Listener Feedback

Arthur Danto

Dear guys

I was really thrilled by the podcast you sent. It was a unique experience, seeing philosophy living in our culture. I’ve never before heard my work discussed like that, and rarely as intelligently. What was wonderful were all the digressions, but then everyone got back to the issues, and usually you came out right -or right enough, given where I was in the path of my thought when I wrote those essays.

…So thanks for the stupendous honor you have done me here. I enjoyed every minute, including the song at the end.

I was pleased and surprised by this discussion. Three former philosophy students took on the task of discussing different texts, and though there is a lot of irreverent comments on professional philosophy, it is very high level. I listened to the whole podcast, and felt exalted afterward.

More re. our dealings with Danto.

Pat Churchland

PEL is really a lovely site, and I can see why it is popular. Incidentally, Kurt Baier, who was a moral philosopher who chaired the dept when I was at Pitt, noted that Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living, but added — the over-examined life is not worth writing home about either!

Listen to our interview with Pat.

From iTunes

Intelligent and funny – a rare combo
The best philosophy podcast on iTunes. In fact, one of the best podcasts on iTunes. These guys know their stuff, and importantly, know how to explain obscure philosophical concepts to the uninitiated. The fact that all 3 guys have a sense of humor doesn’t hurt, either. Highly recommended. Some of the early episodes suffer from twitchy audio, but they’ve resolved those problems now. The episodes on Hobbes and Nietzsche are particularly good episodes with which to start.

– shinobinc

Seriously fun and informative conversations
Like: Unlike most philosophy podcasts, this one really works. It’s a long-form (over an hour, usually) discussion among three former philosophy grad students discussing brief readings from core philosophy. What keeps this show on my subscribe list is that they explain their core arguments in clear English, and don’t hesitate to object to it, or each other, in an entertaining and unpretentious way. This is not an abstract discourse on ideas, either; these guys care about how philosophy helps us better undstand what’s really going on in our experience. In their own words, they focus on ideas instead of fetishizing dead guys. Further, it’s not a contentious-for-the-sake-of-“good radio” show, but a fun and collaborative discussion among people who appear to care about the personal philosophical enterprise. Needs Improvement: They sometimes break one of their self-imposed rules, by assuming that you *do* know some philosophy. For example, in the show on Camus, they just start discussing Existentialism (a term that’s taken on all kinds of meanings in the wild) without any introductory definition of what it is or how it arose. So before they get to the text’s core argument I would appreciate a bit more stage setting which better indicates who this philosopher was, when they lived, and what they’re reacting to. They often get to much of this material, but often much later in the episode. Verdict: If you’ve been looking for an accessible philosophy podcast, and don’t mind the long format, you should try this show. I strongly advise starting with episode 1, as references to previous episodes appear to accrete. Definitely worth listening to.

– planetary

Compelling & thought provoking.
Really interesting stuff guys. I appreciate the opposing views and the respect you give to the subject matter and each others opinions. You’ve got another subscriber.

– Quinten Schmit

A thoughtful, fun, provocative podcast.
Do you miss breezy, chatty conversations over Very Important Matters with friends where laughs and ideas keep roll ing? Then these are your fellows. Lofty matters considered with a tell-it-like-it-is style. Hosted by self-exiled scholars with productive lives outside the Ivory Tower, but who find the fun in throwing water balloons of reality-check wisdom back over their shoulders .

– Bruce Scherer

I listen therefore I am
These three guys go along way to making dry, academic tomes exciting! (Yes … that’s a good thing). I’m glad they came down from their ivory towers to illuminate ideas to the masses ! I can hardly wait until they tackle Wittgenstein … if they can make me understand him I will owe them my first born! Great podcast guys … look forward to each new episode!

– Howard Seaton

Danto Digs it
I have surveyed literally hundreds of podcasts, and this is one of my favorites. It’s smart, engaging, and it makes difficult ideas accessible to non specialists — something that’s not easy to do. This was all backed up by what Arthur Danto recently had to say about the podcast. “I was really thrilled by the podcast. It was a unique experience, seeing philosophy living in our culture . I’ve never before heard my work discussed like that, and rarely as intelligently. What was wonderful were all the digressions, but then everyone got back to the issues, and usually you came out right -or right enough, given where I was in the path of my thought when I wrote those essays.” Keep up the good work guys.

– Lifelong Learner

One of my favorite podcasts!
This podcast is just the right mix of humor, serious debate, and deep philosophical thought. I look fOlWard to each time my iTunes podcast listing cycles and shows a new episode to enjoy. Keep up the great work guys!

– Fred Hsu

best philosophy podcast
honest, intelligent, entertaining, brilliant.

