Philosophize This!

Philosophize This! Podcast

Beginner friendly if listened to in order! For anyone interested in an educational podcast about philosophy where you don't need to be a graduate-level philosopher to understand it. In chronological order, the thinkers and ideas that forged the world we live in are broken down and explained.

Episode #133 ... Carl Schmitt on Liberalism pt. 2
Today we continue our discussion of the work of Carl Schmitt.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #132 ... Carl Schmitt on Liberalism pt. 1
Today we begin our discussion on the work of Carl Schmitt.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #131 ... Gramsci - Cultural Hegemony
Today we discuss the work of Antonio Gramsci.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #129 ... Gilles Deleuze pt. 5 - Difference
Today we continue our discussion on the work of Deleuze.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #128 ... Gilles Deleuze pt. 4 - Flows
Today we continue our discussion on the work of Deleuze.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #127 ... Gilles Deleuze pt. 3 - Anti-Oedipus
Today we continue our discussion on the work of Gilles Deleuze.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #126 ... Gilles Deleuze pt. 2 - Immanence
Today we continue our discussion on the work of Deleuze.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #125 ... Gilles Deleuze pt. 1 - What is Philosophy?
Today we begin our discussion on Gilles Deleuze with a special thanks to Felix Guatarri.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #124 ... Simulacra and Simulation
Today we begin our discussion of Jean Baudrillard's book Simulacra and Simulation. Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #123 ... Michel Foucault pt. 3 - Power
Today we talk about the work of Michel Foucault.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #121 ... Michel Foucault pt. 1
Today we begin talking about the work of Michel Foucault.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #120 ... Logical Positivism
Today we talk about Logical Positivism.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #119 ... Derrida and Words
Today we begin our discussion on the work of Jacques Derrida.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #118 ... A Basic Look At Postmodernism
Today we begin a lengthy conversation on the critiques of Postmodernism.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #117 ... Structuralism and Mythology pt. 2
Today we continue to talk about the projects of Structuralism.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #116 ... Structuralism and Mythology pt. 1
Today we begin talking about the initial projects of Structuralism.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #115 ... Structuralism and Context
Today we talk about the origins of Structuralism. Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #114 ... The Frankfurt School pt. 7 - The Great Refusal
Today we talk about Herbert Marcuse's concepts of The Great Refusal and The New Sensibility.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #112 ... The Frankfurt School pt. 5 - Civilization
Today we continue our discussion of Marcuse's work Eros and Civilization.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #111 ... The Frankfurt School pt. 4 - Eros
Today we talk about Freud's views on civilization and the first half of Marcuse's response to them.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #110 ... The Frankfurt School pt. 3 - The Culture Industry
Today we talk about an important chapter from The Dialectic of Enlightenment entitled The Culture Industry.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #109 ... The Frankfurt School pt. 2 - The Enlightenment
Today we talk about the Frankfurt School critique of enlightenment style thinking and Herbert Marcuse's book One Dimensional Man.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #107 ... Simone De Beauvoir pt .3 - Responsibility
Today we talk about part three of Simone De Beauvoir's work The Ethics of Ambiguity.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #105 ... Sartre and Camus pt. 6 - The Self
Today a cloudy, muddled brain weary from fighting off sickness talks about Sartre's view on the self. Thank you for your patience.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #103 ... Sartre and Camus pt. 4 - The Quest For Certainty
Today we tell a story from the history of philosophy in an attempt to prepare us for understanding the Phenomenology of Sartre.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #102 ... Heidegger pt. 3 - Authenticity
Today we talk about Martin Heidegger and his concept of Authenticity.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #101 ... Heidegger pt. 2 - Science and Technology
Today we discuss Martin Heidegger and his views on Modern Technology.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #100 ... Heidegger pt. 1 - Phenomenology and Dasein
Today we begin our discussion of the philosophy of Martin Heidegger by looking at his roots in Phenomenology and his revolutionary concept of Dasein.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #099 ... Schopenhauer pt. 2 - Ethics
Today we talk about the ethics of Arthur Schopenhauer.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #097 ... Wittgenstein ep. 1
Today we talk about Ludwig Wittgenstein.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #096 ... Is Ayn Rand A Philosopher?
Today we talk about Ayn Rand.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #095 ... Are you living in a simulation?
