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The Partially Examined Life

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The Partially Examined Life is a philosophy podcast by some guys who were at one point set on doing philosophy for a living but then thought better of it. Each episode, we pick a short text and chat about it with some balance between insight and flippancy. You don't have to know any philosophy, or even to have read the text we're talking about to (mostly) follow and (hopefully) enjoy the discussion. For links to the texts we discuss and other info, check out

We also feature episodes from other podcasts by our hosts to round out your partially examined life, including Pretty Much Pop (, covering all media), Nakedly Examined Music (, deconstructing songs), and (sub)Text (lit, film, psychoanalysis). Learn about more network podcasts at


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Ep. 229: Descartes's Rules for Thinking (Part Two)
Continuing on René Descartes's Rules for Direction of the Mind (1628), covering rules 7 through the first part of the lengthy rule 12. We try to figure out what he means by "enumeration;" the faculties of imagination, sense and memory; the virtues of perspicacity and sagacity; his psychology of the senses, the "common sense" where all sense data comes together, and the understanding; how Descartes recommends we do scientific investigation; why syllogisms stink; and whether some people are just better at philosophy than others. Start with part 1. You don't need to wait for part 3; get the full, Citizen Edition now. Citizen Edition now? Please support PEL! Sponsor: Get 3 months of unlimited learning for $30 at
Ep. 229: Descartes's Rules for Thinking (Part One)
On René Descartes's Rules for Direction of the Mind (1628). Is there a careful way to approach problems that will ensure that you'll always be right? What if you just never assert anything you can't be sure of? This is Descartes's strategy, modeled on mathematics. We likewise carefully move step-by-step through this text. This is part 1 of 3; get the whole discussion now via the Citizen Edition now? Please support PEL! Sponsor: Visit for CBD supplements and use code PEL at check-out for 20% off/free shipping.
Pretty Much Pop #17: Comedy as Philosophy w/ Daniel Lobell
Are stand-up comedians the Modern Day Philosophers? This is the premise of Daniel's podcast, but really, only some comedians express original claims; many just tell jokes. Are those exceptional comics philosophizing? Does telling the whole, tragic truth rule out being funny? Daniel, Mark, Erica, and Brian consider Carlin, Gadsby, Chappelle, and others. For more, visit Hear bonus content for this episode at This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by Sponsor: Visit for a free month of hair loss treatment.


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Podcast Details
May 11th, 2009
Latest Episode
Nov 11th, 2019
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour

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