– Violin255

One Great Podcast
Having been a mathematics grad student many years ago who spent way too much time in Saul Kripke’s office in the philiosophy department I have to say that this is the most critical and well read philosophy podcast on itunes. These guys not only seem to –! be able to present this stuff in a meaningful and non-academic way (read jargon free) but at the same time they do not pass over or dumb down the technical difficulties … as a working mathematician (read topologist) who still loves and reads these books they have really improved my hour long commute to DC …..

– Wittgenmath

Irreverent yet well-informed, a delightful listen
As an amateur philosopher, I am always looking for ways to broaden my understanding of the great philosophers, but have neither the time nor discipline to actually read through them. The Partially Examined Life feels like it was created just for me! –! These guys have done their homework, but aren’t afraid to admit the limits of their own understanding. They provide an accessible introduction to many of the great works and ideas, and more importantly have a great time doing so. Philosophy hasn’t been this much fun since Socrates stopped doing stand up after the two-drink hemlock minimum.

– Ernest Prabhakar

More Reviews on Itunes

From Site/Facebook Group Comments

I just wanted to let you guys know how much your work is appreciated. For someone in grad school again now in philosophy (after a decade hiatus post M.A.), this podcast makes for great listening back and forth to campus and during otherwise mind-numbing work. It’s actually better that you three are not traditional, donnish academics – your perspective is fresh and honest rather than edited and revised and edited and revised and… anyway, makes for a great intro to some topics in philosophical history that I didn’t previously know much about.

– Dan

So I’ve been working my way through the podcast after discovering it through enthusiastic word of mouth a month or so ago. Just now making it to the Danto on Art episode, I was struck by the intro conversation on your views regarding philosophy, specifically Seth’s discussion of just how much time and effort you guys put into doing this. I just wanted to say how much I appreciate that effort. Your podcast/blog is incredibly interesting and entertaining and I hope you find the energy to keep it up. I studied philosophy in college and, having graduated a couple of years ago now, miss it dearly. You guys go a long way toward keeping life interesting and frequently provoke late-night sessions of drunken philosophizing among other recent grad friends of mine. Fantastic work.

– Don

Hey guys. I’m a truck driver from Minneapolis. I drive to Iowa, Illinois, back to MN (putting me in Madison, WI four times a week). I am unfortunate enough to have pissed away any opportunity for attending actual academic philosophy courses but fortunate enough to have access to your podcast. It’s been a useful distraction while driving through the BORING Wisconsin countryside. Love what you’re doing, keep it up.

– Travis the philosophizing trucker

“PEL is so appealing to me because by vocalizing your understanding, or attempts to understand, you model critical reading and critical thinking… Thank you for all that you do.”

– Joe Tab

For more reviews, see comments to our About Us page.

Reviews on other Sites

An acquaintance recently introduced me to The Partially Examined Life. It is a blog and podcast on all issues of philosophy. I stayed up later than I should last night listening to the most recent podcast, #38, on Bertrand Russell, math, and logic. I am like a kid in a candy store! Just read through the list of podcast topics and you will see what I mean. Who could not be excited by Locke on political power, anything by Montaigne, and a discussion on the mind that includes Turing, Searle, Chalmers, Churchland, Dennett, et al.?

Bedlam or Parnassus

The guys at the Partially Examined Life site host a philosophy podcast that is worth checking out if you have an interest in philosophy… No cows are sacred with these guys – if you feel the need to hear Socrates referred to as “a major @sshole”, then this is the show for you. Be warned though, this is not a show to listen to while weaving through traffic on a moped or operating heavy machinery. For the casual listener, the show can be quite intense…

Outside of Eden

I’ve been listening to the podcast The Partially Examined Life in the studio… with much satisfaction. I like the banter, the rim shots, the chemistry between the characters there, the Jack Black-like musician (Mark Linsenmayer ), the sad one with calm voice who usually guides the rudder of the conversation back into the topic (Seth Paskin), the avuncular and wry Wes Alwan. What’s cool is that the internet has shown a spotlight on the life of mind of other communities of philosophy, you don’t have to get tenure to live the properly examined life.

Artist Dennis Hollingsworth

Kudos by Email

I think this is fantastic. However, I cannot sincerely assert that I am glad you sent me this link, as I will surely never sleep again. Very nicely done!

All the best,

– Katie M.

Dear Mark,

I wanted to say thanks for your podcast, I appreciate the knowlege that you three share so willingly.

And best of all is the enthusiasm and joy that radiates from your friendship, even from sad/calm Seth.


–Lara M.