Today we discuss the famous paper by Nick Bostrom about the probability that we are living in a simulation.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #094 ... A Look at Suffering
Today we look at the concept of suffering from multiple different angles including the philosopher Fyodor Dostoyevsky and the movement in Transhumanism known as The Hedonistic Imperative.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #093 ... Nietzsche pt. 4 - Love
Today we look at the concept of love from several different angles in an attempt to better understand our own thoughts on love.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #092 ... Nietzsche pt. 3 - Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Today we talk about Nietzsche's famous work Thus Spoke Zarathustra.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #091 ... Nietzsche pt. 2 - The Will to Power
Today we talk about Nietzsche, the concept of the Will to Power and the dangers of predatory buffalos.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #089 ... Simone De Beauvoir - The Second Sex
Today we discuss the revolutionary work of Simone De Beauvoir entitled: The Second Sex Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #088 ... Sartre and Camus pt. 3 - The Great Debate
Today we talk about the great post WW2 debate between Sartre and Camus.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #087 ... Sartre and Camus pt. 2
Today we talk about the philosopher Albert Camus. Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #086 ... Sartre and Camus pt. 1 - Freedom
Today's episode is the first installment of a series on the great Cold War era thinkers Sartre and Camus. Today we lay the foundations for the line of thinking known as existentialism and focus on Sartre's view of freedom.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #085 ... Peter Singer on Effective Altruism
Today we talk about the great Peter Singer, his views on the unique moral obligations that we face as members of modern society and how we might fulfill the obligations in the most effective manner.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #084 ... William James on Truth
Today we take a look at William James and his work on the concept of Truth. Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #083 ... Henry David Thoreau
Today we take a look at Henry David Thoreau's views on the individual, society and civil disobedience.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #082 ... Austrians and Marx
Today we talk about various classic critiques of Marx's economics made by the Austrian School of Economics. Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #081 ... Capitalism vs. Communism
Today we talk about Karl Marx and his famous critiques of Capitalism. Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #80 ... Feuerbach on Religion
On this episode we talk about Ludwig Feuerbach and his (occasionally) controversial views on the origins of religion. Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #079 ... Kierkegaard on Anxiety
On this episode of the podcast we talk about Kierkegaard's views on anxiety.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #078 ... Marx and Kierkegaard on Religion pt. 2
Today we talk about Soren Kierkegaard and his views on the function and value of religion.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #077 ... Marx and Kierkegaard on Religion pt. 1
Today we discuss Marx, his views on religion as a means of oppression, and his connection to Hegel's Dialectic.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #076 ... Hegel's God
Today we talk about Hegel and a unique possibility of what God could be.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #075 ... How To Win An Argument Pt. 2
Today we answer listener questions clarifying How To Win An Argument Pt. 1 and discuss several other common logical fallacies, how to spot them and how to deal with them.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #074 ... Hegel Returns
Today we talk about an overview of Hegel and what is truly important about his work.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #073 ... How To Win An Argument Pt. 1
Today we take a look at several common logical fallacies and how to spot them.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #072 ... Insecurity
On this episode of the podcast we talk about insecurity. Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #070 ... Off Moodiness
On this episode we talk about several outlooks on negative emotions.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #069 ... An Appeal To Reason
Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #068 ... On Moodiness
On this episode we talk about one angle of the complex subject known to us all as: moodiness.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #067 ... What Hegel Was Saying!
We continue our unfortunately abridged discussion on Hegel from last episode.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #066 ... Hegel pt. 1 - Introduction
Today we begin our discussion on the work of Hegel. Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #065 ... Mary Wollstonecraft
On this episode of the podcast, we discuss the feminist philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft. First, we learn about the unexpected origin of The Royal Humane Society and how they assisted Mary Wollstonecraft. Next, we learn about the many ways Wollstonecraft challenged societal conventions and why she believed that women were essentially slaves to their husbands during her time. Finally, we consider the behavioral conditioning that is perpetuated by society even today and think about how we enact change when we’...

