The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast

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



Episode 208: Epicurus on Seeking Pleasure (Part One)

On the extant fragments of Epicurus (341–270 BCE) dealing with ethics, including his "Letter to Menoceus," “The Principal Doctrines,” and “The Vatican Collection of Epicurean Sayings.” Plus Tim O’Keefe’s Epicureanism (2010) and Martha Nussabum’s The Therapy of Desire (1994).

How are we supposed to act once we understand nature as atoms bouncing and swerving around in the void, temporarily producing order through fortuitous collisions? Ruling out demanding gods means ethics is dictated by human nature: we avoid pain and pursue pleasure. However, we're very bad at this, and Epicurus wants to fix all of us!

Don't wait for part two; get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now.

Come see us live in NYC on Apr. 6. Read more at Don't forget your 2019 Wall Calendar with free domestic shipping:

Sponsors: Visit and


 2019-01-28  50m