Further exploring why and how people podcast, Jason Hartman interviews philosopher Mark Linsenmayer about the origins of The Partially Examined Life, a free philosophy podcast hosted by Mark and two of his philosophical counterparts.

Mark earned his degree in philosophy, but made a life choice to go into marketing and research communications rather than pursue a life as a teacher of philosophy. The podcast was created in 2009. Mark shares the steps he and his other hosts take to record the podcast episodes, starting with a Skype conference call, with each host recording their own audio on their computer and putting it in Dropbox.

At first, Mark was doing all of the editing of the tracks and combining them together, but as the podcast grew, he reached out to the other hosts and to his listening audience through the Cloud for assistance with editing, receiving a good response. Mark talks about the various software programs that he and the other hosts use, such as Audacity for recording and Cubase for combining tracks, and services they use, such as Libsyn for a server and tracking downloads. The podcast was featured on iTunes, which boosted downloads and reviews quickly.


The podcasters were all graduate students in philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin back in the Clinton years. They all left the program at some point before getting their doctorates and have consequently since had time to get outside that whole weird world of academia and reflect on it and the various philosophical topics with a different, and probably much more lazy, perspective. Mark Linsenmayer has lived in Madison, WI since 2000, has two little kids, and works from home writing about transportation research.

He’s got a band called New People, a big catalog of work with previous bands, and dabbles in fiction. When in grad school for philosophy, he mostly studied continental philosophy and philosophy of mind, with interests in phenomenology and explanations of consciousness. He more recently taught an ethics course for several semesters at Lakeland College.