I really appreciate your discussions. I really like the balance you strike with serious subjects, allowing yourselves to play with these huge ideas and making it lots of fun at the same time. It’s like I’m sitting in someone’s living room with a bunch of guys, maybe a beer in hand, and a bowl of chips and guacamole close by. We’re discussing serious life questions, and humor (guy humor, of course) is interjected into the conversation, making pure sense of the discussion, and making the evening so much more fun at the same time. I imagine lots of belly laughs throughout the night. No philosophy discussion should be without at least a few of them. I also like the fact that you’re not afraid to take adequate time to discuss these subjects.

–Kevin P


  1. Corey

    December 15, 2011

    I really want you guys to do a podcast on the philosophical musings of the late, great George Carlin.

    • Profile photo of Chinese Teacher

      Chinese Teacher

      September 23, 2013

      I think it would be better to do comedians in a lump segment, i’d suggest adding anyone else who includes humor, not just absurdities or ironies. Woody Allen, Bill Hicks.

  2. dan

    January 9, 2012

    So, so disappointed that the very first podcast I downloaded from this series (episode 4 regarding Camus & suicide) had one of the hosts asserting that Camus died in a motorcycle accident, and this assertion was repeated several times in the discussion, in varying contexts.

    I realize that this podcast is supposed to be all fun and lighthearted and stuff, but at the very least you could make sure that you have basic facts correct. Camus did not die in a motorcycle accident, he died in a car accident. Again, so disappointed – so lazy and sloppy! Shaking my head…

  3. Profile photo of Wes Alwan

    Wes Alwan

    January 9, 2012

    Dan: when we began this podcast years ago, we were still operating under the idea that it was strictly for fun. While we prepared by reading the primary text, for biographical information I at least was operating on 10-year-old memories. I can promise you that shortly after this episode — when we realized we actually had listeners — our prep work became obsessional to a degree that would likely suit your tastes. I have to admit I find it baffling that anyone is so concerned with this kind of trivia. It’s not what the podcast is actually about.

  4. M. Warren

    January 11, 2012

    I really enjoy listening to your podcasts. Right now I’m a philosophy undergrad in London, and I find that these podcasts bring me out of the ennui of ploughing through the heavy texts. It’s much nicer to find the humour and interesting quotes when they are pointed out. I’d love if you guys could cover Marx.

    • Profile photo of

      Seth Paskin

      January 29, 2012

      Thanks M! We are planning an episode, hopefully later this year.

  5. Charles

    January 13, 2012

    I really wanted to say that since finding this podcast, it has served as the intellectual stimulation that I have missed for some portion of my life. As a dyslexic high school drop out, I have never gotten to study or interact with people who find the dilemmas in life interesting or worth trying to figure out. Politics, social sciences and how people as masses work and react are utterly fascinating to me. Now, having married a Dr. in early childhood development, (dont ask me how) I find a level of conversation that (other than football) I can wear her out on.
    I enjoy what you guys and your guests do by bringing these conversations and studies for those of us who could have, but never did get the advantage of formal education to gain a deeper understanding of what is is to contemplate some of the deeper struggles of what it means to use language in its most deliberate form.
    Thanks again. Now I will go back to crushing beer cans on my forehead and trying to figure out why the Sara Palin show got canceled.

  6. Chris Buckner

    January 13, 2012

    Mark, when you’re mixing the podcasts, would you mind putting a high frequncy shelf on Wes’s channel at around 15khz and up?(at a volume where I can here seth and some of the others well, Wes’s S’s kill my ears)

    Love the show, by the way. Keep up the good work!

  7. Martin

    January 29, 2012

    wimsy :)

  8. Lynda

    January 31, 2012

    Hi Guys.
    Greetings from Australia. I’ve just recently found your podcasts on itunes and have listened to a few of them and found them to be very enlightening. I’ve got the thrist for philosophy now and will try and listen to many more over the year. I’m currently undertaking a psychology degree, but I do feel philosophy knowledge will be complementary to my studies.Thanks for putting them up on itunes. You all do such a good job.

    • Profile photo of Wes Alwan

      Wes Alwan

      January 31, 2012

      Thanks Lynda — glad we’ve been helpful!

  9. Eric Trowbridge

    February 14, 2012

    Great podcasts fellers. I was wondering if you might be able to do something on Godel’s proof, as it ties into Dreyfus’ “What Machines Can’t Do” book. Thanks ya’ll!

  10. Dan

    February 14, 2012

    Put this on the Facebook page a while back. The author (a retired Philosophy Prof) re-translates philosophy works into a more readable, modern format. EXCELLANT!!!!

