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 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."
Episode 71: The Murky Morals and Mysterious Metaphysics of "Mr. Robot"
July 14th, 2015 | 1 hr 6 mins
David and Tamler go deep into the best TV show of the summer, "Mr. Robot."
Episode 70: Some Favorite Things
June 28th, 2015 | 1 hr 34 mins
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, papers by Williams and movies from Sweden. Long graphic novels that celebrate being. These are a few of our favorite things.
Episode 69: CHiPs on Our Shoulders (Lessons in Objectivity)
June 17th, 2015 | 1 hr 33 mins
Dave and Tamler try to figure out what we talk about when we talk about objectivity.
Episode 68: Risky, Reckless, and Regretful
June 1st, 2015 | 1 hr 14 mins
Dave drags Tamler into the nerd abyss by making him watch an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (“Tapestry,” from the 6th season). We talk about the themes of the episode: regret, risk aversion, the arrogance of hindsight, and the dream of living your past “knowing what you know now.”
Episode 67: Funny How?
May 18th, 2015 | 1 hr 17 mins
Dave and Tamler break the cardinal rule of comedy by trying to analyze it. What are the origins and functions of humor? Can a theory explain what makes us laugh? Is humor entirely subjective?
Episode 66: Übermensch at Work
April 20th, 2015 | 1 hr 24 mins
Special guest Yoel Inbar joins us to talk about Hitchcock’s masterpiece/gimmick "Rope."