Philosophy vs. Improv #15: There is no “I” in “Dahyulectecs”

Who stole Carmine's lunch? I think you know. Are there only a certain number of "logical" directions from one idea to another? Are there no mistakes, or are there mistakes that know? This week's image (which definitely has an eye in it) cribbed from Child's Own. Audio editing by Tyler Hislop. Hear more PvI. Support the podcast to get bonus stuff (like the post-game  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #14: Action Idealism!

Are so-called "material objects" really just a scam? These two cut-ups (Bill and Mark) cut up the world in various ways, showing you how to teach, how to act, and how to haggle.  Learn more about Berkeley's idealism with PEL #89. Image by Sam (called "Sharp Dressed Man"). Audio editing by Tyler Hislop. Hear more PvI. Support the podcast to get bonus stuff and good  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #8: Here Ought to Be Dragons

Mark and Bill do impressions of people you don’t know. The is-ought distinction is bravely explored. Does pretending to be cavemen help? Magic business is afoot. Childhood speaks. We’ve now passed the point where the post-game discussion is just included with the episode here. If you want to hear our reflections on the episodes going forward and our recommendations for other  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #7: Meritocracy Now!

Does it make sense to try to have everyone get what they "deserve"? We act out the desert machine but yet get no predictable cake. Judgebot 5000 enters our lives. Is this our first really good episode? Maybe. To hear more about meritocracy, try the Partially Examined Life's recent interview with the great Michael Sandel. Audio editing by Tyler Hislop. Image by Alice  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #5: What Is Bread? Are You Bread?

Two micro scenes and a mystery number of interruptions reveal our underlying definitions. How will we overcome the lag between our words and become like-minded? How many beats in an heirloom beet if an heirloom hair-looms beets? Many lessons are learned that are not THE lesson, necessitating some difficult multi-tasking. In the post-game, Bill starts something we can't  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #4: Death at Not a Doctor’s Office

Is death something to be feared? What's next? What are the DETAILS? Do not adjust your listening device or call an ambulance. That sound you hear is not ground hum nor tinnitus but is the sound of improvisation. Warning: We talk about suicide a bit. If you're feeling depressed, don't call the lava demon hotline, as it is a scam. We make a few references in this one that  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #3: Equality of Ignorance

Bill starts us with a scene: Behold the Doctor's Office, where anything can happen, and often DOES. Is this whole thing a bad idea? Do you think you're BETTER than this idea? Do you? If you need to tell yourself that, that's OK. In the post-game, we talk a little about Stoicism (listen to PEL about it, ego issues, and ephemeral art. Our recommendations include: Bobby Huff  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #1: We Have Always Already Been Improvising

What is this? Listen to the PvI trailer. The gauntlet has been thrown. In this first episode, Mark Linsenmayer and Bill Arnett channel their respective muses to try to enlighten each other about something having to do with ethics on the one hand and the continuity of improvisation with regular life on the other. Which lesson shall produce the most profound effect? Does this  Continue Reading …

Advance Release: Philosophy vs. Improv #2

Yes, this is happening, and you're getting this second installment in the new series in lieu of a Nightcap this week, as we couldn't get it together to record one between our two Fichte recordings, though we've already got one for you ready for the run-up to Schelling. Four episodes of PvI have now been recorded, and the website should be up within the next week. This  Continue Reading …

Sneak Preview: Philosophy vs. Improv #1

A new limited (?) series is afoot in PEL-land: I'm indulging my interest in improv comedy as discussed in our most recent Nightcap to pilot a new show featuring Bill Arnett, who wrote the book on long-form improv, runs the Chicago Improv Studio, and served as the game master Metamore on the Hello from the Magic Tavern spin-off series Offices and Bosses, wherein fantastical  Continue Reading …