The Partially Examined Life

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NEM#103: Homer Flynn on The Residents’ 50 Years

August 16, 2019 - 21:57

The Residents were formed in 1969 and have released around 50 albums of theatrical, experimental music with humor and humanity. They're great to freak people out with. The band is anonymous; Homer is the head of their management arm, The Cryptic Corporation.

We discuss "Good Vibes" from Intruders (2019), "Blue Rosebuds," from Duck Stab (1978) and the live Shadowland (2014), "Kiss of Flesh" from God in Three Persons (1988), and we listen to "If Only" from the Hardy Fox tribute album The Godfather of Odd (2019). Intro: "Fire (Santa Dog)" (1972) and outro: "The Simple Song" from Commercial Album (1980). For more, visit residents.com.

Hear more Nakedly Examined MusicLike our Facebook pageSupport us on Patreon.

Sponsors: Visit masterclass.com/EXAMINED for $30 off a MasterClass All-Access Pass. Check out Mark's new TV/film/etc. podcast at prettymuchpop.com.

Pretty Much Pop #6: Adults Playing Video Games

August 14, 2019 - 17:25

Ian Maio (who's worked in e-sports marketing) joins Erica, Brian and Mark to talk about why adults play video games, types of gamers, gaming disorders, gamer shaming, inclusivity, and more.

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode, and more episodes in advance, at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com. Please go check out Modern Day Philosophers at moderndayphilosophers.net and See You on the Other Side at othersidepodcast.com.

Ep. 223: Guest Ned Block on Consciousness (Part One)

August 12, 2019 - 17:52

The climax and denouement of our summer philosophy of mind series: Ned Block visits to fill in the gaps about functionalism and attributing consciousness to machines and discuss essays from Blockheads (2019), focusing here on Brian McLaughlin's "Could an Android be Sentient?"

Don't wait for part 2! Get the ad-free, unbroken Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!

Please go check out Modern Day Philosophers at moderndayphilosophers.net and See You On The Other Side at othersidepodcast.com. Also, subscribe to Mark's Pretty Much Pop at prettymuchpop.com.

NEM#102: John Andrew Fredrick (The Black Watch): Literary Anglophilia

August 10, 2019 - 17:39
John has released 17 albums and 5 EPs of guitar-based post-punk as the Black Watch since 1988. He's also an English professor who's published 5 books.   We discuss "Eustacia's Dream" from Magic Johnson (2019), "Emily, Are You Sleeping?" from Led Zeppelin Five (2011), "Inner City Garden" from The Hypnotizing Sea (2005), and premiere "Much of a Muchness" from the forthcoming Crying All the Time EP. For more, see johnandrewfredrick.com.

Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.

Pretty Much Pop #5: True Crime with Lucy Lawless

August 8, 2019 - 21:14

Lucy Lawless (Xena the Warrior Princess, currently starring in My Life Is Murder) joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to think about the true crime genre, of both the documentary and dramatized variety. What's the appeal? Why do women in particular gravitate to it?

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode, and more episodes in advance, at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.

Phi Fic #29 (Part 1 of 2) One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

August 7, 2019 - 06:50
Cezary Baraniecki, Laura Davis, Nathaniel Hanks, Daniel Johnson, and Jennifer Tejada. In this episode, we discuss the classic Latin American novel by Gabriel Garcia Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Ep. 222: Debating Functionalism (Block, Chalmers) (Part Two)

August 5, 2019 - 14:28
Continuing on Ned Block's "Troubles with Functionalism" (1978) and David Chalmers's "Absent Qualia, Fading Qualia, Dancing Qualia" (1995). What would it be like to be halfway between person and machine? If you think the machine can't have consciousness, then Chalmers thinks that there's no sensible way to describe such an experience, ergo the machine (if functionally equivalent to the person) must have consciousness after all. Listen to part one first, or get the unbroken, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL! End song: "Machine" by Helen Money as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #101. Sponsors: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL, mintmobile.com/PEL, and omnifocus.com. Subscribe to Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast at prettymuchpop.com.

Pretty Much Pop #4: “Chernobyl” and the Art of Suffering

August 1, 2019 - 02:03

Mark, Erica, and Brian consider the HBO mini-series, plus "based on a true story" and why do we enjoy witnessing suffering?

For more, visit prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode, and more episodes in advance, at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.

Saints & Simulators 22: #ThePerennialPhilosophy

July 31, 2019 - 13:00
As we sink deeper and deeper into the realm of religion, we find ourselves forced to face up to a core religious dilemma of the modern, globalized world, the same dilemma glossed over by Pascal in his wager: In a world filled with so many different and often contradictory religions, how would we choose one as more plausible than the others?

Ep. 222: Debating Functionalism (Block, Chalmers) (Part One)

July 29, 2019 - 13:00

On Ned Block's "Troubles with Functionalism" (1978) and David Chalmers's "Absent Qualia, Fading Qualia, Dancing Qualia" (1995).

If mental states are functional states, there couldn't be zombies. Yet Block claims that there could be zombies: for example, a functional duplicate of you whose components are actually citizens of China obeying algorithmic rules. Even if the resulting system acts like you, it obviously isn't conscious. Chalmers argues that you'd then need to explain the experiences of a creature half way between you and the zombie, but you can't, so Block's argument doesn't work and functionalism is left standing. What do you think? Do you hate weird thought experiments like these?

Don't wait for part two! Get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!

Sponsor: Visit the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi.

Subscribe to Mark's new podcast at prettymuchpop.com.

Pretty Much Pop #3: CONFORM w/ Yakov Smirnoff

July 28, 2019 - 15:33

Is media trying to brainwash us into being ALL THE SAME? Are the excesses of the mob scaring us into conformity? Mark, Erica, and Brian muse on cultural homogenization and are joined by comedian Dr. Yakov Smirnoff to talk about growing up in a repressive society and the shadow of political correctness over comedy.

