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Mark, Seth, Wes, Dylan, and Philosophy Bro walk a live audience through Plato's dialogue about love, sex, self-improvement, and ancient Greek pederasty. You can also choose to watch this on video.
Is love just a feeling, or does it make the world go 'round? Does love make you better, or make you weak? What's the difference between good love and bad love (and is any love bad)? Plato gives us a whole panel of related but conflicting opinions through the mouths of his characters here, including not only Socrates and his predictable "when you love in the right way, you're really loving the good itself," but comedic playwright Aristophanes (love completes us, literally!), mooning Athenian statesman Alcibiades, and a bunch of other historical figures who are to varying degrees fixated on teenage boys.
The big show, recorded 7/20/14 in Middleton, WI, in front of an audience of PEL fans who traveled in to see us, starts off with a tune from Mark Lint featuring Rei Tangko, followed by Philosophy Bro doing his magic thing to give you background on Plato's "Apology" (which you should recall from our first episode), then the main event, followed by some Q&A from audience members and Daniel Horne reading webcam viewer comments. Read more about the topic and get the book.
The Mark Lint tunes here are "Nothing in This World But You," then (bumped to the end of this recording), "Feeling Time," "Find You Out," "Adds Up to Nothing," "Granted," and a brand new one, "I Demand It."
This picture of Plato is by Genevieve Arnold for PEL.
On the dynamism undercutting overly-philosophical dichotomies, I noticed you all jumped past Hegel. Obviously Kierkegaard takes a more individualistic approach (which helps the philosopher make it all about his or herself) — but several times some of you (and one audience member) suggested how this “third term” dynamism could play out metaphysically or ontologically besides in Heraclitus… and this is my long-winded way of saying “Hegel.” — Right? But like for love: “Love is about neither being the Lover nor possessing the Beloved, but Loving,” or something like that in cryptic German.
Anyways, really cool and really, really engaging episode. Probably the best; video really made it.
doug pinkard says
Whose idea was it to shoot INTO a light source?!
In that kind of a venue, and with a live audience, it seems like you guys lose some of the intimacy and explorativeness of the normal podcast, but it’s cool that you observed the occasion! It really is such a fantastic podcast. Philosophy can seem pretty walled off in academia and certain kinds of formal journalism, at least in mainstream US culture if there is such a thing… as though it’s something regular folks aren’t supposed to touch in quite the same ways we’re allowed to do with literature or politics or history, or even science… which is what makes it so exciting and nourishing to “sit in” with a group of such smart and thoughtful folks, who are outside of the standard channels, but still really digging into the stuff for themselves. Anyway, you guys are great, and I hope you do 100 more shows!
Rachael W says
Did I hear Mark say, “Love is like a liquid puppy”? I would really like that to be a Valentine’s Day card. Or else a song (maybe for the episode on ugliness/disgust??).
That was so much fun to have a video. After listening for close to 5 years I loved having a whole person to go with the voice. Thank you for all 100 episodes!
Stanley Martin says
Great job, guys. When does the PEL movie hit theaters?
Seth Paskin says
We’re gearing up for a Summer 2015 release to compete with Transformers: Wheeljack’s Revenge and Expendables 5
Angela McLoughlin says
I love the moment when Dylan poses as Agathon “Look at me, it’s beautiful!” Nice
OK, in parts it was hilarious, especially the send-up of Alcibiades, nevertheless I do feel that the infantile flippancy with which you treated the topic of pederasty in the ancient Greek world was too much even for comic effect. As you acknowledged in the previous episode, the more distant the work in time and place, the more you may need secondary literature to elucidate it. In this case, Foucault’s Usage des Plaisirs would have gotten you a long way. I also feel that the absence of eroticization of male-female love in the dialogue needs to be problematized and that, were one to do so, this would lead into a deep critique of the patriarchal bias in all historical culture. Talking of which, isn’t it about time to engage with some feminist thought on the show?
Wayne Schroeder says
PJ–wouldn’t all the female participants on the show represent feminist thought?
Justin Sanford says
Loved the show! Keep going! I got a lot out of this. Thanks for everything you guys do.
Plato was indeed a master stylist.
I just listened to your 100th episode in my journey of going through your entire podcast pretty much in order. I have loved it so far. I really want to engage with you and give you my feedback, even though its pre-2014 feedback and even if you read this comment and somehow decide to implement some of my feedback in your podcast, it will be years before those changes reach my ears.
I have a B.S. in philosophy and am currently in my last year of medical school, applying for residency programs in psychiatry.
1. You guys are great, and your podcast is influential. Has it “changed my life?” Sort of. It got me back into philosophy. I listened to your “Can Buddhism make you happy?” episode at a time in my life where I felt the opposite of flourishing, and that episode inspired me to do further reading. The Buddhist stuff didn’t do it for me, but I found Letters from a Stoic by Seneca, and that DID change my life. Consider doing an episode on it if you haven’t yet!
2. Dylan, while you often add insight to an episode, your points are often repetitive or tangential. You don’t need to keep coming back to or re-explaining your position, just get it out and move on. Less is more, baby. Take a page out of Seth’s book and stfu sometimes.
3. Love the ground rules, despite the frequent breaking of them. Please continue to try and follow them so long as doing so will be rigorous and entertaining. Don’t assume audience has done the reading!!!!!! I never do the readings. Podcasts are specifically a medium that I can make time for while doing other things (driving); I can’t be putting in weeks of reading between each episode, or even read a summary since I want to move on the the next episode while driving. Love the pre-cogs! Keep them coming/try and summarize text as best you can.
4. I actually don’t recommend your podcast to friends even though I talk about it a lot, and this is because without some background in philosophy listeners would be completely lost. I am sometimes, despite an undergraduate degree in it. This is not a bad thing, in fact I feel like it’s perfect for me, but just fyi.
5. I haven’t donated a cent to you, mostly because my student debt is approaching the 0.3 million club. Any chance you can open up the hidden episodes to me as an act of charity? 😉
6. Keep it up! If you ever think my medical or psychiatric training or life-changing experience with Seneca could help you out on an episode or blog post, let me know!
Mark Linsenmayer says
Thanks, Zak, speaking to you from the future (December 2017!):
1. Yes, we did finally get to Seneca, with a great guest: http://partiallyexaminedlife.com/2016/01/25/ep132-1-seneca/
2. Dylan is now much more under control with the physics stuff, FYI. He’s a fully functional member of the team!
3. Not enough people were listening to the precogs, so we stopped them, in the last year (starting with Tocqueville) we introduced more formal “opening statements” which are supposed to do some of that job, but we have not been consistent about them.
3-4. We haven’t read the ground rules in a while, though we still aim at being understandable. I’m not sure we’ve gotten or are capable of getting any better at this.
5. You can afford a one-time payment of $5 for hundreds of hours of amusement. You just can. You can then immediately unsubscribe if you don’t care about the ad-free eps going forward. We’ve also introduced patreon.com/partiallyexaminedlife, where you can get those ad-free eps for only $1 (a week later than the 5% folks), and again, if you sign up there for $5, you can get all the missing eps, download them, and switch to $1 or nothing going forward.
6. We’d welcome you to write for our blog: http://partiallyexaminedlife.com/write-for-us/
Thanks for checking in, and congrats on making it to ep 100! Yay!