April 25th, 2023 | 1 hr 56 mins
cancel culture, paul bloom, todd fields, tár
The great Paul Bloom returns to the show to explore the many mysteries of Todd Field’s 2022 film “Tár.” Is it a ghost story? A movie about cancel culture and abuse of power? Guilt? Professional disappointment? The anxiety of getting old, losing touch with youth and reality Reminds me of my freshman year at Smith…
Plus – Paul gets into trouble on Twitter for saying he’s mildly pro-trigger warnings in certain cases. But is he ignoring the science???
May 3rd, 2022 | 2 hrs 10 mins
evolutionary psychology, orgasms, paul bloom, severance
We welcome Paul Bloom to talk about the first season of "Severance," the new mind-bending and mind-splitting TV series on Apple TV+. What happens when you separate your home life from your work life? Do you create a completely different person? Is it a form of self-slavery? How important is autobiographical memory to your identity? And what’s the deal with the break room… and the goats?
Plus, what happens when you combine the obsessions of evolutionary psychology with the methodological problems of social psychology? You (finally) get an explanation for the female orgasm.
November 2nd, 2021 | 1 hr 42 mins
nft, pain, paul bloom, pleasure, the sweet spot
VBW favorite Paul Bloom joins us to talk about the pleasures of suffering, flow states, Sisyphus, meaning, and dating questions. Check out his new book "The Sweet Spot" which comes out today! Plus what are NFTs and why does every hate them?
March 23rd, 2021 | 1 hr 36 mins
dawkins, empiricism, instinct, mediation, nativism, orgasm, paul bloom, william james
VBW favorite Paul Bloom joins us to talk about William James’ account of instinct and its parallels to the nativism/empiricism debates in developmental psychology today. Also discussed: Richard Dawkins trolling philosophy, the ghost in Tamler’s kitchen, and why William James’ 130 year-old writings make psychologists sad about the present state of their field. PLUS - do you wish you were closer to your non-romantic partners? Well, strap on your gloves, grab a washcloth, it’s time for exactly 15 minutes of orgasmic meditation.
Note: we had to use backup audio for Tamler and Paul in the second segment. The sound quality isn't as good as normal, sorry about that.
October 23rd, 2018 | 1 hr 26 mins
hoaxes, paul bloom, perverse desires, podcasting, sex robots
What better way to celebrate our 150th episode than to bring back our favorite guest – Paul Bloom! We riff on a series of topics: the new “grievance studies” hoax, sex robot brothels, perverse desires, and perverse beliefs. Then we get a little navel gazey (OK maybe more than a little) and talk about podcasting as a form of media and discussion, good teaching, and what we’ve learned about our listeners and ourselves. (Note: the audio may sound a little echoey towards the end because of how far we’ve crawled up our own asses.) This was a fun one, enjoy!
December 26th, 2017 | 1 hr 32 mins
dehumanization, empathy, paul bloom, star trek transporters
In this Very Special Boxing Day edition of the podcast, Tamler and David welcome back honorary Third Wizard Paul Bloom to discuss his latest article in the New Yorker about dehumanization and cruelty. Is it really the case that we dehumanize in order to harm others? Or does most violence actually require us to view others as fundamentally human, agentic, and capable of true suffering? But first, we discuss the stages of Star Trek transporter cognition, whether Paul and David are closet-dualists, and whether the process of choosing a Dalai Lama suffers from p-hacking concerns. (And between segments we give our brief, spoiler-free thoughts on Season 3 of Mr. Robot). Happy Chanukah, Kwanzaa, New Year, and Merry Christmas to all!
December 13th, 2016 | 1 hr 33 mins
empathy, movies, paul bloom
Paul Bloom joins Tamler and David to discuss their picks for the top three movies about empathy.
August 16th, 2016 | 1 hr 26 mins
Paul Bloom joins us to discuss Christopher Nolan's "Memento."
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.
October 20th, 2014 | 1 hr 18 mins
Paul Bloom joins us to talk all things villainous -why we sometimes root for the bad guys, why we admire them even when we don't, why they are much more compelling than some of our heroes.