For more about this podcast, see prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode, and more episodes in advance, at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is curated by openculture.com.

NEM#101: Helen Money (Alison Chesley): Rock Cellist

July 27, 2019 - 16:59

Alison was studying classical music when she joined Jason Narducy in 1994 in a duet that grew into two Verbow albums. She's since recorded four solo cello albums and been a guest musician on over 100 albums, playing with Bob Mould, Superchunk, Anthrax, Broken Social Scene, etc.

We discuss "Become Zero" and "Vanished Star" from Become Zero (2016), then "Beautiful Friends" from Arriving Angels (2013) and listen to "For My Father" by Jarboe/Helen Money (2015). Intro: "New History" by Verbow from White Out (2000); closing music from "Political Song for Michael Jackson to Sing" from In Tune (2009). For more, see helenmoney.com.

Hear more Nakedly Examined Music. Like our Facebook page. Support us on Patreon.

Saints & Simulators 21: #TheProblemOfEvil

July 24, 2019 - 13:00
From a Neoplatonic point of view, what goodness there is our world must come from the world deeper than ours, the one doing the simulating. The evil and chaos and disorder could all be nothing more than random numbers firing, but the beauty and the nobility and the truth in the world demand some source. And if the next world deeper is somehow a dirtier, nastier, less good place than ours, then our world must be reflecting some yet higher-still world toward which the artisans who created our simulation are striving.

Pretty Much Pop #2: Binge Watching

July 23, 2019 - 12:00

What counts as binge watching? Why do we do it? Is it bad for us? Mark, Erica, and Brian think about what we get out of binge watching, whether it’s bad for us, what kind of shows taste better in bulk than others, and much more.

For more about this podcast, see prettymuchpop.com. Hear bonus content for this episode,and more episodes in advance, at patreon.com/prettymuchpop.

Check out our friends at BroadwayRadio.com. This podcast is curated by openculture.com and The Partially Examined Life Podcast Network.

Ep. 221: Functionalist Theories of Mind (Putnam, Armstrong) (Part Two)

July 22, 2019 - 13:50

Continuing on functionalism with David M. Armstrong’s "The Causal Theory of the Mind" (1981).

We delve into this version of functionalism that is supposed to clear the way for the scientific identification of mental states with brain states. Mental states are defined by their causal relations with other states and with behavior, and the content of a mental state is exhausted by its intentional object, e.g. the content of a perception is the thing you're perceiving which (normally) causes the perception. So what about things like colors and sounds that aren't really out in the world? Can functionalism explain how these seem to us?

Listen to part one first or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL!

End song: "Pain Makes You Beautiful" by Jeff Heiskell's JudyBats, as featured on Nakedly Examined Music #5.

Sponsors: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL and BroadwayRadio.com.

Subscribe to Mark's new podcast at prettymuchpop.com.

Pretty Much Pop #1: Pop Culture vs. High Culture

July 15, 2019 - 22:43
The debut episode of a new podcast hosted by Mark Linsenmayer, Erica Spyres, and Brian Hirt covering

Ep. 221: Functionalist Theories of Mind (Putnam, Armstrong) (Part One)

July 15, 2019 - 16:32

On Hilary Putnam's "The Nature of Mental States" (1973).

What is the mind? Functionalist theories identify the mental with not with the brain exactly, but with something the brain does. So some other creature without a brain (maybe a computer) might be able to do that same thing if it could duplicate the structure of what our brains do. Is this a satisfying account of the mind?

Don't wait for part 2! Get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!

Sponsors: Visit omnifocus.com for a free trial of a great to-do list manager. Visit the St. John's College Graduate Institute: partiallyexaminedlife.com/sjcgi.

Check out our new culture/entertainment podcast, Pretty Much Pop, at prettymuchpop.com.

Saints & Simulators 20: #theOne

July 11, 2019 - 13:00
When God is in everything, and everything is within God, does that not implicate God in our crimes of the spirit as well? Is God present in our angers, and our wars; our dirty jokes and our pornography? Here, perhaps, we have made a mistake by conflating God, as traditionally conceived, with our conception of “the Dungeon Master,” who is merely the maximally simple simulator. But then again, our entire purpose was to determine if there is any necessary connection between the two; between the simulator predicted by Nick Bostrom’s theory and God as envisioned by theologians and believers throughout the ages.

Combat and Classics #29: Emerson’s Divinity School Address

July 9, 2019 - 17:28
How does speech move the human soul? How can a leader use speech inspire others to action? Lise, Jeff, and Brian tackle those questions in their discussion of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s address to the graduating class of Harvard’s divinity school in 1838. Get more C&C on the PEL site or at combatandclassics.org.

Ep. 220: 10-Year Retrospective of The Partially Examined Life

July 8, 2019 - 13:00
Mark, Seth, Dylan, and Wes reflect on the changing state of podcasting and public philosophy over the last decade, how our goals and interests have changed since we started we started. Why don't colleges pay their faculty to educate the public through regular, broadcasted conversations like ours? If you think we're snarky, take a look at actual philosophy faculty! Should we continue to do more literature, poetry, and other topics that are not strictly philosophy? Also, the stalled state of the PEL book. Thanks so much to each and every Partially Examined Life listener for making it worth our time to do this! End song: "High Rollin' Cult" by Mark Lint with Erica Spyres, celebrating a new attempt to capture the fun of the beginning of PEL: Pretty Much Pop, which you get to hear a teaser of. Listen now to the latest episodes in advance of the masses, including our interview with Yakov Smirnoff, at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. Sponsor: Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/PEL for a free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.

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