Very Bad Wizards
About the Show
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 97: Dogmatic Slumber Party
August 30th, 2016 | 1 hr 23 mins
David and Tamler take on motivated reasoning and our biased processing of information to favor positions we are predisposed to believe.
Episode 96: Memory and Meaning in "Memento" (with Paul Bloom)
August 16th, 2016 | 1 hr 26 mins
Paul Bloom joins us to discuss Christopher Nolan's "Memento."
Bonus Episode: More Doobie-ous Theories About "Mr. Robot" (Season 2)
August 9th, 2016 | 29 mins 55 secs
In this bonus emergency episode Tamler and David talk about mid-season Mr. Robot (S2) theories.
Episode 95: The Repugnance of Repugnance
August 2nd, 2016 | 1 hr 28 mins
Tamler and David tackle the emotion of disgust and the role it should play in moral judgment
Episode 94: Buttery Friendships
July 19th, 2016 | 1 hr 36 mins
Tamler and David discuss Nancy Sherman's thoughts on Aristotle, Stoicism, and how to live a good, happy life.
Episode 93: Avalanches, Blame, and Cowardice (With Yoel Inbar)
July 5th, 2016 | 1 hr 39 mins
Tamler and David are joined by VBW regular Yoel Inbar to discuss the themes of cowardice and character in the recent Swedish film "Force Majeure."
Episode 92: Jonathan Edwards' Basement
June 21st, 2016 | 1 hr 8 mins
David and Tamler discuss Jonathan Bennett's classic paper "The Conscience of Huckleberry Finn."
Episode 91: Rage Against the Machines
June 7th, 2016 | 1 hr 24 mins
Tamler and David discuss a recent article that claims that an algorithm used to predict criminal behavior is racially biased, and argue about the wisdom of using algorithms across other domains in life.
Episode 90: Of Mice and Morals
May 24th, 2016 | 1 hr 20 mins
David and Tamler have their first real fight in a while over an article defending "social mixing"--distributing babies randomly across families such that no infant is genetically related to the parents who raise them. Then they discuss a study published in "Science" in 2013 in which participants could earn money if they agreed to let mice be killed in a gas chamber.
Episode 89: Shame on You (with Jennifer Jacquet)
May 10th, 2016 | 1 hr 37 mins
David and Tamler welcome author and environmental science professor Jennifer Jacquet to the podcast to discuss the pros and cons of shame.
Episode 88: A Doobie for Elijah
April 26th, 2016 | 1 hr 20 mins
David and Tamler celebrate Passover with a high-spirited episode on guns, revenge, liberals, being offended, the fear of death, and whether kids have a right to be loved.
Episode 87: Lucky You (with Robert Frank)
April 12th, 2016 | 1 hr 19 mins
The economist Robert Frank joins us for a discussion of success and luck.
Episode 86: Guns, Shame, and the Meaning of Punishment
March 22nd, 2016 | 1 hr 14 mins
Tamler and David discuss the meaning of punishment and the recent decision in Texas that will allow students to carry guns on campus.
Episode 85: A Zoo with Only One Animal (with Paul Bloom)
March 11th, 2016 | 1 hr 9 mins
Philosophers can be funny and funny movies can be philosophical. David and Tamler welcome frequent VBW guest and arch-enemy of empathy Paul Bloom to discuss their five favorite comic films with philosophical/psychological themes.