?) Cheers, keep up the good work!

  4. Ian

    March 25, 2012

    Hey guys, I really like the show. Keep up the good work!

  5. Profile photo of Wes Alwan

    Wes Alwan

    March 26, 2012

    Thanks Adam and Ian. And yes, we’ll be doing a neo-pragmatist episode soon!

  6. Elle

    April 7, 2012

    Hi guys – I stumbled across this podcast while searching for anything and everything on how one finds/creates meaning in life. I’m going through a pretty severe depression, with a large dose of existential angst.

    I have gained a great deal of insight and heavy food-for-thought from your discussions on different philosophical approaches to life’s “big questions” — many of which are obviously related to the meaning of life (however you might define that term). But perhaps you could consider “the meaning of life” or “meaning in life” as a category! Obviously, this is touched upon in almost every other category, but I guess I’m looking for some more tangible texts, discussions, or inspiration in my unfortunately painful quest to find reasons to live. Being raised Unitarian and currently an atheist, I need to find what I suppose you would call “non-religious” or “non-supernatural” meaning. My therapist is not helping. :-)

    • dmf

      April 8, 2012

      Elle, if you are in the midst of depression (and not just angst) than that feeling of nothing having meaning is a bodily feeling that won’t be reached deeply by ideas but will need addressed physically, but for the angst try “when things fall apart” by pema chodron she is a buddhist but this book is psychological and not “supernatural”.

      • dmf

        April 8, 2012

        ps if you’re not getting good medical help than please find better providers, your life could depend on it as depression is a serious illness.

    • Fred

      April 9, 2012

      Elle, I would agree. Depression is a insidous problem. It can distort ones judgement in unexpected ways. I must admit, it is difficult finding a good professional. So many quacks, control freaks and idiots in the profession.

      Personally, I found a great deal of comfort in Buddhist thought. However, doctors care is important.

    • Profile photo of Seth Paskin

      Seth Paskin

      April 9, 2012

      I agree with dmf and Fred, depression must be treated seriously. You deserve and and are entitled to good medical care.

      What I saw in your comment was something more/deeper than depression. You are looking for meaning in life = reason to live having lost God. There is much to explore on this subject, both philosophical and otherwise. In our podcasts, the obvious one would be the Camus episode. Like Fred, I also have found some level of comfort in the Buddhist notion of Compassion as a response to Suffering in conjunction with some serious therapy and coaching.

      For a perspective of someone coming from a religious tradition but really focusing on the key existential and moral tenants, check out this series of videos on youtube of Anthony de Mello:

      The audio is crappy (fast forward to 2:30 or so on the first one) and he takes a while to get going, but it’s worth it once he gets to his point. Stick with it and let me know what you think.

      Remember that life, no matter what, is better than the alternative.

      • Fred

        April 10, 2012

        The Camus episode is a good one. Nietzsche also dealt with the loss of the classical religious idea head on. (Perhaps, he is a bad example).

        Check out the Secular Buddhist podcast also. An entire range of Buddhist thought stripped of the many silly theories (Flying Monks, Magic battles, guru worship, etc)

    • matt

      May 1, 2013


      If you get a minute, check out “Man’s Search for Meaning”, by Viktor Frankl. An excellent look into why we are here and also about finding Happiness!! It’s a great read from start to finish…But, if you want the cliff notes to finding Happiness…Dr. Frankl suggests:

      1. Do Good!
      2. Love (unconditionally)
      3. Suffer (without suffering you can’t know happiness)

      That’s it, and I know all will get better!!

      Peace and Love,


  7. fred

    April 8, 2012

    Just a few shows ideas to throw out (as if you need any)

    -Later Heidegger (What is thinking? A question concerning technology)
    -Philosophy of Science
    – Revisit Sartre (the show as above me)

    Great show so entertaining and distracting from this messy thing called life.

  8. Lewis

    April 21, 2012

    First of all, I’d like to thank you guys for making philosophy accessible and fun.

    Secondly, I have a few suggestions for future podcast topics.

    How about Van Tilian presuppositional apologetics?

    Another possible topic is Ayn Rand’s objectivism.

    What do think?

