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.

Eine durchschnittliche Folge dieses Podcasts dauert 1h20m. Bisher sind 171 Folge(n) erschienen. Alle zwei Wochen gibt es eine neue Folge dieses Podcasts


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Episode 11: It is Morally Wrong to Kill Morgan Freeman (with Yoel Inbar)

Social psychologist Yoel Inbar joins Tamler and David to discuss Clint Eastwood's masterpiece of the Western genre: "Unforgiven." The discussion includes the nature of revenge, the requirements of justice, the rules of nicknaming, and who or what was being referred to as "unforgiven" in the movie's title.


 2012-12-28  1h15m

Episode 10: Religion, Meaning, and Morality

Does life have meaning if there is no God? Why should I be a good person if there's no reward or punishment waiting for me in the afterlife? Why does religion seem to make people happier and healthier? Dave and Tamler heroically try to answer these questions without being stoned.


 2012-12-11  58m

Episode 9: Social Psychology, Situationism, and Moral Character

After discussing some listener feedback about the movie Swingers, Tamler and David talk about two classic experiments in social psychology: the Milgram Experiments and the Zimbardo Prison experiment. They discuss the power of the situation, its influence on recent philosophy, and whether there is room to believe in moral character and virtue...


 2012-12-03  1h8m

Episode 8: Dishonesty, Character, and Dan Ariely

In a very special episode of Very Bad Wizards, Dan Ariely joins David to chat about cheating, character, and the importance of moral rules. Tamler and David sandwich the chat with a discussion about the US Presidential election, the irony of moral psychologists making people do bad things, and end with a full-blown argument about what it means to say that something is morally wrong.


 2012-11-12  1h11m

Episode 7: Psychopaths and Utilitarians Pt. 2 (Now with more poo poo)

Tamler and David continue their discussion of utilitarian psychopaths (and psychopathic utilitarians), then broaden the discussion to include disgust and empathy. In the end, they resolve all questions about the proper role of emotions in moral judgment.


 2012-11-04  1h7m

Episode 6: Trolleys, Utilitarians, and Psychopaths (Part 1)

Tamler contemplates ending it all because he can't get 'Call Me Maybe' out of his head, and Dave doesn't try to talk him out of it. This is followed by a discussion about drones, psychopaths, Canadians, Elle Fanning, horrible moral dilemmas, and the biggest rivalry in Ethics: utilitarians vs. Kantians.


 2012-10-20  1h1m

Episode 5: Revenge, Pt. 2: The Revenge

Dave and Tamler continue their discussion about their favorite topic. They talk about the evolutionary origins of retributive behavior, cross-cultural differences in revenge norms, and the proportionate punishment for someone who gives your wife a foot massage. They also play a clip from an interview they conducted in Nosara with local attorney Andres Gonzalez about the Costa Rican treatment of the criminals they call ‘pobrecitos.’


 2012-10-08  1h5m

Episode 4: Revenge, Pt. 1

Dave allows Tamler to rant about Sam Harris’s straw man attacks on moral relativism before launching into discussion about revenge, justice, "True Grit," and Michael Dukakis. Though they differ on many issues, Tamler and Dave agree that it’s hard to satirize a guy with shiny boots.


 2012-09-21  51m

Episode 3: "We believe in nothing!" (Cultural diversity, relativism, and moral truth)

Tamler and Dave discuss recent work in philosophy and psychology about the differences in moral values and practices across cultures.


 2012-09-08  1h1m

Episode 2: The "Dangerous Truth" about Free Will (Free Will and Morality, Pt. 2)

Tamler and David discuss whether giving up our belief in free will makes us more likely to abandon our moral standards.


 2012-09-01  1h13m