Episode #064 ... Interpreting Interpretations
On this episode of the podcast, we discuss Hermeneutics, or “the art of avoiding misunderstanding.” First, we meet Johnny--a disgruntled Philosophize This! listener who is bored and frustrated by episodes about philosophers who make unverifiable speculations about metaphysics. Next, we discuss the effects our individual biases have on the way we interpret the world around us, and how this changes the reality we experience. Finally, we examine why Hermeneutics is so important, how this relates to Kant’s meta...

Episode #063 ... Kant pt. 8 - Limits of Knowledge
On this episode of the podcast, we discuss Kant’s views on the limits of human knowledge. First, we ask ourselves why we seek knowledge at all and whether there will ever be an endpoint to our search for it. Next, we discuss our human experience of the world in contrast to the world as it actually exists and what limits this imposes on our ability to know. Finally, we learn why Kant believed in god, human souls, and free will, and the important distinction he made between two types of faith-based thinking. ...


Episode #062 ... Kant pt. 7 - Suicide
On this episode of the podcast, we discuss the morality of suicide. We begin by questioning our own biases and assumptions about suicide and where they come from. Next, we examine suicide from a Christian perspective by considering the arguments posed by St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. Finally, we discuss the perspectives of enlightenment thinkers Hume, Voltaire, and Kant and ultimately discover that suicide may not be as easy to categorize as many people think. All this and more on the latest episode of ...

Episode #061 ... Kant pt. 6 - What is Enlightenment?
On this episode of the podcast, we discuss Kant’s answer to the question “What is enlightenment?” We begin by recounting the story of how Kant came to answer this question in the first place and why this was an important question to consider at the time. Next, we examine why Kant believed that we impose immaturity on ourselves by outsourcing our thinking to others. Finally, we discuss why it takes courage to think for yourself and the importance of “daring to be wise." All this and more on the latest episod...

Episode #060 ... Kant pt. 5 - The Sublime
On this episode of the podcast, we attempt to tackle the elusive concept of the sublime. We begin by clarifying everything the sublime is NOT, and then attempt to pin it down by considering a common motif that is has been associated with the sublime throughout history. Next, we discuss several anecdotes from people who have experienced the sublime and why one described it as “an agreeable kind of horror.” Finally, we discuss how the sublime relates to beauty and question some commonly made assumptions about...


Episode #059 ... Kant pt. 4 - Categorical Trolley Cars
On this episode of the podcast, we analyze the infamous Trolley Car Problem and think about it in relation to Kant’s categorical imperative. First, we discuss the value of thought experiments and call into question the concept of “common sense”. Next, we look at the Trolley Car Problem from various perspectives and try to understand why we react to it in the ways we do. Finally, we discuss Kant’s categorical imperative and four other prerequisites he felt were necessary for arriving at moral principles. All...

Episode #058 ... Kant pt. 3 - Deontology vs Consequentialism
On this episode of the podcast, we continue our discussion of Kant, this time focusing on ethics. We begin with a thought experiment that calls into question whether or not lying is morally justifiable if it results in preserving human life. Next, we discuss the nature of morality and question the validity of the sources from which we typically derive these concepts. Finally, we explore the strengths and weaknesses of Deontology and Consequentialism and find out that there isn’t an easy answer when it comes...

Episode #057 ... Kant pt. 2 - The Actual Introduction
On this episode of the podcast we continue our discussion of Kant, this time focusing on his contributions to the debate between rationalism and empiricism . We begin by reviewing the major points of contention between the rationalists and empiricists regarding how we arrive at knowledge. Next, we learn about Kant’s “eureka!” moment, which arose from his discovery of a major assumption made by empiricist David Hume. Finally, we find out why Kant believed that we can never truly know the external world as it...


Episode #056 ... Kant pt. 1 - An Introduction to the Introduction
On this episode of the podcast, we begin our discussion of Immanuel Kant. We first examine the historical context Kant was born into and consider the challenges philosophy was faced with, thanks to David Hume. We also discuss the change in the way humans were beginning to look at the universe during Kant’s time. Finally, we hear what Kant has to say about whether or not we can know anything beyond “I think, therefore I am.” All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This! Support the show on Pa...

Episode #055 ... Interview on Hume with Massimo Pigliucci
On this episode of the podcast, Massimo Pigliucci calls in to help tie together some loose ends in our overview of David Hume. Massimo is a professor of philosophy at City University of New York. He is the author of the best sellers Philosophy of Pseudoscience and Answers For Aristotle, and is currently working on a book called How To Be A Stoic.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #054 ... Hume pt. 4 - Art
On this episode of the podcast, we discuss Hume’s views on taste and find out whether or not all of our opinions about art are equally valid. First, we compare the poetry of Shakespeare and Shel Silverstein, the music of Beethoven and Skrillex, and throw in the profound prose of Spongebob Squarepants just for good measure. Next, we examine some of the biases that influence our ability to judge art, and Stephen correctly guesses your favorite song of all time by throwing a dart at the Top 40 chart from your ...