  9. Dave Veenstra

    May 25, 2012

    I discovered your podcast a few months ago and have been avidly listening to it ever since. I am starting my masters degree program at St Johns College (Annapolis) in a month and i was looking for some material i could listen to as a supplement to my readings. At my menial job and have headphones in the whole time so you guys help me achieve a mental state more akin to Camus’ Sisyphus while I work.

    I have particularly liked the episodes on social contract theory. I am greatly interested in the examination of how people interact socially with each other. To that end I wait with baited breath for when you address Marx.

    Is there a chance that you might tackle some episodes about the morality of war? Perhaps you can address just war theory or maybe game theory. Perhaps Hannah Arendt would be a good philosopher to analyze. I would be particularly interested in an examination of how religious people for whom violence and killing is forbidden, reconcile themselves philosophically in doing violence on others.

    Great Podcast, one of my top five of all time.

    • Profile photo of Seth Paskin

      Seth Paskin

      May 25, 2012

      Thanks Dave! Congrats on starting the program – if you listen to all the episodes you’ll certainly get some SJC commentary from Dylan and Wes. We will get to Marx, maybe this year. Others have asked about addressing war and suggested some classic war texts as well as Arendt – we’ll see. Everything’s on the list but time and resources are limited!

  10. Dave Veenstra

    May 25, 2012

    I was just looking around the site and it seems that everyone just gives you suggestions. What a demanding crowd we all are.

    I am reading Hume’s Treatise on Human Nature this summer for class so I have actually listened to your Hume episode twice, in addition to reading the text.

    I don’t really have too much to say at this point other than to express my fandom. I just finished the Schleiermacher episode and it was great (despite your absence Seth.) I have been atheist for most of the last decade but have always had a longing for faith. It seems comforting, at least until humans invariably muck it up with all the rituals, politics, agendas and so on. Schleiermacher seemed to recognize that emotional need for faith (at least from what I got from the episode.) He seems like one of those guys who reads Jesus the philosopher but rejects Jesus the divine (something like Jefferson is my best reference.)

    Anyway, I just finished that episode so that is the one on my mind. :) I love that you guys are keeping philosophy alive in this world that doesn’t seem to care about it that much. Hopefully you guys can bring Azura or some other women back on the cast, other than liking their contribution personally, it is nice to have some greater vocal variance in the discussion. Keep up the good work.

  11. swallerstein

    May 27, 2012

    How about discussing Michael Sandel?

  12. Susan

    June 11, 2012

    Thanks for doing what you do! These discussions are so valuable to me. I’m a PhD student and I’m studying ‘place’ and ‘sense of place’ so if you are ever so inclined, I’d love to hear an episode around place/space.

    Hearing your discussions here has allowed me to become familiar with some of the philosophies that I am soon to be encountering once again during my grad program. I’m sure I will be re-visiting them again and again over the next few years. Please keep this going! There are so few venues where us philosophy enthusiasts can come to hear the type of deepening that your podcasts offer.

  13. Ryan

    November 28, 2012

    I LOVE the podcast… you guys breathe life into often dull or difficult reading. Perhaps I’ve missed it but have you spent any time discussing probability? Hearing your thoughts on Bayesian vs. frequentist probability or discussing paradoxes like the Monty Hall Problem would be fun.

    Thanks and keep doing what you do!

    • Profile photo of Seth Paskin

      Seth Paskin

      November 28, 2012

      Thanks Ryan-
      I don’t think we’ve gotten this specific request before, but some folks have requested us doing a paradox show. We’ll add it to the list – I bet Dylan would be into it…

    • Profile photo of Dylan Casey

      Dylan Casey

      November 30, 2012

      Thanks for the feedback Ryan. I’d love to discuss something like this. You have any favorite Bayesian/Frequentist smack-down essays in mind?