  11. Jeremy Northup

    February 14, 2012

    Hey guys,

    I love the podcast, it’s always my go to on long drives from Pittsburgh to NY. Anyway, I was wondering if you would ever entertain doing an episode on Nagel and the Absurd since you’ve done Camus and the Absurd. I think there are a lot of interesting (and subtle) differences between the two. Maybe not enough for a podcast, but who knows? Keep it up, I really like the show.

    • dmf

      February 17, 2012
      might be worth looking at absurdity in relation to skepticism and sense/non-sense, maybe after Wittgenstein on language.

      • dmf

        February 17, 2012

        ps have any of you folks read:
        Ethics without Philosophy: Wittgenstein and the Moral Life Book by James C. Edwards ?

        • Jeremy Northup

          February 21, 2012

          Yup, that’s the paper I’m talking about, Wes. There’s also something I read at some point that I thought did a good job comparing Camus/Nagel. If I can find a link I’ll post it here for you. It’s probably somewhere buried in my Google Reader.

  12. Mike Fox

    March 10, 2012

    I found your podcast on iTunes a few weeks back and have been working my way through them sequentially. I really enjoy the reasoned and supportive search for understanding. It is sadly missing from a lot of the news and podcasting content out there. I have a 2 hour daily commute and I despair how I will fill my time when I finally catch up to where you are now. Perhaps your website or Facebook page will have good suggestions for other material. Thanks to all of you for the quality product.

  13. Daniel Breidenbach

    March 16, 2012

    Hello you three,
    I found your podcasts a few months ago and have been going through them ever since. I find them extremely insightful as well as entertaining and hilarious. I graduated with a BA in philosophy a few years ago and spent several years deciding whether or not to return to Philosophy on the graduate level. Eventually I decided not to. I think it’s great what you guys are doing because it’s off the beaten track. The current American culture is so strong in suggesting that the only path to professional or personal fulfillment is via graduate school to a Phd (So that you can learn more and more about less and less and eventually become an expert in nothing). Way to revolutionize the system! Keep up the penis jokes.

    • Profile photo of Wes Alwan

      Wes Alwan

      March 26, 2012

      Thanks Mike and Daniel! — much appreciated.

  14. Peter Vlasveld

    March 23, 2012


    I am a double major: Neuroscience and Philosophy at University of Toronto, and I just wanted to thank you for providing me with a new procrastination tool, e.i. your podcast. Your topics are very interesting, and I am excited to keep listening.

  15. amy

    March 29, 2012

    THANK YOU! I have been reading Being and Time over and over for many years and finally, with the help of your Heidegger podcast my understanding has been cemented.
    You guys are awesome!

  16. Mike Hoffner

    April 11, 2012

    Dear Demigods of podcast land, aka Guys, or fellas

    I am another fan…thanks for helping me roam my cerebral space in a fun way. I have a request, would you consider inviting a Philosopher with a solid, firm Christian faith to the program now and again (perhaps someone from the Veritas Forum)….since you three seem obviously agnostic or atheist in your basic presuppositions, I would really enjoy hearing that “take” from someone in your discussions.

    Thanks again for your podcast


  17. Mike Hoffner

    April 11, 2012


    Thanks for your reply(#29), I would love to hear Eric Reitan as a guest….and one of the Phil of Theologian folks….
    also can’t wait to hear you guys have Augustine as a reading. Thanks for being responsive to my requests from the peanut gallery…showing some humanity in your Demigod”ness”.


  18. Jhay Phoenix

    April 12, 2012

    I’m a listener from the Caribbean and I think you all have done a great service to Philosophy and Liberal Arts lovers by making these wonderful resources available through this website. I first came a cross the site when I was doing research on Semiotics, Foucault and other topics for a teaching internship at a local College.

    However, I was hoping that at some point in the very near future you will do an article or a podcast on Walter Benjamin (who I’d call the black sheep of the Frankfurt School) and do an overview of his thought or focus on one of his specific works.

    Benjamin is not one of the more popular philosophers and I think his insights are worth examining and making others more acquainted with his life and thought will be most enlightening.

      • dmf

        April 12, 2012

        I thought you were going to raise the possibility of reading Édouard Glissant as part of the discussion on race/power, have you studied him?

      • Jhay Phoenix

        April 13, 2012

        Here’s a few I can think of:

        1. The loss of Aura. This concept is dealt with in his work ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Technical Reproducibility’. Even though Adorno and Horkheimer tackle the subject in ‘Culture Industry’ the treatment is different.

        2. Historical Materialism and concepts presented in his work ‘Theses on the Philosophy of History’. It shares some elements with Nietzsche’s ‘Birth of Tragedy’.