Episode #053 ... David Hume pt. 3 - Custom
On this episode of the podcast we talk about David Hume's thoughts on the soul, the self and how "custom is the great guide of human life." All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This! Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #052 ... David Hume pt. 2 - Design
On this episode of the podcast, we continue our discussion of David Hume. This time, we focus on Hume's response to the Teleological Argument, which goes a little something like this: “Look at how perfectly everything works! All of this must have been designed by God.” We also learn about Hume’s view on miracles, and find out how unimpressed he is that Bruce Willis was the sole survivor of that train accident. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This! Support the show on Patreon! www.phi...

Episode #051 ... David Hume pt. 1
On this episode of the podcast, we talk about David Hume! First, we learn about Hume’s ‘is’ versus ‘ought’ distinction and how not being mindful of this pitfall can lead us down a dangerous path. Next, we discuss the limitations of science and learn what Hume thought should fill in the gaps it leaves (spoiler alert: it’s not religion). Finally, we discuss Hume’s thoughts on causality and ensure that you’ll never think about playing pool the same way again. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosop...


Episode #050 ... Are You Left Or Right?
On this episode of the podcast, we discuss the contrasting political philosophies of Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine. First, we find out the origin of the terms “left” and “right” in relation to politics, and find out that the meanings of these terms are not as simple as they may first seem. Next, we discuss the opposing viewpoints of Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine on how society should progress and implement change. Finally, we think about how their ideas relate to modern issues and consider whether or not th...

Episode #049 ... Adam Smith pt. 2 - The Tip of the Iceberg of Wealth
On this episode of the podcast, we continue our discussion of Adam Smith. First, we look at two towns with the same name on opposite sides of the US-Mexico border, and consider why their residents have such markedly different standards of living. Next, we ask ourselves what determines a nation’s wealth, which leads us to a discussion of Mercantilism and its various pitfalls. Finally, we learn about Adam Smith’s response to Mercantilism and how his ideas relate back to the two cities from the beginning of th...

Episode #048 ... Adam Smith pt. 1 - Specialization
On this episode of the podcast we begin our discussion of Adam Smith. Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #047 ... Rousseau pt. 3 - The General Will
On this episode of the podcast, we continue our desert island thought experiment, this time focusing on the general will of the people. First, we examine several interpretations of what "the general will of the people" actually means. Next, we take an in-depth look at Rousseau's interpretation, and discuss the difference between democratic and transcendental will. Finally, we explore the multitude of complications that arise when a government tries to enact the general will after it's (somewhat) agreed upon...

Episode #046 ... Rousseau pt. 2 - Democracy, Aristocracy or Monarchy?
On this episode of the podcast, we continue last week's thought experiment about creating a society from scratch on a deserted island. First, we find out how building a society is similar to making cupcakes, in the sense that every ingredient contributes something important and interacts with the other ingredients in a unique way. Next, we discuss “human nature” and consider how our perception of it may be unfairly influenced by a small handful of people. Finally, we compare the three categories into which ...

Episode #045 ... Rousseau Government pt. 1
On this episode of the podcast, we examine the origins of government and discuss several opinions on how to construct the best system. First, we imagine that we’re stranded on an island and are forced to devise a system to organize ourselves into a functional “society.” Next, we discuss Hobbes' and Rousseau’s viewpoints on the state of nature and how it relates to the formation of governments. Finally, we talk about the adverse affects civilization and government have on our happiness and why we should cons...


Episode #044 ... Slavery
On this episode of the podcast, we revisit the topic of belief, this time focusing on the ramifications of the beliefs we hold. First, we ask ourselves why we should even attempt to arrive at truth if certainty is impossible, and examine this question in the context of how our beliefs affect others. Next, we introduce slavery as an example of the consequences that can come from false beliefs and learn why Aristotle, St. Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas argued in favor of it. Finally, we hear Jean Jacque Ro...

Episode #043 ... Tolerance
On this episode of the podcast, we examine the true implications of tolerance and intolerance. First, we ask ourselves the inception-esque question of how tolerant we should be of intolerance, and find out that the answer may not be as simple as it seems. Next, we learn why intolerance was seen as a virtue during Voltaire’s time and discuss the paradox of tolerance. Finally, we consider the age-old question of the relative superiority of hot pockets and lean pockets, and think about the relationship between...

Episode #042 ... Optimism
On this episode, we explore the benefits and drawbacks of optimism. First, we examine the various motivations for pessimism, and hear what Winston Churchill, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Marcus Aurelius have to say about optimism. Next, we think about the vastly different implications of optimism in our personal lives and optimism on a societal level. Finally, we find out why Voltaire thought it was preposterous to think that we’re living in the best of all possible worlds and why he said, "Optimism is the madn...


