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 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."
Episode 65: Philocalypse Now
April 6th, 2015 | 1 hr 19 mins
Holy crap, it's the apocalypse!!!!...for philosophy. Maybe.
Episode 64: Believing in a Just World
March 19th, 2015 | 1 hr 13 mins
Dave and Tamler talk about the human tendency to believe in a just world. Why do we have the belief? Does it make us less motivated to fight injustice? How does it connect to our beliefs about free will and punishment?
Episode 63: Stalemates and Closets (with Sam Harris)
February 27th, 2015 | 2 hrs 46 mins
Sam Harris gets back in the VBW ring for another round on moral responsibility, ethical theories, and the grounds for our obligations to other people.
Episode 62: Brain Jizz and "Black Mirror"
February 9th, 2015 | 1 hr 1 min
Dave and Tamler discuss a new study that, according to Tamler, offers decisive support for restorative approaches to criminal punishment (the only problem is he didn't read past the introduction). And speaking of justice, we talk about "White Bear"--the most disturbing episode of the UK series Black Mirror that doesn’t involve sex with a non-kosher animal.
Episode 61: Putting a Little Meaning in Your Life
January 19th, 2015 | 1 hr 15 mins
Dave and Tamler take a break from blame and responsibility to tackle a much easier subject: meaning in life.
Episode 60: Drunk on Intuitions
January 1st, 2015 | 1 hr 12 mins
Dave and Tamler argue some more about the role of emotion and intuition in blame judgments, and then offer some moral psychology-related recommendations for your New Year’s viewing and reading pleasure.
Episode 59: Tumors All the Way Down (With Sam Harris)
December 15th, 2014 | 2 hrs 32 mins
Bestselling author and friend of the podcast Sam Harris joins Tamler and Dave for a marathon podcast. (Seriously, pack two pairs of astronaut diapers for this one).
Episode 58: Do the Right Thing (with Yoel Inbar)
December 1st, 2014 | 1 hr 30 mins
Film critic, VBW regular, and social psychologist Yoel Inbar joins David and Tamler to talk about Spike Lee's controversial 1989 film "Do the Right Thing," a movie about a day in the life of a small Brooklyn community on the hottest day of summer, and how the day's events lead to a race riot.
Episode 57: Free Willie
November 17th, 2014 | 45 mins 38 secs
David and Tamler talk about a new study that links your belief in free will to the fullness of your bladder. How do our bodily states influence our metaphysical commitments? What's the best way to measure beliefs about free will? Can you get your prostate checked without having someone stick something in your private areas? Plus, an exclusive look at the shocking truth about social psychology experiments.