        3. ‘Author as Producer’ which some how embodies the spirit of the Open Source movement and the synergistic rationality embodied in today’s technologies.

        4. ‘Task of the Translator’ which is a helpful contribution to any discourse on language, communication and translation.

        • Profile photo of C.-Derick-Varn


          April 13, 2012

          Benjamin’s concept of history fascinates me, as does “author as producer.” It’s strange though because I have seen Benjamin being used by Marxists again in a serious theoretical way just before and just after Occupy.

          I would like a Frankfurt School podcast and not just because I have studied too much Marxism in my life.

    • Profile photo of Wes Alwan

      Wes Alwan

      May 5, 2012

      Thnaks Jhay — we’ll definitely get to Benjamin.

  19. Mike Hoffner

    April 12, 2012


    Can I pitch three people to put on your future discussion/topic list that you haven’t done yet: Pascal, Simon Weil, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Thanks again


    • dmf

      April 12, 2012

      MH, if we take their God(s) out of the equation do you see something left of philosophical value/interest in these thinkers?
      Hannah Arendt might give us a kind of secular Weil, maybe?

      • Profile photo of C.-Derick-Varn


        April 13, 2012

        Pascal I do see as having non-theological substance. Wiel and Bonhoeffer, I don’t know.

  20. Mike Hoffner

    April 12, 2012

    Hi dmf

    I appreciate your question …though any philosophical topic is thought provoking to me I probably enjoy wrestling with metaphysics the most….I think God is necessary in the equation there, Mark mentioned Eric Reitan above (#29)…the contents of his book on the God Delusion answers your question for me…
    Yes on Hannah Arendt.


  21. Gary M

    April 17, 2012

    I have recently found your podcasts following some amateur study of Aristotles Ethics. 4 episodes later… and I find myself unable to stop listening! I love the banter and light hearted approach coupled with the deep philosophical issues you elucidate for us.

    Having listented to Aristotle’s Ethics episode twice, Spinoza and the Buddhist episodes, I’ve just finished the episode on Descartes. How interesting that you’ve made me realise that I am more than a perceiving agent, but it’s my cognition that unifies the sensory input. Where does that cognition come, this is what I’m now wondering and it’s a really interesting thought. Thanks again, I’m looking forward to listening to all of the many other episodes you’ve kindly made! :)

  22. Rob

    April 17, 2012


    This podcast is awesome, I put it on all the time when I’m drawing or tidying or whatever, and sometimes sit and listen diligently if it’s to do with something I’m studying at university or relevant to my own philosophical interests.

    I’m in my first year right now and have been interested in philosophy for a lot longer than I’ve been involved in academia. I was particularly taken back by your stories of what got you into it in the first place in episode 1, accounts that seemed to represent phases I’ve been through at different times.

    Maybe you mentioned this in an episode I haven’t heard… but I wanted to know what your experiences have been of writing your ow unique or individual philosophies? I started on the path of Philosophy with the intention of writing my own but sometimes I feel as if nothing I write can be totally valid unless I read everything that’s out there! It’s a bitch and I’m starting to invent philosophical arguments that justify my hesitation or preemptively regard the value of all philsophy as a type of “self expression” that might evade being held to account by the hard nose academic logicians that dominate the field.

    In any event, I’d like to say thanks for making these Podcasts, they’re a great way to subtly convert my friends.


    • Profile photo of Wes Alwan

      Wes Alwan

      May 5, 2012

      Thanks very much Rob; as for writing, there’s the researchy academic approach, and then there’s the (possibly personal) essay approach. The latter would give you more free rein to write without having read everything in existence — you just incorporate philosophy into your observations where it’s relevant. I think you’re right – producing an original work of philosophy (that isn’t simply a commentary or research paper) is something that will likely have to wait for a lifetime of study.

  23. M.T.

    April 24, 2012

    Hello from Taiwan. This podcast reminds me of those hilarious yet deeply illuminating seminars of my graduate years in US when I studied art/architectural history. I would like to suggest an episode on Henri Lefebvre, Guy Debord, or on the topic of everyday life. Beforehand I thought these “situationist” texts might not qualify as “pure” philosophy, but after listening to the episode on Pirsig I think you guys might also like Lefebvre despite his somewhat messy style. :)

    • Profile photo of Mark Linsenmayer

      Mark Linsenmayer

      April 24, 2012

      Thanks, MT,

      Good suggestion. Can you recommend a specific work or selection?

  24. M.T.

    April 24, 2012

    Mark Linsenmayer :
    Thanks, MT,
    Good suggestion. Can you recommend a specific work or selection?