Episode #041 ... Belief
On this episode of the podcast, we discuss the many facets of belief. We start out by discussing two major complications that belief brings to the table. First, absolute certainty is impossible--even certainty about the fact that "certainty is impossible”. Second, we can convince ourselves to believe in literally anything we want (such as the belief that demonic possession is achieved through rustling curtains and slamming doors). Next, we talk about justified, true belief and the multitude of ways our beli...

Episode #040 ... Superstition
On this episode of the podcast, we explore superstition in its various forms and examine the ways Berkeley and Voltaire tried to eliminate it in their work. First, we think about the superstitions we subscribe to in our everyday lives, whether it’s “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” or “the key to happiness is buying lots and lots of stuff.” Next, we learn why Berkeley wanted to throw out the notion that true reality lies behind the veil of perception and find out his answer to that cliché question abou...

Episode #039 ... The Limits of Empiricism
On this episode of the podcast, we explore the idea of reality and how our senses prevent us from perceiving its true nature. First, we launch a smear campaign against human eyes and their limitations. Next, we discuss the difference between deductive reasoning (the kind you see on CSI) and inductive reasoning (the kind you see on Bill Nye the Science Guy). Finally, we touch on Locke’s theory of primary and secondary qualities and end with Berkeley's teaser for next week’s episode: “To be is to be perceived...


Episode #038 ... Leibniz pt. 2 - The Best of All Possible Worlds
On this episode of the podcast, we continue our discussion of Gottfried Leibniz. First, we delve more into the feud between Leibniz and Isaac Newton, which we briefly mentioned last week. Next, we ask ourselves why God sometimes allows Steve Buschemi to murder innocent hitchhikers and why this question is so crucial to Leibniz. Finally, we return to the issue of free will vs. determinism and wonder whether we’re ever actually free to decide what kind of cheese to buy. All this and more on the latest episode...

Episode #037 ... Leibniz pt. 1 - A Million Points of Light
On this episode of the podcast, we begin our discussion of Gottfried Leibniz. First, we find out what important invention created a riff between Leibniz and Isaac Newton. Next, we learn about Leibniz’s theory of Monads (which are basically the atoms of the spirit world), and how they are programmed to ensure that we are living in the best of all possible worlds. Finally, we learn about Leibniz’s distinction between “necessary truths” and “truths of fact,” and how knowing the difference can save you a lot of...

Episode #036 ... John Locke pt. 2 - The Blank Slate
On this episode of the podcast, we continue our discussion of John Locke. We first admire how brave Locke was to share his ideas during a time when dissent earned you the privilege of being drawn and quartered (literally… quartered). Next, we discuss Locke’s views on the Nature vs. Nurture debate and how they differed from those of the Continental Rationalists. Finally, we find out what kind of changes Locke would make if he were the Secretary of Education (e.g., more dancing and less required reading). All...


Episode #035 ... John Locke pt. 1
On this episode of the podcast, we begin learning about John Locke. First, we ask ourselves whether or not we own our bodies and what other things we are entitled to simply by virtue of being born. Next, we consider whether its possible to develop a system of ethics by studying the world around us, just as we develop systems of science and mathematics. Finally, we discuss the three unalienable rights Locke believes humans have (they’ll sound a bit familiar!), and why he thinks its the government’s job to up...

Episode #034 ... Spinoza pt. 2 - Force of Nature
On this episode of the podcast, we continue learning about Spinoza, this time focusing on his concept of God. We begin by asking ourselves whether or not Stephen’s English bulldog Charlie is part of God, and analyzing the implications of our answer. Next, we discuss the concept of “substance” and what Spinoza thought the only one true substance was (hint: it’s not water). Finally, we consider how Spinoza’s concept of God/Nature impacts his thoughts on free will and why he would say Stephen has no choice but...

Episode #033 ... Spinoza pt. 1 - From Baruch to Benedicto
On this episode of the podcast, we learn about Baruch De Spinoza. We find out why it was not only life-threatening to have an unpopular opinion during the time Spinoza lived, but also potentially very profitable. We also question whether religion is really to blame for the violent acts that are committed on its behalf, and find out why Spinoza was exiled from his community and forced to live a life of solitude. Finally, we read excerpts from Spinoza’s correspondence with his ex-friend Albert Burgh regarding...


