The Partially Examined Life: Candide by Voltaire and No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Partially Examined LifeThe 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.” I started following it after SFFaudio Podcast #115 when Anne, from the Anne Is A Man blog, suggested I try it. Since then I’ve been listening to it pretty steadily. Their most recent two podcasts are a great jumping on point for those only casually interested in philosophy as they are both discussions of philosophical novels.

Episode 62 is a discussion of Candide by Voltaire and Episode 63 is a discussion of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country For Old Men. I’ve read the first book, and now I want to read the second. Indeed, there are very few podcasts that give me the same kind of pleasure, an intellectual pleasure, as recording our own READALONGs. These last two podcasts are such.

Here are the specifics:

Episode 62: Voltaire’s Novel “Candide |MP3|
On Candide: or, Optimism, the novel by Voltaire (1759). Is life good? Popular Enlightenment philosopher Leibniz argued that it’s good by definition. God is perfectly good and all-powerful, so whatever he created must have been as good as it can be; we live in the best of all possible worlds.

Episode 63: Existentialist Heroes in Cormac McCarthy’s “No Country For Old Men |MP3|
On philosophical issues in McCarthy’s 2005 novel about guys running around with drug money and shooting each other, and about fiction as a form for exploring philosophical ideas.

Podcast feed:

Posted by Jesse Willis

2 thoughts to “The Partially Examined Life: Candide by Voltaire and No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy”

  1. Listening to Episode 63 now… good stuff, thanks for pointing this out Jesse.

    No Country for Old Men was probably the best book I read last year … and I listened to it on audio! Fantastic film as well.

  2. The Partially Examined Life is a great podcast although a lot of their discussions on philosophy just go over my head. I have read No Country for Old Men several times and their discussion helps a lot. I think his best, or most epic work is Blood Meridian, the lecture from Yale on youtube about McCarthy just blew my mind.

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