    Hi Mark~ “Everyday life in the Modern World” by Lefebvre is my all time favorite. His musing on consumerism and terrorism is still very relevant to our time. The Production of Space is more influential among some architects, but I am not sure if the crazily systematic, all-encompassing attempt and dialectical Hegelian backbone is too much for one episode’s length. The Society of the Spectacle by Debord–I personally haven’t read it so naturally I will benefit the most from your discussion of it. :D

  25. Steve

    April 26, 2012

    Don’t see any comments relating to ‘where’ people listen to PEL. Might amuse you guys to picture a middle-age-spreading Englishman, late afternoon, walking up and down the runway (=exercising) of a small Pacific atoll, listening to PEL on his iPhone.

    ..and thoroughly enjoying every minute of it! Thank you all so much for this injection of (in)sanity at the end of the atoll day!

    • Profile photo of Wes Alwan

      Wes Alwan

      May 5, 2012

      Thanks Steve! And that’s a great image of you listening to us on the atoll. I can remember one other comment like this from a Brazilian miner — always thrilling to hear, and I think we should solicit more of them.

  26. Nicholas

    April 27, 2012

    Hey guys,

    The Podcast on Frege is absolutely wonderful. I’m currently taking a philosophy of language class, so it has helped greatly. How about some Russell? Donnellan? Searle? Grice? Kripke?

    • Profile photo of Wes Alwan

      Wes Alwan

      May 5, 2012

      Thanks Nicholas, and thanks for the suggestions — making note of them.

  27. Max

    May 2, 2012

    Hi Guys,

    I’ve started listening to your podcasts at work and I love them. Your rapport combined with the civil disagreements make for great and active listening.

    There’s just one criticism/request I want to make – Mark, could you possibly try to sound less snide when you’re voicing a view contrary to your own. I don’t want to offend, and I think your contributions to the conversations are just as valuable as the others, but the way you make your voice sound like a south park character at times makes me want to punch my computer screen.

  28. Harlow

    May 3, 2012

    Fun! I just listened to you guys for the first time and am very excited to have found TPEL. I have an hour communte (one-way) on the train/bus in San Francisco and I think I just found a new way to occupy my time. I have not been involved much in philosophy since undergrad and am stoked to have you guys doing most the work for me!

    I chose Sartre’s Trancedence of the Ego and had a blast listening to it. I read a bunch of Heidegger in college, but never got too far into Sartre so it was nice to hear this groundwork for Being and Nothingness. Also, good job on the close reading Mark – love this style of reading philosophy. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s Being and Time by my favorite thinker. Hope you guys are still having fun making these podcasts!

    • Profile photo of Wes Alwan

      Wes Alwan

      May 5, 2012

      Glad you’re enjoying it Harlow! — we are still having lots of fun.

  29. Matthew

    May 17, 2012

    Hi, I was wondering if you guys had ever read anything by Ivan Illich? I just began reading his work “Deschooling Society” and feel that it resonates, to some extent, with the spirit of TPEL’s project.
    Thanks for the work you guys do producing the podcast. It makes my day every time I see a new one appear on my subscription list.

  30. Dane Owen

    May 17, 2012

    Dear Sirs,
    I like the concept of your podcast. That said, please edit yourselves. A little banter is fine, but after 30 minutes of off topic talk you lost me. I was hoping for content not chatter. I am a St. Johns graduate and the content portion of your show brings back a lot of memories. The banter portion reminds me of the kids who didn’t do the reading.


    Dane Owen

    • Profile photo of Mark Linsenmayer

      Mark Linsenmayer

      May 17, 2012

      Just try a different episode, Dane. And discover the 2x button on your listening device.

  31. Brad Cokelet

    June 6, 2012

    Hi Guys,

    I am a philosophy professor and these podcasts make me wish I could be back in grad school again. Amazing work keeping the ideas alive – the public sphere is not dead yet!

    I wanted to suggest your inviting Sam Fleischacker at UIC onto your show. He is an extremely nice and well-spoken guy who is a world expert on Adam Smith, but, more relevantly just published a book called “Divine Teachings and the Way of the World” which argues that religion is needed to make sense of the meaningful life.


  32. Quist

    June 11, 2012

    Kant get enough…

  33. Trevor

    October 4, 2012

    Hi Guys,

    I just watched the two episodes and I have to say I really enjoyed them! I am a psychology major that is on more of a “research based” track, but also has a great interest in philosophy as well (especially epistemology)… just not very much time to pursue it. With your podcasts I can listen to them on the way to class or work and feel like I am having a discussion with a bunch of friends who just happen to be knowledgeable about philosophy.


