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.

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 to imitate a drunk person singing “I Love Rock and Roll” every time he drives past that certain billboard. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

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Direct download: Episode_034_..._Spinoza_pt._2_-_Force_of_Nature.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 8:09pm PDT
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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 Christianity and find out whose arguments hold the most water (spoiler alert: Spinoza wins). All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

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Direct download: Episode_033_..._Spinoza_pt._1_-_From_Baruch_to_Benedicto.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 7:01pm PDT
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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 Barack Obama utilized it to secure his residency in the White House and avoid living underneath a freeway overpass. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

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Direct download: Episode_032_..._Blaise_Pascal_pt._2_-_EV_your_way_to_success.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 7:04pm PDT
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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 submitted by our Twitter followers. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

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Direct download: Episode_031_..._Pascals_Wager.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 5:02pm PDT
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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!

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Direct download: Episode_030_..._Descartes_pt._3_-_God_Exists.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 3:14pm PDT
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The audio file for this episode was lost years ago. There is a transcript available on the website: www.philosophizethis.org

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Direct download: Episode_029_..._Descartes_pt._2_-_Visionary_Genius2.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 5:23pm PDT
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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 the latest episode of Philosophize This!

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Direct download: Episode_029_..._Descartes_pt._2_-_Visionary_Genius.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 8:23pm PDT
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On this episode of the podcast, we continue our discussion of Thomas Hobbes. 

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Direct download: Episode_027_..._Thomas_Hobbes_pt._2.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 12:02am PDT
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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 episode of Philosophize This!

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Direct download: Episode_026_..._Thomas_Hobbes_pt._1_-_The_Social_Contract.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 7:41pm PDT
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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 Flamin’ Hot Cheetos thrown in for good measure. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

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Direct download: Episode_025_..._A_Scientific_Method_For_Your_Life.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 5:55pm PDT
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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 could be put into practice. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

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Direct download: Episode_024_..._Montaigne.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 8:55pm PDT
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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 more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

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Direct download: Episode_023_..._Machiavelli.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 7:11pm PDT
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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 and reason was a very good idea. It was much simpler than that. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

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Direct download: Episode_022_..._Blast_off_to_the_Renaissance.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 8:18pm PDT
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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 the Christian belief that God created the universe and the Aristotelean belief that the universe has always existed are not mutually exclusive ideas. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

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Direct download: Episode_021_..._One_God_-_St._Thomas_Aquinas.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 8:04pm PDT
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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 of God is, “You do not talk about God.” Or at least, “You do not talk about what God is, only what he isn’t.” All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

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Direct download: Episode_020_..._Two_Medieval_Approaches_To_God.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 2:05pm PDT
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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 desperately wanted philosophy and religion to be business partners. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

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Direct download: Episode_019_..._Three_Islamic_Truths.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 8:40pm PDT
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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!

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Direct download: Episode_018_..._Avicenna.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 6:15pm PDT
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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 of Fortune. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

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Direct download: Episode_017_..._Boethius.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 1:38pm PDT
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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!

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Direct download: Episode_016_..._Saint_Augustine.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 5:27am PDT
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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!

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Direct download: Episode_015_..._A_Period_of_Transition_-_Plotinus.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 9:13pm PDT
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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!

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Direct download: Episode_014_..._The_Hellenistic_Age_Pt._5_-_A_Race_To_The_Dark_Ages.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 3:54pm PDT
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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.

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Direct download: Episode_013_..._The_Hellenistic_Age_Pt._4_-_Skepticism.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 9:58pm PDT
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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!

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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 philosophy. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

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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 after the last spoonful, and why a jacket from Nordstrom really isn’t that much better than a jacket from Target. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

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Direct download: Episode_010_..._The_Hellenistic_Age_Pt._1_-_Epicurus.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 9:10pm PDT
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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 and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

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Direct download: Episode_009_..._The_Buddha.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 6:57pm PDT
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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 This!

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Direct download: Episode_008_..._Confucianism.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 3:35pm PDT
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Direct download: Episode_007_..._Daoism.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 9:21pm PDT
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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 possibly be a snake.

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Direct download: Episode_006_..._Aristotle_Pt._2.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 9:32pm PDT
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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. 

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Direct download: Episode_005_..._Aristotle_Pt._1.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 12:29am PDT
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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 government, second only to tyranny.

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Direct download: Episode_004_..._Plato.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 10:34pm PDT
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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.  

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Direct download: Episode_003_..._Socrates_and_the_Sophists.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 4:57am PDT
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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.

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Direct download: Episode_002_..._Presocratic_Philosophy_-_Italian.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 5:30am PDT
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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. 

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Direct download: Episode_001_..._Presocratic_Ionian.mp3
Category:Philosophy -- posted at: 3:10pm PDT
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