Episode #032 ... Blaise Pascal pt. 2 - +EV your way to success!!
On this episode of the podcast we continue our discussion of Blaise Pascal, this time focusing on his assertion that man is “the supreme paradox of creation.” First, we learn about Pascal’s early life and feel completely inadequate when we learn that he invented the calculator (yes, the calculator) at age 18. Next, we learn why Pascal believed it was impossible to arrive at scientific truth, and how this led him to develop the foundations of probability theory. Finally, we discuss "expected value" and how B...

Episode #031 ... Pascal's Wager
On this episode of the podcast, we begin our discussion of Blaise Pascal by examining Pascal's Wager. We begin by hearkening back to last week's episode and imagine Pascal as Descartes' wingman in a door-to-door campaign to convince us to believe in God. Whereas Descartes tries to prove that God exists, Pascal simply argues that believing in God is the most logical choice (assuming you want to avoid eternal damnation). We then examine various arguments for and against Pascal's wager, including some submitte...

Episode #030 ... Descartes pt. 3 - God Exists
On this episode of the podcast we conclude our three-part installment on Rene Descartes. First we discuss what the concept of God meant to Descartes. Then we discuss why the concept of God was crucial for his system to be received well. Finally we imagine how it would feel to be lambasted by the most annoying/brilliant Jehovah's Witness in the history of the world. All this and more on this episode of Philosophize This! Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you ...


Episode #029 ... Descartes pt. 2 - See episode description
The audio file for this episode was lost years ago. There is a transcript available on the website: www.philosophizethis.org Support the show on Patreon! Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #028 ... Rene Descartes pt. 1 - Context
On this episode of the podcast, we begin learning about Rene Descartes. First, we find out why the entire human race can be compared to the loud, obnoxious guy at a party who thinks he’s smarter than everyone else. Next, we examine Descartes’ rigorous method of doubt and how it involves Morpheus from the Matrix and Sully from Monsters Inc. Finally, we think about how doubt can help us live better lives and why, when it comes to our beliefs, one bad apple really does spoil the barrel. All this and more on th...

Episode #027 ... Thomas Hobbes pt. 2
On this episode of the podcast, we continue our discussion of Thomas Hobbes.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #026 ... Thomas Hobbes pt. 1 - The Social Contract
On this episode of the podcast, we learn about Thomas Hobbes. We first ask ourselves what it would be like to live in a society with no laws or government, much like the scenario depicted in The Purge. Next, we question whether or not humans are inherently selfish and how this affects the way we relate to each other. Finally, we find out why society needs a quarterback, so to speak, and why it’s important that we follow his playbook even when we don’t understand the plays. All this and more on the latest ep...

Episode #025 ... A Scientific Method For Your Life!
On this episode of the podcast, we learn about Francis Bacon, a 16th century English philosopher. We first discuss what it meant to pursue knowledge during  the time Francis Bacon lived and why he thought that scientific advancement should be society’s chief priority. Next, we examine Bacon’s “Four Idols of the Mind,” which were the biases he believed prevented humans from thinking scientifically. We touch on everything from germ theory to diet fads to healthcare reform to gender inequality, with some Flami...

Episode #024 ... Montaigne
On this episode of the podcast, we learn about Michel de Montaigne. We first discuss how a case of 16th century road rage led to a near-death experience which ironically helped Montaigne overcome his fear of dying. Next, we learn why Montaigne valued personal experience above all other evidence, and how his philosophy drew from the four dominant schools of thought of the Hellenistic age. Finally, we find out why Montaigne thought that “to philosophize is to learn how to die,” and how he believed this idea c...


Episode #023 ... Machiavelli
On this episode of the podcast, we discuss The Protestant Reformation and Machiavellianism. We begin by examining what it was like to live during the Renaissance under the rule of The Church and why the people of that time could have really benefited from Google Translate. Next, we dispel a common misconception about Machiavellianism by discussing the subjective nature of virtue. Finally, we find out why Machiavelli thought that rulers needed to act immorally at times in order to be successful. All this and...

Episode #022 ... Blast off to the Renaissance!
On this episode of the podcast, we begin learning about the Renaissance. We first discuss the Black Death, a bacterial plague that wiped out 30-60% of the population of Europe. We examine how the population crisis caused by the Black Death led to an economic and political crisis that was ultimately the catalyst for a paradigm shift in philosophical thought. We also learn about the Humanist philosopher Erasmus, who, unlike the philosophers we’ve discussed on recent episodes, did not think that fusing faith a...