  14. Greg V

    June 2, 2013

    I enjoy the show greatly yet however sometimes you guys tend to go off on different tangents which get a tad bit obscure. Approximately a month ago I came accross your podcast while searching for more philosophical muses to satiate my appitite for Sophia. I’ve been reading philosophy, history (world), and religious texts for about ten years, although I have just started back to school in the last year. I’m currently doing an undergrad in East Asian Studies with a minor in Philosophy.
    I work at a monotonous job in which the “herd mentality” is the rule of thumb. There are some perks to this position though, I live in Japan and have the opportunity to experience other cultures which are generally not known to the mundane. I also have the opportunity to sometimes listen to your podcast while performing the monotonous tasks at hand. This is, in a way escapism, but it keeps my mind on more important issues.
    In the Past month, I’ve been able to listen to 61 of your episodes. I’m currently on No. 58. (I started on Lacan and worked back a few) I also just completed your reading of the Gorgias Part 1 a few minutes ago. I really enjoyed the Socratic prose in the form of your typical assuagement. I’m looking forward to part 2. I’m also currently reading Foucults Discipline and Punish along with the new Dan Brown “Inferno”. I wish that I had Mark’s voracity for reading though.
    In my search, along with your podcast, I download from the various open courseware sites.
    A couple of memorable episodes that I must mention are the Kierkegaard No. 29, in which you guys got a little butt hurt, but what did you expect when asking a professional rhetorican (lawyer, sophist) his views, in which he definitely made the “leap of faith” in his ideology of said philosopher. Please don’t get me wrong, Soren (sorry I don’t have the symbol for the correct spelling) didn’t do anything for me in my intro class, but it was a refreshing insight to hear a disciple of this belief which Soren had.
    Your Foucult episode was dead on especially at the end when both Seth and Dylan (maybe Wes)attested to the idea of the panoptic view of modern cyberspace and the cryptic reprecussions of possibility.
    In your Daoist episode, you related the tale of the butcher who slices the meat with ease from the Chuangzi, but I feel that a more applicable quote comes from the Tao Te Ching (Wade/Giles Trans.)
    CH. 11
    The thirty spokes unite in the one nave; but it is on the empty
    space (for the axle), that the use of the wheel depends. Clay is
    fashioned into vessels; but it is on their empty hollowness, that
    their use depends. The door and windows are cut out (from the walls)
    to form an apartment; but it is on the empty space (within), that its
    use depends. Therefore, what has a (positive) existence serves for
    profitable adaptation, and what has not that for (actual) usefulness.
    The above quote is relative to your discussion about emptiness in your Buddhism episodes.

    Can you add to the topic list “the Bhagavad Gita”

    To sum it up, keep pushing the Wittgensteinean wheels up the hill

    • Profile photo of Mark Linsenmayer

      Mark Linsenmayer

      June 2, 2013

      Wow, that’s great. Thanks for listening!

      Any part of the Gita in particular?

  15. lisa

    July 10, 2013

    this is awesome! discovered your podcast via stitcher radio, and i can’t stop listening! do you have any recommendations for a general overview of philosophical systems? also, is it just me or does each philosopher tend to contradict him or herself [and express such vague statements that can be interpreted using supposedly opposing systems] all the time, but also express views that are consistent with other philosophers and ideologies that they apparently disagree with?

    hope that made sense…

    keep up the philosophizing awesomeness :]

    • Profile photo of Mark Linsenmayer

      Mark Linsenmayer

      July 10, 2013

      Thanks for listening, Lisa.

      As an undergrad I liked Donald Palmer’s “Does the Center Hold?” but I’m seeing that appears to be out of print now and hence expensive.

      Most of the figures we’ve read, I’ve found, present something like a coherent position that if anything is elaborated in TOO much detail. This doesn’t stop commentators from keying on different strains within a philosopher’s position or even distorting some of it (e.g. Aristotle’s appropriation by Christianity) to come up with very different traditions, and some philosophers like Nietzsche or Heraclitus who present themselves in a more overtly literary manner are more apt to be twisted around every which way than others.

  16. jason

    February 18, 2014

    Hey Guys,

    love the podcast. I was wondering if you might be interested in covering Dorion Sagan’s _Cosmic Apprentice_. Ecocriticism and comparative philosophy is a pretty hot topic, so I think a lot of my fellow grad student listeners might be interested as well. I know I’d appreciate hearing your guys’ opinions.

    Keep up the great work! And thanks for doing the podcast. I attend a UK system school so we don’t have the grad seminars like at US schools, but this is really filling in the gaps for me.

  17. xtian

    May 14, 2014

    I look forward to the technical operators of “Philosophy of Language” Chomsky, Eco,… Can you say Hjelmslev? Noth? But also the cultural critics, Barthes, Zizek, and the Formalists…Jakobson, Greimas and Courtes… But I’m showing my (structuralist) stripes.

