Ep11: Socrates II: Apology, Crito, Democracy and Principles.

Mike and Tones continue their discussion on Socrates in the Apology and the Crito, focusing on what philosophic ideas we can pull from these stories and why they are essential to even those who don’t study philosophy.  What does the tragic story of Socrates say about living according to principles?  What does it say about Democracy?

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Upcoming: Socrates pt. ii

Leaving off with Theaetetus in Ep 10, Socrates was on his way to a trial. Mike and I plan on continuing this story by discussing The Apology and Crito in Ep 11. While these early works of Plato are more literary works than philosophical dissertations, we’ll discuss what philosophic ideas can be extracted from these two short stories and wrap up any leftover thoughts on our overview of the (character?) Socrates.

We’re hoping to record soon and have the installment up within a week or so.

Thanks for your continued interest! See you next week!


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To celebrate our 10th episode, we finally purchased the domain:

Your old WordPress link will still work, but the shortened, simpler new link is now available.


Ep.10: Socrates in THEAETETUS

Mike and Tones begin their discussion on Socrates (to be continued) by concentrating on Plato’s Theaetetus.  They don’t get in too deep in regards to the epistemological content of the book but rather use it to examine the character of Socrates and to discuss his role as one of the most important philosophers… EVER.  Tones also discusses a rare trip to the movie theater and compares/contrasts The Avengers to Titanic and other disaster films as it ties in well to Episode 9’s Aesthetics discussion.

Click here to Stream: ep10socrates

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Bumper Music by Nightosaur off of their NEW album, SpaceAxers.  Check them out here: NIGHTOSAUR 


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Ep9: Aesthetics

Mike and Tones discuss philosophy’s role in Aesthetics and why anyone should care enough to think about art.  We also argue if Aesthetics should cover non-art within its definition.  This finally leads us to emphasize the role ideas and values play in artists’ creations and our subsequent appreciation of their works.

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Bumper Music by Nightosaur off of their NEW album, SpaceAxers.  Check them out here: NIGHTOSAUR 


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Philosophy in Software Testing? (Mike’s Other Gig)

As noted in the “about us” section of this site, Philosophy: A Survival Guide co-host Michael Raveling also hosts a podcast directly related to his career: .  Every once in a while, Michael sneaks in some philosophic theory into these podcasts, but he and his co-host struck the jackpot in this episode with special guest, James Bach.  Bach was more than willing to entertain Michael’s philosophic discussion; he offered a fairly lengthy discussion on how studying philosophy was essential to his career as a software tester.  Even if you have zero interest in software testing, this particular episode offers a lot to anyone with an independent, critical mind.

Our mission with this podcast is to break down the barrier between philosophy and the so-called “real world” by not only demonstrating its worth in every-day living, but to also call out philosophic BS when we see it.  Bach seems to share this mentality. It’s not often that the study of philosophy gets much cred in discussions outside of philosophy itself, so we highly recommend that you check it out: HERE



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Dada… (teaser for our upcoming Aesthetics discussion)

I found an old blog post from 2004 when Duchamp’s Fountain was named the most influential piece of modern art.  Here’s what I wrote:

Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain” (1917) was recently declared the most influential work of modern art according to a Gordon’s Gin survey. Uh… yeah. I can see that.
“Fountain” is influential because it helped start the anything-goes definition of art. Today’s art museums will display anythinga shapeless swirl of colors, a slab of uncut stone, random geometric shapes on canvas, or apparently–a urinal. A modern definition of art is, well, whatever the artist’s whim decides. What is most dangerous, though, is that the modernists who are taken the most seriously today are actually producing anti-art–or art that is destructive to art itself. Observe that Duchamp could have chosen any household item to exhibit his art-is-what-I-say-it-is movement–but he chose a urinal. If Duchamp’s intention was truly as benevolent as he claimed–to show that art can be found in everyday objects–why not display an everyday object that is beautiful? The choice of a urinal shows the true nature behind Duchamp’s statement. A urinal is disgusting, offensive. To choose a urinal was the equivalent of a middle finger saying, “F-you, art, display this.”
It is one thing to convey a dream-like quality like a surrealist, or to experiment with shapes like an abstract artist, but Duchamp not only blurred the essential artistic elements–he removed them with destructive intent… and thus we have Dada. Dada is defined by Webster as “a movement in art and literature based on deliberate irrationality and negation of traditional artistic values.” Sounds accurate to me, but the definition doesn’t capture the evil behind the movement.
Dadaism goes well beyond showing contempt for art–it shows contempt for the rational mind. Art is man’s way of bringing abstractions into reality. We can easily deal with the concept of “chair” because it can be shown. I can also show non-concrete concepts such as “tall” and “transparent” by pointing to a tree and a pane of glass. How would I show the abstract concepts of “beauty,” “resilience,” “pride,” or “happiness?” I would do it with art. I cannot point to “heroic,” but I can point to Michelangelo’s David. I can’t show you “tension” and “suspense,” but I can play you John Williams’ theme from Jaws. I may find it hard to cope with a sudden sadness, but watching Steel Magnolias might help.
What does Dadaism offer to the rational mind? If art offers man the ability to see a physical representation of previously invisible concept–what would anti-art offer? If art is essential for man’s understanding/coping/enjoyment of reality–what good can come from an “art” purposely devoid of the artistic elements? The answer is nothing (that’s what nihilism offers us… nothing).
Sure, “Fountain” served a purpose–and I say that we help it fully reach its potential. Let’s plumb the thing and use it for what it’s best suited to be. I’ll be first in line to use it.



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