James and the Giant Podcast

I read philosophy so you don't have to. Learn about key thinkers outside of the academic realm and without all the academic jargon (or as little of it as possible). I make philosophy easier so we can see it better in the world we live in.
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James and the Giant Podcast



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Jul 20, 2018

Let's wrap this up! This week we finish talking about The Gift of Death by Jacques Derrida and wrap up his discussion of responsibility; we also touch on Heidegger's being toward death, Ursula K Le Guin's The Farthest Shore, and Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling in his conception of the story of Abraham and Isaac.

Twitter: JamesGiantPod


Jul 14, 2018

James thanks Thaddeus Russell and all the new ears, talks a little about a certain professor he doesn't like, then digs into helping you understand postmodernism as a thing and deconstruction. 


All music done by the unbelievable talent Jared Gregory

If you really like the show and want it to go beyond, consider subscribing on Patreon.

Twitter: JamesGiantPod



Website coming soon.

May 31, 2018

I'm in my car on my way to work, here's what's on my mind. I talk about meeting up with Thaddeus, the anxiety of it, some of my religious grounding at the moment, and then I lie to you about covering an essay by Derrida. Haha, sucker.

Apr 8, 2018

Examine book two of the Earthsea novels, "The Tombs of Atuan," and discover themes about gender, politics, and ritualism.

Apr 8, 2018

This is the first episode of my new side podcast, Snacks and Hacks, the place where philosophy talks shit. Kant's a bum and should be ignored.

Mar 19, 2018

Explore the philosophical foundations of Earthsea in the first of a six part series of Ursula K Le Guin's Earthsea novels. This time, James covers A Wizard of Earthsea and sets the groundwork for its philosophy of power, language, and ethics.

Oct 20, 2017

Well, Nietzsche's birthday just passed so I guess it's time to cover some German nihilism! This episode I go over Nietzsche's essay "On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense.' 


Be sure to subscribe, rate, review, and like me on Facebook (and like me in general). All music produced by Jared Gregory.

Sep 25, 2017

I had the privilege to speak with artist and historian Dara Vance about her art, education, history and the environment. Her intersections between art, history, gender, and the environment met with my knowledge on environmental philosophy. 


You can find Dara on twitter and purchase original artwork by messaging her on twitter: or straight to her paypal at

Support the show by subscribing or donating on

Music by Jared Gregory:


Be sure the rate and review the podcast. 

Aug 28, 2017

A few words on Foucault, French poststructuralist philosopher. 

Hurricane Relief:


Book: Foucault "Power" edited by James Faubion

Aug 25, 2017
I wrote a little about my cultural confession here, but I’ll expand to properly earn my white belt.
I grew up here in Texas. I’ve lived three brief years as a wee child in Maryland that I barely remember. My parents were military brats, both Air Force, and never lived anywhere as children for more than two years. This affected them differently. My father is sociable, with a strong work ethic. My mother has no work ethic and really embodies all of the rebellion I picked up growing up. She also has no true friends and it is easy to mistake her crass behavior, blunt speech, and contrarian nature to be hostile instead of loving. 
I grew up with rules that stunted my emotional growth. No dating until 16, at which point I was so socially awkward around women it didn’t make a difference. We never talked about money in the house and never talked about politics. The last part is important because most people inherit their parents’ politics but I wasn’t able to do that by virtue of ignorance. I now realize it’s because my parents are on opposite ends of the spectrum and don’t want to argue about it. My fiancé and I are the same way now, though we’ve been able to talk civilly about political issues lately. Thanks Trump for putting it all in perspective.
Religiously, we were very relaxed on going to church. My mom is spiritual, but not in any coherent ideology. She’s some mix of The Secret, Christianity, Scientology, and some other stuff. She picks up what she likes. My dad is probably still Irish-Catholic as his family. Like with politics, we didn’t spend a lot of time talking about religion in the house. In college, while studying philosophy, I renounced my faith and joined the new atheist club, though even then I felt put off by the attitudes towards religion they felt. I still own The God Delusion. I hated it. My fiancé, a devout Christian, won’t let me sell it in good conscience. I find that both hilarious and endearing.
I just recently joined a whole new cult, one I didn’t know existed and am happy to have found. It is the cult of Christian Leftists. I found them through twitter and have been digging deeper. They are socialists, communists, anarchists, all pushing back against the traditional religious right of this country. My fiancé helped me renew my faith, which is still a variation of hers. I say that I am a practicing Christian” in the way that you would practice an instrument. I still haven’t gotten the hang of it. I miss a bunch of notes and it’s sometimes clumsy and off beat. Our interpretations of the Bible are vastly different but neither is more true than the other. Finding the theological basis that aligns with my politics was refreshing. I’m not sure what the rules are, but I’m sure it has to do with demonstrating and standing in solidarity with other members of the group and their issues (LGBT, other minorities, for example). I have bad praxis, always have, so this is something I either have to work on or reject. I’m very good at the theological and philosophical musings, though.
This cult clashes with the cult of my work and social environment though. I don’t know any other Leftists in my work or social environment. Many celebrated Trump’s victory at work, though they have been strangely quiet since. The rule, very much unspoken between my fiancé and I, is that I don’t talk about religion or politics with the family. It would do me no good to ostracize myself. Her family, unlike mine, is highly judgmental. 
I’m also, by virtue of marrying into a Mexican family, inundated with a whole new culture. Her family is enormous, and is still a culture clash for me. Some important differences in her family’s culture from mine:
  1. Family focus. Her family is very family-oriented and mine is not. I don’t have to see my family on holidays, or get them gifts. For her, we visit everybody on every holiday, and everyone gets gifts. This has gotten expensive, but is important to her. It’s also important to her, and to her family, to see each other often. My mom typically answers the phone with yeah? what?” and will abruptly end the conversation in the middle of your story, that she doesn’t want to hear, and say yeah ok bye” then hang up. 
  2. Music. I was raised on good 80s jams. She, despite not speaking much Spanish, listens to cumbia, Tejano, and salsa at parties. Everybody shows up and everybody brings food. And authentic Mexican food is really special.
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