How should human life be valued? Is death something to suffer, or something that provides relief? Jeff, Lise, and Brian discuss those questions and more in examining this short story by Anton Chekhov.
Should we fear death? Jeff, Lise, and Brian discuss Plato’s Phaedo, in which Socrates is joined by his friends to discuss that and other questions while awaiting the time for Socrates’s execution later the same day.
If you enjoy this, check out The Partially Examined Life’s Crito episode.
What role do lying and deception play in achieving strategic objectives? Jeff, Lise and Brian discuss that and other questions as raised by Sophocles in Philoktetes, in which a soldier (Philoktetes) is recovered from an island where he was left after being wounded. His significance arises from his possession is the famed bow of Heracles, which the characters Odysseus and Continue Reading …
In this episode, Lise, Jeff and Brian discuss “The Student,” a (very) short story by Anton Chekhov. The central character is Ivan, a student, or disciple, whose depression is transformed into elation during the course of his conversation with a peasant mother and daughter about the suffering of Peter as he realizes his betrayal of Jesus.
Listen to more Combat and Classics.
Lise, Jeff and Brian discuss another work by Joseph Conrad, a rip-roaring, seafaring tale! In his novella Typhoon, Conrad tells the story of Captain McWhirr, his crew, and his ship’s brawling passengers as they sail through a typhoon. The work raises questions about leadership in the face of human conflict and natural disasters. Listen to more Combat and Classics.
In this episode, Lise, Jeff and Brian discuss Joseph Conrad’s short story “he Secret Sharer,” which features a psychological drama between an young, unnamed captain who is uncertain of his ability to lead his ship and a mysterious man named Leggatt who swims up to the side of the ship, naked and adrift. Listen to more Combat and Classics.
How do military leaders relate to the civilians they protect? In this episode, Lise, Jeff and Brian discuss that and other questions raised by this Shakespearean tragedy. The story of Coriolanus, a Roman general, starts with an heroic victory for Rome, but ends with exile, defection to the enemy, and ultimately death. Listen to more Combat and Classics.
Join Lise, Jeff and Brian for another Platonic dialogue! Socrates and Alcibiades reappear at a party attended by several characters who decide to take turns praising Eros, who is often referred to in English as the “god of love.” As the dialogue progresses, we learn there is much more to love, or rather to “eros” than sexual desire, and the Continue Reading …
What can we learn from a farce about banishment? Where do politics, nature and religion collide with the absurd? Listen to more Combat and Classics.
Let’s do some more Plato! Alcibiades is one of the most famous figures in military history. An incredibly successful Athenian general who fled to Athens’ enemy Sparta after being charged with with sacrilege. He and Socrates had a very complicated relationship. This particular dialogue raises questions about the nature of justice and who is worthy to lead. Listen to more Continue Reading …
Join us for a discussion with Martin L. Cook, Distinguished Visiting Professor at United States Air Force Academy. Prior to that, Professor Cook was Admiral James B. Stockdale Professor of Professional Military Ethics at the College of Operational and Strategic Leadership at the U.S. Naval War College. He is also co-editor of The Journal of Military Ethics. Professor Cook was Continue Reading …
Join Lise, Jeff and Brian for a conversation on Book I of the Republic. BUT FIRST! How to approach the “Great Books”: How do you start from scratch with no background or without a group? We hope you like it! November 11, 2016 Ep. 1: Sophocles’ Ajax Listen to more Combat and Classics.
Join Lise, Jeff and Brian as they discuss Sophocles’ Ajax, the story of a great Greek warrior who takes his own life on the beach of Troy. For more information, check out this article about the Theater of War project, which puts on productions of Ajax and other plays by Sophocles all over the country. The article also includes powerful videos Continue Reading …
Join Lise, Jeff and Brian for the kickoff podcast explaining a little what we’re about. Spoiler alert: it’s a strange brew of classical literature, military history and culture, and the human experience of war. Listen to more Combat and Classics.
As the heat of summer is causing me to spend as much time trying to stay cool as is humanly possible (and hopefully you as well, dear reader), we want to let you know about some of the upcoming Not School seminars that you can enjoy whilst pondering some of life’s more existential issues (such as: mojito or bud light lime).
Everybody’s out “America-ing” this weekend, but we want to take a moment from your patriotic revelry to remind you of some of our PEL Not School seminars coming up in July.
Hey all, we’re back again to tempt you into digging deeper into upcoming live online seminar proposals in our Not School and Citizen Forum. We have, as El Guapo would say, a plethora of options for you.
Come to the Intro Readings in Philosophy Seminar on Montaigne on Sun. June 5, 5pm Eastern. Or check out the Citizens’ Forum for proposals on Film as Art and D&D, or join the in-progress group studying the positions of the presidential candidates before that’s old news. Better yet, propose your own group!
Join a Not School group for big fun this Sunday!
It’s May! Check out what’s happening in Not School groups, or feel free to propose your own.