    • Profile photo of Mark Linsenmayer

      Mark Linsenmayer

      October 4, 2012

      Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed “watching” “both” of our episodes!

  34. Galen

    October 7, 2012

    Hey guys I love the show. As a former philosophy student it gives me an avenue to think about some texts I have already read and an entry for texts I havn’t read. I was hoping you guys might consider doing a podcast on Fichte or Axel Honneth. I would request one of Jurgen Habermas’s major works, but I can understand why anyone would shy away from that. Deconstruction and postmoderns like Foucault have gotten some consideration when Habermas and Honneth, who represent an alternative path, have not. Regardless of whether or not you guys want to take up one of these topics I’ll keep listening, even if you claimed that all philosophers died riding motorcycles.

  35. Rick V

    November 14, 2012

    Nice. I just started listening – completed both first episodes. Enjoyed your easy manor and humor, yet serious thoughts. Hope these continue in future episodes. thanks for creating and continuing to post. Will comment more as i listen to further episodes.

  36. Paul Walsh

    January 8, 2013

    How is it going PEL?
    I have almost finished my philosophy degree and will be moving onto postgrad then masters. Just wanted to say these podcasts are great! Basically a longer and more in depth tutorial session, which i really enjoy.
    I am looking forward to an occasionally mentioned Ayn Rand show. Not that i am an endorser of Ayn Rand’s ideas, but i know she stirs up a shit storm which i am excited to stand on the side lines of and watch!

    • Profile photo of Mark Linsenmayer

      Mark Linsenmayer

      January 8, 2013

      Thanks! Yes, Rand is still on the top of our minds, and is competing with one other episode (on terrorism, with a terrorism expert who’s a fan of te show) for a potential March recording slot. If it doesn’t happen then, hopefully it will happen soon after, but I’m learning not to commit to specifics.

  37. Brian

    February 20, 2013

    I’m a grad student in philosophy and, of all the podcasts available, this one is truly the best.

  38. M.T.

    May 26, 2013

    Hello again. I wanted to thank you guys for keeping up with these terrific conversations. Any chance you will consider having an episode on Richard Rorty’s Philosophy and Social Hope (2000)?

  39. shelley buonaiuto

    May 31, 2013

    Just listened to the podcast on Martin Buber. Have had the book for years and always planned to read it…just because I liked the title. I think you did a really good job of delving into his meaning. I did have a couple of thoughts I may have heard you address, but to put it in my words: I believe we can have the I-thou experience (whether or not it is an “experience” being another question for now) with the so-called inanimate world., because I believe what he is talking about (based on the quotes you read, and your observations) is that quality of awakeness, of unity, which is,as he says, a matter of preparing the ground and receiving the grace of it’s happening. The ego can’t will the ego to leave. As for whether or not the quality is an experience, I’ll have to live with that…it is so utterly simple, is there someone to experience it? Is the experience after the fact? anyway, great show. Thanks.

  40. Donald

    June 9, 2013

    Huge fan here with horrible, shocking news to relate: the things one must do for a living today suck, and internet ads in particular suck. You may not even *want* to know this, but your prominently placed “AdChoices” the last couple days have been showing close-ups of women in bikinis with the caption “Click here – And turn out the lights!”

    Now don’t get me wrong, that stuff can be a healthy part of the Dionysian life too, but it can come across as incongruous when you guys have just fired me up on some philosophical question and then I get here to see the business side of your endeavor basically telling me, “Eh, who cares about all that really, have you seen the bazongas on this one?” Which, unfortunately, I also hear in Mark’s voice…

    • Profile photo of Seth Paskin

      Seth Paskin

      June 9, 2013

      Thanks for the feedback Donald. We don’t actually select specific ads, we have Google Ads serve them. As you have experienced, they vary wildly and aren’t always what we would select. There are some controls we put in place but they aren’t perfect. Not too long ago we switched to another service that feeds higher “quality” ads than what Google provides at times based on an algorithm. Hopefully over time these will supplant ads that aren’t desirable.

      That said, ads such as you describe are ubiquitous on the interwebs and as long as they aren’t totally offensive, we are going to have to put up with them as Google is paying the bills to keep the site running. Feel free to contact me directly if you want to discuss further.

  41. Mick Whitehead

    July 1, 2013

    Come on guys! Please stop with the incessant cackling. I’m sure you all have important and interesting things to say, but it takes twenty minutes each and every time to get to it. First all the ads and then ridiculous banter. It’s annoying in the extreme. I know you’re trying to present things in a breezy format but you’re trying way too hard. Why is there so much giggling? Once in awhile OK, but it’s non-stop. I swear if the banter and laughter were to be cut out only 25% of the show would remain–and it would be good I am sure. I don’t mean to be unduly harsh, but it puts one off. Every single time anyone says anything I cringe because I know someone is going to giggle and then the next follow suit. Please!


