[Editor's Note: Thanks very much to everyone who's become a PEL Citizen. Your support has made our ongoing ambitions to produce this podcast viable, now with more frequent episodes, with a live show coming up in Pittsburgh in September, and we were able last week to send Seth to a big podcasting conference last week (we were nominated for but did not win an award). We've also been able to pour more money into this website, pay our "volunteers" enough to keep them wanting to help us, and more. If you're not yet a Citizen, it's only $5 to try it out. I also want to thank our Philosophy and Theater leader Daniel Cole, who's been helping us administer Not School. While he'll likely still be involved, the mantle is now being taken up by Nathan who has led the Philosophical Fiction group since Not School was founded almost three years ago. Welcome, Nathan, to the Big Chair! –ML]
Hey, this is Nathan, I'll be trying to make PEL's Not School a little better and I have a few newish features to report this August. First, all Citizens should be aware of our "Ad-Free Podcast Episodes" page which, if you're logged into your PEL Citizen account, is now an option under the "Members" menu. This page contains recent Ad-Free episodes, Aftershows, Vintage episodes (no longer on the public podcast feed), and most of our Not School Discussion audio (some are in transit from the "free stuff page," which we'll eventually replace entirely).
You can also get all this PEL Bonus Audio on your iPhone or Android device via our new Citizen feed, which you can read about on our "How Do I?" page for Citizens. If you haven't checked out those discussions because of the inconvenience of downloading them to your computer then syncing up with your phone, or were putting off becoming a Citizen because of that, then your wait is over.
Three new discussions have been released for PEL Citizens. Two are from the Philosophical Fiction Group: #13 on Shirley Jackson's story The Lottery and #14 on Walter Percy's novel The Moviegoer. Everyone (Citizen or not) can listen to an excerpt of the latter featuring Daniel Cole, Cezary Baraniecki, Laura Davis, Mary Ricci, and me, about an "existential crisis in beautiful language... with Southern charm" here:
The third discussion covers C.S. Peirce's essay, "The Fixation of Belief." You may recall this essay from PEL's episode 20. Here's a fresh take on it, in a short (30 min) discussion.
There are also new and continuing groups this August for Citizens looking to get in on the conversation.
A new group is reading John Searle's Seeing Things As They Are (Chapter One) as proposed by Darren Poynton for a discussion in the forum, and possibly, online.
A few really disastrous mistakes have dominated Western philosophy for the past several centuries. The worst mistake of all is the idea that the universe divides into two kinds of entities, the mental and the physical (mind and body, soul and matter). —John Searle, Seeing Things As They Are
Our Philosophical Fiction group is reading Isaac Asimov's short story "The Last Question," for a conversation on August 16th (noon central time). You can read it in Isaac Asimov: The Complete Stories, Vol. 1, or hear Asimov read it himself, here—thanks to Mary for the find!
The C. S. Pierce Group is having a follow-up conversation on "How to Make Our Ideas Clear," tentatively scheduled for Sunday August 9th.
Citizens interested in joining The Partially Examined Life's "Not School" can find an existing group or propose your own group in the Citizen's Forum. If you are considering Becoming a Citizen, it's easy, affordable, and fun. I'm looking forward to hearing from those out there who want to get involved.
Thanks, everyone, and happy reading!