    And I do appreciate your efforts to pronounce words correctly. Its the one difficulty of being a reader, you’re never quite sure if you’re saying these names right. At least if I meet a stranger who also listens to PEL, we’ll have the same shared reference…

  18. Thomas

    June 25, 2014

    Any reason there hasn’t been anything on Aristotelian or Platonist metaphysics? It seems like that would be the place to start with metaphysics.

    I’d also be interested in an episode on Thomistic metaphysics. It may not be good to tackle Aquinas himself, given that it appears from the existence of God podcast that nobody was familiar with him. But maybe something like Gilson’s “Being and Some Philosophers” would be good.

  19. Profile photo of Angela McLoughlin

    Angela McLoughlin

    July 10, 2014

    Hi PEL and friends,

    Really enjoying the podcast and the interactive nature to the whole project.

    I second Jason’s suggestion for a topic on Ecocriticism – very hot topic of our time. A suggested philosopher is British academic Kate Soper, who has written and spoken on ‘Alternative Hedonism’ – a cultural shift away from material consumerism and environmental damage towards a ‘good life’ focused around increased disposable time as opposed to disposable income.

    Below is her wiki page and a link to an article for the Guardian newspaper (UK)


  20. Sebastian McGreer

    July 23, 2014

    Hello PEL,

    I thoroughly enjoy the episodes that I’ve listened to so far. I was nearly half way through a political science undergrad when I discovered that my interests in political science were actually just in political philosophy. I just switched my major to philosophy this summer and while picking next year’s classes I searched for podcasts in hopes of finding where my specific interests lie within philosophy. Finding PEL podcast was a godsend. It has been extremely informative and eye opening.

    Over this summer I came across Marcus Aurelius’ The Emperor’s Handbook (which I believe is just a different translation of Meditations). I believe he was a Stoic at the same time as Emperor and General in Rome. I’m wondering how a career like his could be consistent with a philosophy such as Stoicism. My knowledge of the Stoics is limited to a single first year Introduction to Philosophy course that briefly covered the Stoics for a week, so I most likely just don`t have enough information (or I am too misinformed) to navigate through my confusion. I thought stoics strive to detach from all external phenomena because they believe they cannot influence providence which determines the fate of all things, and instead they focus on freeing the mind from carnal (or temporal?) chains: feelings of fear and desire. This seems irreconcilable with the type of character that can thrive in military campaigns (a strong assertive and usually aggressive character) and can rule the Roman Empire. In fact, it seems to me that philosophy and military, and philosophy and a just but strong political ruler, are incompatible pairs (wasn’t Plato’s philosophy king explained as an impossibility?). This incompatibility seems its strongest when its Stoic philosophy and command of the Roman Empire.

    I was hoping you could cover the Stoics and maybe speak about difficulties with reconciling a (general or a particular) philosophical life with other careers (especially military as Marcus Aurelius did, if that’s not too much to ask). Has other philosophers experienced this incompatibility? Has their careers influenced and worked together to develop their philosophical views, or did they manage to pursue philosophy independently of their day jobs? With what I hear of the difficulties in making a career out of philosophy, I predict that other listens may find it valuable to hear views on how to establish a philosophically driven life together with, or independently of, careers that may require a different personality.

    Keep up the great work! It is incredible inspiring!


    • Profile photo of Seth Paskin

      Seth Paskin

      July 23, 2014

      Thanks for the kind words!

      Stoicism and MA are on the list. When? Not sure…

  21. Profile photo of Amogha Sahu

    Amogha Sahu

    July 24, 2014

    Hello PEL,

    I have found the Partially Examined Life a refreshing, non-academic introduction to philosophy. One subject I feel that you should cover is economics, focusing not on Adam Smith but rather on people like Hayek and looking at the methodology of the social sciences.

    • Profile photo of Seth Paskin

      Seth Paskin

      July 24, 2014

      It’s on the list to cover. Since we aren’t experts, we’ve been trying to get help figuring out texts that would fit our format.

  22. Joel Weinbrot

    September 4, 2014

    Hi. Enjoying the podcasts very much. Any plans to discuss the work of Stanley Cavell? Especially Must We Mean What We Say and The Claim
    of Reason? His approach to the later Wittgenstein floors me. Also, his essays about Modern art and music. Thanks!