    • Profile photo of Mark Linsenmayer

      Mark Linsenmayer

      July 1, 2013

      Hi, Mick, you might prefer our interviews with Pat Churchland, David Chalmers, and Owen Flanagan, where we more or less get right to it and milk them about their works.

      All of our episodes already edited very heavily, so only the information and the joking around we deem worthy remains; if you don’t appreciate the latter, I suggest Philosophy Bytes or another more straightforwardly academic presentation.

      Thanks for giving us a shot. -ML

  42. Daniel Shearer

    July 26, 2013

    Hello Partially Examined Crew,

    I truly appreciate what you have spent your time doing with this podcast. I myself am a recent undergraduate student of philosophy and felt lost in the void of bullshit office life; until I discovered your podcast. Now I ponder the mysteries of the universe and philosophy while doing work at my desk. I am in utter gratitude for your service and can’t wait to see what you have to come in the future. I look forward to tuning in and have to admit I am very impressed. You gentlemen are true saints (despite loving Nietzsche) and are doing great work for philosophy lovers everywhere.

    As for a recommendation I would suggest that you do an episode on the relationship between science and religion, and perhaps whether or not there is an inherent conflict that lies between the two. There is a stanford encyclopedia of philosophy article written by Alvin Plantinga which you can find at this link, I am sure your list is a couple years back logged but if you could at least consider it, I would be greatly appreciative.

    Thank you for all your hard work!

    • Profile photo of Mark Linsenmayer

      Mark Linsenmayer

      July 26, 2013

      Hi, Daniel,

      I think this is definitely among the top couple of topics we should hit when we get back to philosophy of religion stuff, which will happen eventually. Thanks for listening; it’s great to hear that we’re making office life bearable for people.



  43. Profile photo of Chinese Teacher

    Chinese Teacher

    September 23, 2013

    My input would be to also have a revise month, no not revise, but a month where you added things you thought about or wanted to add to previous podcasts, say take three points each in one episode, I don’t know. I think all your stuff is pretty great, the most recent podcasts I listened to almost bordered on indulgence, as if someone or someones has some hat issues, in that they no longer fit or a swaying admirer.
    If I was doing something as ambitious as covering some of these giants, i’d like to have a chance to redeem a point or two lost in the firmament.

    Thank you

    PS Santayana Montaigne Zhuang zi regarding each, fabulous, but there is so0 mucch morree

    Happy Horizons

  44. David Jenkins

    October 17, 2013

    I’m addicted and a great fan of the podcasts. I would love to here you guys do a review of the life and works of Korzybski and what followed in his wake. Also, you can never go wrong with more Nietzsche.

  45. Jens Lunde

    November 27, 2013

    Filosophy is fun!
    I’m a listener from Denmark, and i would like to thank you guys for making this podcast. Of course i could show my thanks by donating, but i don’t like to be “suggested” to donate thanks to the Foucault episode:-).

    • dmf

      November 27, 2013

      clearly the fellows should have emphasized the S&M aspects of Foucault more…

  46. katy kay

    January 18, 2014

    1st time listener, heard Fritjhof Bergman’s name on Krista Tippett podcast, found my way to PEL, #83 was great, will return, and donate when financially able, next is your follow-up I noticed on the site. Great work. Hope you are around for a long time.

      • katy kay

        January 18, 2014

        12/16/11, on “On Being” podcasts, Krista Tippett: Grace Lee Boggs, Feldman, Lowe conversations on the not often seen (mainstream) re-imagining, re-creating Detroit. Feldman suggested Bergman to Krista for future podcast conversation.

  47. Benoît Tremblay

    February 13, 2014

    You featherless bipeds are awesome! I recently found out about your podcast and have started working my way through the episodes. While you guys don’t assume prior knowledge from the listener, you still don’t take them for complete morons, which is nice. My dog Zelda also sends her thanks, her morning and evening walks have increased in length since I discovered your podcasts.

    On a personal note, I recently suffered through academia hell while completing a masters in philosophy and hearing your cynicism with regards to academia made me feel… good? The horrible time I had made me question why I even bothered to study philosophy to begin with. I ultimately realized my problem is not with philosophy but with academia. I’ve since moved on but my love for philosophy remains.

    As far as topic suggestions, Adorno and Horkheimer’s critique of the culture industry is a good one. The best reading for this topic would be the chapter “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception” which can be found in Dialectic of Enlightenment.

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