Episode #021 ... One God - St. Thomas Aquinas
On this episode of the podcast, we learn about the Christian Aristotelean philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas. We begin by examining a song by The Postal Service which sets the stage for a discussion about how often humans mistake correlation with causation. Next, we learn about Aristotle’s conception of God as “The Unmoved Mover” and his thoughts on the nature of infinity. All of these ideas lead us to St. Thomas Aquinas’ quest to reconcile Aristotelianism and Christianity, which he approaches by arguing that t...


Episode #020 ... Two Medieval Approaches To God
On this episode of the podcast, we discuss the concept of God from a philosophical perspective. We first broaden our definition of God by recalling the multitude of ways that the philosophers we’ve already studied have approached the subject. Next, we examine St. Anselm’s famous “Ontological Argument” in proof of God’s existence, which is strangely reminiscent of a tongue twister Ron Burgundy might use to prepare for his evening newscast. Finally, we learn why Moses Maimonides would say that the first rule ...

Episode #019 ... Three Islamic Truths
On this episode of the podcast, we discuss the nature of truth and examine it through the lenses of three Islamic philosophers who each had a different approach to truth seeking. We first discuss Al Kindi and what he would have to say about modern day news organizations and their approach to reporting the “truth.” Then, we learn about Al Ghazali, who at one point became so skeptical about our ability to discover the truth, he actually made himself physically ill. Lastly, we take a look at Averroes who despe...

Episode #018 ... Avicenna
On this episode of the podcast we learn about Avicenna, an Arabic philosopher who is most known for his “Flying Man” thought experiment. We discuss the mind-body connection (or lack thereof) and ask ourselves what becomes of an iPhone if you pulverize it in a blender. We also work in two Breaking Bad references, and apply Avicenna’s Flying Man argument to modern day ethical dilemmas relating to life support. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This! Support the show on Patreon! www.philo...


Episode #017 ... Boethius
On this episode of the podcast, we learn about the medieval neoplatonist philosopher Boethius. We find out how he came to be wrongly convicted of treason and subsequently sentenced to death, and how this led him to write a philosophical text that solved one of the oldest problems in philosophy. We manage to compare the main characters of Boethius’ book to Lady Liberty and Eeyore selling a rice cooker on QVC, and explain why Boethius believed that we’re all just contestants on a never-ending episode of Wheel...

Episode #016 ... Saint Augustine
On this episode of the podcast, we discuss St. Augustine, a philosopher who is known for merging the ideas of Neoplatonism and Christianity. We learn how an unsuspecting child led St. Augustine to devote his life to Christianity through divine intervention, and find out why he thinks crying babies are sinners. We also discuss St. Augustine’s explanation of the concept of time and why he claims that the past and future don’t really exist. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This! Support ...

Episode #015 ... A Period of Transition - Plotinus
On this episode of the podcast, we learn about Plotinus, a Neo-Platonist philosopher who lived in Rome during "the crisis of the third century.” We discuss the difference between religion and philosophy and question whether or not JK Rowling stole parts of Harry Potter’s backstory from Plotinus’ life. We also learn about Plotinus’ Hierarchy of Being and use the phrase “Polaroid picture” more times than Outkast does in their hit song “Hey Ya!”. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This! Su...


Episode #014 ... The Hellenistic Age Pt. 5 - A Race To The Dark Ages
On this episode of the podcast, we discuss Middle Platonism and the Race to the Dark Ages. We learn how Philo of Alexandria reconciled Judaism with Plato's vision of God as a master craftsman, and find out how this relates to building an IKEA bookcase. We also discuss the important distinction Plutarch made between a flatterer and a friend, and why he would have absolutely hated Facebook. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This! Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for ...

Episode #013 ... The Hellenistic Age Pt. 4 - Skepticism
On this episode of the podcast, we continue our study of the Hellenistic Age, this time focusing on Skepticism. We find out how Pyrrho used Skepticism to endure surgery without anesthesia, and learn why you can never really know if a pomegranate is a pomegranate. We also discover how winning the lottery could be the worst thing that ever happens to you, and compare Skepticism's key philosophers to their Smurf counterparts. Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank ...

