Closereads: Hegel on Jesus and Kant (Audio Part Five + Reflections on Recent PEL Episodes)

Sign up for Closereads at patreon.com/closereadsphilosophy to get the previous four parts on this reading, as well as our previous and future installments of this new podcast. Hey, PEL supporters: Since there's no part three for Fear and Trembling (nor will there be one for our next episode on Marcel, we thought we'd share with you the conclusion of our Closereads  Continue Reading …

Ep. 315: Mengzi (Mencius) on Virtuous Leaders (Part Two for Supporters)

To conclude our treatment of this seminal Confucian text, we consider a particularly puzzling passage about ethics and then move to politics and economics. Start with part one, or better yet, with part one of ep. 314. The passage 7A17 says only "Do not do what you would not do. Do wish what you would not wish. Only be like this," and we found an article by David Nivison (p.  Continue Reading …

Ep. 313: Mozi’s Political Ethics (Part Two)

Subscribe to get parts 1 and 2 of this now, ad-free, plus a supporter-exclusive part three. Listen to a preview.. Continuing from part one on the central Mohist text, with guest Tzuchien Tho. Sponsors: Check out the Continuing the Conversation web series by St. John's College at sjc.edu. Check out the Hermitix podcast at hermitix.net. Was Mozi really only concerned  Continue Reading …

Ep. 313: Mozi’s Political Ethics (Part One)

Subscribe to get parts 1 and 2 of this now, ad-free, plus tons of bonus content including including a new Nightcap discussion relevant to this episode about tributes to the dead. On the central Mohist text, collecting the teachings of Mozi (aka Mo Tzu), from the Chinese Warring States period around 430 B.C.E., with guest Tzuchien Tho joining Mark, Wes, Dylan, and Seth. The  Continue Reading …

Ep. 313: Mozi’s Political Ethics (Part Two for Supporters)

Continuing from part one on the central Mohist text, with guest Tzuchien Tho. Was Mozi really only concerned with material well-being? Is the lack of this well-being why people act badly? We talk more about Mozi's arguments against elaborate funerals and music (and art in general). Plus, we look at Mozi's words against war and whether his defense of some past wars makes  Continue Reading …

Ep. 313: Mozi’s Political Ethics (Part One for Supporters)

On the central Mohist text, collecting the teachings of Mozi (aka Mo Tzu), from the Chinese Warring States period around 430 B.C.E., with guest Tzuchien Tho joining Mark, Wes, Dylan, and Seth. The full book is very long, so we used the portions translated by Burton Watson in his Mo Tzu: Basic Writings (1963). Tzuchien was previously on our Confucius (aka Kongzi) episode, and  Continue Reading …

Ep. 301: Is Abortion Morally Permissible? (Part Three for Supporters)

Jenny Hansen joins us for our final part of this discussion, covering "On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion" by Mary Anne Warren (1973) and returning in parts to "A Defense of Abortion" (1971) by Judith Jarvis Thomson to allow Jenny to weigh in on the points we made in parts one and two. She also talks a bit about the Planned Parenthood v. Casey 1992 case that changed the  Continue Reading …

Ep. 301: Is Abortion Morally Permissible? (Part Two for Supporters)

We continue from part one on Judith Jarvis Thomson's "A Defense of Abortion" (1971), and then add Don Marquis' "Why Abortion is Immoral" (1989) and we begin our treatment of Mary Anne Warren's "On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion" (1973), which we'll conclude in part three of this discussion. We pry further into Thomson's distinction between the "indecent" and the  Continue Reading …

Ep. 301: Is Abortion Morally Permissible? (Part One for Supporters)

We discuss some widely read papers about the morality of abortion, starting here with a selection from the Roe v. Wade decision (1973) and Judith Jarvis Thomson's "A Defense of Abortion" (1971). Featuring Mark, Wes, Dylan, and Seth. Roe tried to sidestep the philosophical question of the current personhood of a fetus but did assert that the state has a legitimate interest in  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 …

Ep. 262: Nietzsche on Self-Denial (Part One)

Subscribe to get Part 2 of this episode, or listen to a preview. Citizens can get the entire second part here. On Friedrich Nietzsche's The Genealogy of Morals (1887), "Third essay: what do ascetic ideals mean?" featuring Mark, Wes, Dylan, and Seth. When people really get serious, and try to put away frivolous things, is that good or bad? A serious athlete will subordinate  Continue Reading …

Ep. 262: Nietzsche on Self-Denial (Part Two for Supporters)

Continuing on Friedrich Nietzsche's The Genealogy of Morals (1887), "Third essay: what do ascetic ideals mean?" Listen to part one first. We start out with a little summarizing, trying to fit asceticism into Nietzsche's overall morality as it moves forward from the slave revolt over master/animal morality, turning to how Nietzsche uses asceticism to critique how scientists  Continue Reading …

Ep. 262: Nietzsche on Self-Denial (Part One for Supporters)

On Friedrich Nietzsche's The Genealogy of Morals (1887), "Third essay: what do ascetic ideals mean?" featuring Mark, Wes, Dylan, and Seth. When people really get serious, and try to put away frivolous things, is that good or bad? A serious athlete will subordinate everything to their training, an artist may even forget to eat or sleep while crafting a work, and of course at  Continue Reading …

Ep. 214: More Nietzsche’s Zarathustra (Part Two)

Concluding Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1885). What's the wise way to live? We start in earnest into part three, treating the "spirit of gravity," where socially imposed values cover over your uniqueness; omni-satisfaction vs. being choosy; "Old and New Tablets," where Nietzsche explores various ethical and meta-ethical issues (e.g., is self-overcoming a  Continue Reading …

Ep. 214: More Nietzsche’s Zarathustra (Part One)

On the remainder of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1885). How can we keep our spirits up and avoid nihilism? After all (says Nietzsche), there's no God or other transcendent purpose-giving entity to guarantee that life is worth living. There's just our complex animality, with its cycles of desire, satiation, and more desire, with our in-built character and  Continue Reading …

Ep. 214: More Nietzsche’s Zarathustra (Citizen Edition)

On the remainder of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1885). How can we keep our spirits up and avoid nihilism? After all (says Nietzsche), there's no God or other transcendent purpose-giving entity to guarantee that life is worth living. There's just our complex animality, with its cycles of desire, satiation, and more desire, with our in-built character and  Continue Reading …