  23. Adam Lancaster

    October 6, 2014

    Hi. I’m new to your podcast but I’m loving it. It has reinvigorated my studies in philosophy, as I can get rather disillusioned pursuing it on my own with no one to discuss anything with– no professors or fellow students. As someone else said above, it’s very nice to know how to pronounce things! (I do believe that one of you, however, pronounces analogous incorrectly— with a ‘j’ sound instead of a ‘g'; a quick check on the merriam webster confirmed my suspicions). Anyway, I had two suggestions for future shows that I would absolutely love for you to cover. The first is Alfred North Whitehead and Process Philosophy. The second, and I understand if you might be reluctant to dedicate a show to him, is Alan Watts. I wouldn’t suggest him if you hadn’t covered a good bit already that was not traditional western philosophy, but I don’t believe it would necessarily be a rehashing of topics you’ve covered with your buddhism or daoism shows. Also, he’s incredibly fun to read (I think so anyway). I would love to hear an analysis of his methods of twisting up words until some very basic assumptions pop out that are rather difficult to square with common sense. He plays fantastic games with words. But I’m just a fanboy, so maybe it’s not for everybody. I’d appreciate if you took a look however! Thanks so much for doing this podcast, it’s very instrumental in allowing someone to productively study philosophy on their own. Cheers!

    • Alexios

      November 24, 2014

      I second the above re: Alan Watts, although I could see the difficulty of deciding which of his twenty-plus texts to read for the podcast. His accounts of Taoism, Vedanta Hinduism, Mahayana & Zen Buddhism are quite exemplary in their exegesis and interpretation of those traditions, and yet he also paved a distinct approach to philosophy in his own right, playing with the limits of language (one could say his whole project is trying to show the impossibility of “effing the ineffable” while concurrently seeming to attempt just that, which is related to why he considered himself a spiritual entertainer more than anything else). Oh, and for what it’s worth, I saw Ken Wilber mentioned in an earlier comment. He is also quite a mind, and one that is connected to the thinking of Alan Watts (the story goes that he thought so highly of Alan Watts’ work as to transcribe with pen & paper every word Watts wrote). In any case, keep up the great work with the podcast.

  24. Thomas

    November 28, 2014

    I think your philosophy of science episodes are really good; especially because Dylan has a background in science.

    I’d like to hear more philosophy of science, with something like Nancy Cartwright’s “How the Laws of Physics Lie” or “The Dappled World.” Or maybe Bas van Fraasen.

  25. Profile photo of Paulo Goulard

    Paulo Goulard

    December 30, 2014

    I have a question. How come you do not have a podcast on Thomas Aquinas, or scholastic thought as a whole, after more than 100 episodes??? All I could find were pointers to other websites. I can’t believe you guys actually decided that it is worth ignoring.

  26. Jesse

    December 31, 2014

    I’d like to hear about Non-Cognitivism.

  27. Arfan

    January 27, 2015

    Hey guys,

    Thoroughly enjoying the podcast, helps get me through those tedious moments in life!

    I know you get a barrage of please cover ‘x’ comments, so I thought what the hell, I’ll add one to the list:

    Please do an episode on Julian Jaynes’ book “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” .

    It’s one hell of a challenging book in terms of forcing you to reconsider the history of….well everything. While strictly more of a history/psychology book it definitely covers some interesting philosophical ground around the questions of what (contemporary) consciousness is, how it emerged etc

    Anyway, keep it up!

  28. John Michael Zorko

    March 2, 2015

    Hello, all …

    I discovered PEL a couple of months ago with the Sextus Empiricus episode and have been listening (to current and previously recorded) episodes ever since. I really enjoy this – thank you _very_ much for continuing to produce it :-)



  29. Anon

    March 30, 2015

    Are you planning on doing (more) episodes on
    a) Kripke, philosophy of language, analytic metaphysics and such?
    b) population and/or procreation ethics? The subject’s seen a rise in popularity in recent years and it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on it. Relevant philosophers/authors would include David Benatar, Derek Parfit, Christine Overall and Bryan Caplan
    c) logic, especially non-classical systems (besides modal logic). I found it odd how especially during the Gödel episode you didn’t as much as mention eg. recent paraconsistent approaches to mathematics and other formal systems nor Graham Priest’s dialetheism etc IIRC.

    Keep it up :)

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