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 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.
Episode 84: Lifting the Veil
February 23rd, 2016 | 1 hr 33 mins
Tamler and David discuss Bernard Williams' "Rawls and Pascal's Wager"
Episode 83: Ego Trip
February 9th, 2016 | 1 hr 1 min
Tamler and David discuss Anthony Greenwald's classic article "The Totalitarian Ego."
Episode 82: Totalitarian Slide-Rulers
January 26th, 2016 | 1 hr 5 mins
Tamler and David discuss Isaiah Berlin's influential essay, "Two Concepts of Liberty"
Episode 81: Domo Arigato, Mr. Robot (With Yoel Inbar)
January 12th, 2016 | 1 hr 47 mins
Special guest Yoel Inbar joins Dave and Tamler to talk about the best show of last year. Warning: This episode is full of spoilers. Do not listen until you've seen Season 1 of Mr. Robot.
Episode 80: The Coddling of the Wizard Mind (with Vlad Chituc and Christina Hoff Sommers)
December 21st, 2015 | 1 hr 40 mins
It's our last episode on campus protests and political correctness for a while, we promise! But it's a fun one. David and Tamler welcome two guests on the opposite side of the debate spectrum: Recent Yale Alum, cognitive scientist, freelance writer, (and writer of novel-length emails), Vlad Chituc joins both of us to defend the Yale protests, provide some context, and explain why the good people at FIRE are hypocritical about free expression. In the middle segment, Tamler talks with his notorious stepmother and "factual feminist" Christina Hoff Sommers (author of "Who Stole Feminism?" and "The War Against Boys").
Episode 79: Good Lives, Good Friends, and Gay Mormons (with Valerie Tiberius)
December 3rd, 2015 | 1 hr 47 mins
Special guest Valerie Tiberius joins us to talk about values, well-being, and friendship. In the first segment, David and Tamler list a few things they're grateful for on Thanksgiving, including you, the listeners (awwwwww...).
Episode 78: Wizards Uprising
November 23rd, 2015 | 1 hr 8 mins
David and Tamler return to the minefield of campus politics and talk about recent events at Yale, Missouri, and Amherst. Are the protests are long overdue response to systematic oppression and prejudice? Or is this new generation of students coddled, hypersensitive, and hostile to free speech? Maybe a little bit of both?
Episode 77: On the Moral Nature of Nazis, Jerks, and Ethicists (with Eric Schwitzgebel)
November 9th, 2015 | 1 hr 20 mins
Special guest Eric Schwitzgebel joins David and Tamler to discuss the moral behavior (or lack thereof) of ethicists. Does moral reflection make us better people, or does it just give us better excuses to be immoral? Who's more right about human nature--Mencius or Xun Zi? What did Kant have against bastards and masturbating? Plus, we talk about jerks, robot cars, and killing baby Hitler.
Episode 76: Cha-Cha-changes
October 26th, 2015 | 1 hr 2 mins
David and Tamler list three things they've changed their minds about in their careers.
Episode 75: A Golden Shower of Guests
October 6th, 2015 | 2 hrs 29 mins
Dave and Tamler celebrate their 75th episode by welcoming six BFFs of the podcast and asking them to share the biggest thing they've changed their minds about in their professional careers.
Episode 74: Lies, Damned Lies, and Ashley Madison
September 16th, 2015 | 1 hr 53 mins
David and Tamler return after an end of summer hiatus to finally talk about the ethics of deception….eventually. But first they break down recent article in the journal "Science" documenting an attempt to replicate 100 recent psychology experiments.
Episode 73: Authentic Apes and Infinite Torture
August 11th, 2015 | 1 hr 8 mins
In what is possibly our most repugnant first segment ever, David and Tamler break down the ethics of zoophilia and investigate the true nature of consent. In the second segment we answer some listener emails and address our first question in our new capacity as International Ethics Experts.
Episode 72: Tweenie Turing Tests, AI, and Ex Machina (with Joshua Weisberg)
July 28th, 2015 | 1 hr 32 mins
It finally happened: David and Tamler welcome special guest Joshua Weisberg to the podcast to talk about Turing machines, Chinese Rooms, and AI. Plus, a spoiler-filled discussion of the recent movie "Ex Machina."