Episode #012 ... The Hellenistic Age Pt. 3 - Hallmarks of Stoic Ethics
On this episode of the podcast, we continue our discussion of Stoicism, this time focusing on ethics. We learn about the three most noteworthy contributors to Stoic ethics--a crippled slave, a statesman, and the emperor of Rome--and find out how much they actually had in common. We discuss what angry sports fans and Stephen's English bulldog could learn from Stoic ethics, as well as why you should start each day expecting the worst. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This! Support the s...


Episode #011 ... The Hellenistic Age Pt. 2 - The Early Stoa and the Cynics
This is the first of two episodes on Stoicism; in this episode, we learn about stoic physics and logic. We learn how the Stoics would likely react if faced with a zombie apocalypse and how a shipwreck caused a guy named Zeno to start dabbling in philosophy. We also learn about Diogenes, a man who lived in a tub, urinated in public, barked at passersby, and somehow managed to be envied by Alexander the Great. Finally, we find out what John Locke, Charlie Pace and a wild boar from LOST have to do with Stoic p...

Episode #010 ... The Hellenistic Age Pt. 1 - Epicurus
This week on the podcast, we shift our focus back to Western philosophy. On this episode, we learn about Epicureanism—one of four schools of thought that were prevalent during the Hellenistic Age, which will be our focus for the next few episodes. We find out why Diogenes liked Epicurus’ ideas so much that he permanently graffitied them onto the walls of an ancient greek community center. We also learn why Epicurus thought that the most satisfying part of eating a half gallon of ice cream was the moment aft...

Episode #009 ... The Buddha
On this episode of the podcast, we learn about the life of Siddhartha Gautama and his Heisenberg-esque transformation into Buddha. We learn how Buddha left a lifestyle of being fed grapes and being fanned with palm leaves to pursue a life of celibacy, starvation, and sleep deprivation. We also learn about how Buddha reached enlightenment while sitting beneath a fruit tree à la Isaac Newton, and about the four noble truths which he believed were the key to ending human suffering once and for all. All this an...


Episode #008 ... Confucianism
On this episode of the podcast, we learn about Confucius, a man whose ideas impacted China and eastern philosophy for thousands of years after his death. We find out how Confucius went from being the poor, friendless son of an ancient Chinese 'Teen Mom' to becoming one of the most quoted people in history, as well as how he was reduced to selling his philosophy door-to-door after a brief career as a politician which ended in conspiracy and bribery. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize Thi...

Episode #007 ... Daoism
Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

Episode #006 ... Aristotle Pt. 2
On this episode of the podcast, we continue learning about Aristotle, a man who created the first system of biological classification, the first system of logic, and the first formal scientific method. We find out why Aristotle was anti-women and pro-slavery, and learn how Plato and Aristotle differed when it came to their definitions of "tree-e-ness." We also learn why Aristotle would have been the world champion of Guess Who? and how to determine whether or not a carnivorous reptile with legs could possib...


Episode #005 ... Aristotle Pt. 1
This week we talk about various different applications of Aristotle's ethics in modern life. We discuss making a "plan" for your life, the underlying similarities between all human desires and the best way to live life.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

entertainment education philosophy edutainment

Episode #004 ... Plato
In this week's episode, we learn about Plato's "Symposium", which you might think of as philosophy's version of fan fiction. We also learn about Plato's "Theory of Forms" and ask ourselves what makes a tree, well, a tree. This leads to discussion of Plato's famous "Allegory of the Cave" and calls into question whether or not everything we see is merely a shadow of its true self. Finally, we learn about Plato's views on society and government and why he thought democracy was one of the worst forms of governm...

Episode #003 ... Socrates and the Sophists
This week we talk about the prosperity of athens and how it led to the rise and ideas of a group of philosopher teachers called the Sophists, we tied up some loose ends and helped put all that we've learned in the last two episodes into context with a graph of the presocratics, and we ended by talking about a man named Socrates.   Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...


Episode #002 ... Presocratic Philosophy - Italian
Today we talk about why philosophy is taken for granted, the crazed cult leader of ancient Greek philosophy, Pythagoras, the annoying dark cloud of deductive reasoning, Parmenides and the super hero Empedocles. Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

comedy education philosophy edutainment

Episode #001 ... Presocratic Philosophy - Ionian
Today we discussed the "Out of Africa" theory, the adversity of early humans, the term "Pre-Socratic", the first philosopher Thales, the meanest philosopher Heraclitus and Democritus, the godfather of the theory of atomism.  Support the show on Patreon! www.philosophizethis.org for additional content. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday. :)...

comedy education philosophy edutainment presocratic ionian thales heraclitus democritus