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.

https://verybadwizards.fireside.fm

subscribe
share



 

recommended podcasts


Episode 156: Notes From Underground (Pt. 1)


We’re sick men. We’re spiteful men. We’re unpleasant men. We think our livers are diseased (especially Tamler’s). So we talk about Dostoevsky’s wild, complex, stream of consciousness masterpiece _Notes From Underground_. For this episode we focus on part 1 of the novella, and the philosophy behind it...


share





   1h43m
 
 

Episode 155: Alfred Hitchcock's Money Shot


David and Tamler dive deep into Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 hallucinatory classic, Vertigo...


share





   1h38m
 
 

Episode 154: Metaphysical Vertigo (Borges's "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius")


In the famous words of the idealist philosopher George Berkeley, “To exist is to be perceived.” Our ideas and perceptions are the fundamental objects in the universe; there is no real world beyond them. Hume wrote (I think) that Berkeley’s arguments don’t admit of the slightest refutation, and they don’t inspire the slightest conviction. On Earth, that may be true. On Tlön, it’s false – the people there are “congenital idealists...


share





 2018-12-18  1h56m
 
 

Episode 153: Progress in Psychology: A Reply to BootyBootyFartFart


David dies for science’s sins and addresses the failed replication of one of his studies (conducted with three former VBW guests) by the _Many Labs Project_. But first, the guys try to gauge their intuitions about the phenomenal experience of their molecule-for-molecule mirror reflection duplicate in a universe with a non-orientable topology...


share





 2018-12-04  1h46m
 
 

Episode 152: Ruthlessness, Public and Private


Tamler and David continue their Nagel-gazing by discussing another essay from _Mortal Questions_: "Ruthlessness in Public Life...


share





 2018-11-20  1h21m
 
 

Episode 151: Viddy Well, My Listeners (Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange")


There was me, that is Tamler, and my droog, that is David, and we sat in our living rooms on Skype trying to make up our rassoodocks what Stanley Kubrick's a Clockwork Orange was really about? Free will? We didn't think so. Punishment? Yeah but what about punishment? And what about the old ultraviolence - can it still shock us in the modern age? Then suddenly we viddied that thinking was for the gloopy ones and that the oomny just, like, press record and start the podcast...


share





 2018-11-06  2h4m
 
 

Episode 150: Paul Bloom Insisted That We Talk About Sex Robots


What better way to celebrate our 150th episode than to bring back our favorite guest – Paul Bloom! We riff on a series of topics: the new “grievance studies” hoax, sex robot brothels, perverse desires, and perverse beliefs. Then we get a little navel gazey (OK maybe more than a little) and talk about podcasting as a form of media and discussion, good teaching, and what we’ve learned about our listeners and ourselves...


share





 2018-10-23  1h26m
 
 

Episode 149: Death, Immortality, and Porn (Intuition) Pumps


Is living forever a good thing? Could we maintain our values and personal attachments throughout eternity? Would we be motivated to accomplish anything? Can we make sense of a human life that doesn't have a fixed endpoint? We try to alleviate David's paralyzing fear of death by examining two articles - one on how immortality is worse than we think, and the other providing evidence that dying might be better than we think. Plus,we examine some famous thought experiments - if they were porn...


share





 2018-10-02  1h41m
 
 

Episode 148: Am I Wrong?


Tamler wades into a Twitter controversy about Serena Williams - could this be his fast-track pass into the IDW? And since we're talking about that, why not throw in a discussion of Louis CK's surprise set at the Comedy Cellar? In the second segment, we step outside of last week's social media culture wars to discuss "But I Could Be Wrong," a paper by philosopher George Sher from Rice University...


share





 2018-09-19  1h41m
 
 

Episode 147: Effective Altruism and Moral Uncertainty (with The One True Scotsman, Will MacAskill)


Oxford philosophy professor Will MacAskill joins us to talk about effective altruism, moral uncertainty, and why you shouldn’t eat your grandmother (even if consequentialism is true)...


share





 2018-09-04  1h43m