Very Bad Wizards

Very Bad Wizards is a podcast featuring a philosopher (Tamler Sommers) and a psychologist (David Pizarro), who share a love for ethics, pop culture, and cognitive science, and who have a marked inability to distinguish sacred from profane. Each podcast includes discussions of moral philosophy, recent work on moral psychology and neuroscience, and the overlap between the two.


episode 162: Parents Just Don't Understand (with Paul Bloom)

As parents we like to think we have an impact on our children - their future, their happiness, the kinds of people they turn out to be. But
are we deluded? Dave and Tamler are joined by empathy's kryponite, the great Paul Bloom, to talk about Judith Rich Harris's view that parents matter a lot less than you might think (while genes and peer groups matter a lot more than you might think) .

Plus, what the connection between art and morality? Should we support "cancel culture"? Is it wrong to play Michael Jackson's P.Y.T. (spell it out) on the radio? What about the Jackson 5? And what about art that is itself immoral? You're not gonna believe this but Louis CK gets mentioned.

Thanks to our beloved Patreon supporters for suggesting and voting for this topic!

Special Guest: Paul Bloom.

Support Very Bad Wizards


  • 'Too big to cancel': can we still listen to Michael Jackson? | Music | The Guardian
  • The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do, Revised and Updated: Judith Rich Harris [amazon affiliate link]
  • Do Parents Matter? Judith Rich Harris and child development (by Malcolm Gladwell)
  • Children Don't Do Things Halfway |
  • Judith Rich Harris & Jerome Kagan: The Nature of Nurture: Parents or Peers? Slate dialogue, Oct. 28 - Nov. 21, 1998


 2019-04-16  1h26m