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Very Bad Wizards

Tamler Sommers & David Pizarro

438
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2.7K
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Very Bad Wizards

Very Bad Wizards

Tamler Sommers & David Pizarro

438
Followers
2.7K
Plays
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About Us

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.

Latest Episodes

God Has No Mother (with Chris Matheson)

EDavid and Tamler welcome special guest Chris Matheson - co-writer of the "Bill and Ted" movies and author of "The Story of God" and "The Buddha’s Story" - to talk about religion, immortality, comedy, Freud, and why the secret ingredient to good satire is love. Plus David and Tamler do a conceptual analysis of stoner movies and discuss their favorites.Special Guest: Chris Matheson.Sponsored By:The Great Courses Plus: Never stop learning. Pursue your passion. Quench your curiosity. Embark on an educational endeavor. Watch thousands of streaming videos on hundreds of subjects. Promo Code: wizardsBetterHelp: You deserve to be happy. BetterHelp online counseling is there for you. Connect with your professional counselor in a safe and private online environment. Promo Code: VBWSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:Chris Matheson (screenwriter) - WikipediaThe Story of God by Chris Matheson [amazon.com affiliate link]The Trouble with God by Chris Matheson [amazon.com affiliate link]Bill & Ted's Ex...

113 MIN1 d ago
Comments
God Has No Mother (with Chris Matheson)

Free Wanting (Frankfurt's "Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person")

EDavid and Tamler want to go old school and discuss a classic Frankfurt paper on free will. But do they want to want that? Are they free to want what they want to want? Are they free to will what they want to will or to have the will they want? And if that’s not Dr. Seuss enough for you, shouting “FUCK” increases pain tolerance but what about shouting “TWIZPIPE”?Sponsored By:BetterHelp: You deserve to be happy. BetterHelp online counseling is there for you. Connect with your professional counselor in a safe and private online environment. Promo Code: VBWSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:Repeating the “F” word can improve threshold for pain during an ice water challengeFrontiers | Swearing as a Response to Pain: Assessing Hypoalgesic Effects of Novel “Swear” Words | PsychologyVery Bad Wizards has a new shirt! [CottonBureau.com]Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person by Harry Frankfurt

88 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Free Wanting (Frankfurt's "Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person")

Postmodern Wet Dreams (Borges' "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote")

EDavid and Tamler dive into “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” a very funny Borges story that also raises deep questions about authorship, reading, and interpretation. What would it mean for the same text to be written by two different authors more than three hundred years apart? Is this story the post-modernist manifesto that literary critics like Roland Barthes believed it to be? Or is the narrator in the story just a delusional sycophant, a victim of Menard’s practical joke – and the story by extension, a practical joke by Borges on the post-modernist movement to come? Plus, My Little Pony fans finally confront their Nazi problem.Sponsored By:BetterHelp: You deserve to be happy. BetterHelp online counseling is there for you. Connect with your professional counselor in a safe and private online environment. Promo Code: VBWSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:'My Little Pony' Fans Confront Their Nazi Problem - The AtlanticVery Bad Wizards has a new shirt! [CottonBureau.com]Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote - WikipediaThe Brothers Karmazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky) — This is the edition we will be reading from in our upcoming miniseries.

96 MINJUL 8
Comments
Postmodern Wet Dreams (Borges' "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote")

All the Rage

EA lotta anger out there right now, but does it do more harm than good? Is anger counterproductive, an obstacle to progress? And even when it is, can anger be appropriate anway? We talk about two excellent articles by the philosopher Amia Srinivasan criticizing anger's critics. Plus we express some counterproductive anger of our own at the IDWs response to the protests.Sponsored By:The Great Courses Plus: Never stop learning. Pursue your passion. Quench your curiosity. Embark on an educational endeavor. Watch thousands of streaming videos on hundreds of subjects. Promo Code: wizardsSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:Would Politics Be Better Off Without Anger? | The NationWelcomeSrinivasan, A. (2018) The Aptness of Anger, Journal of Political Philosophy. Reprinted in the Philosopher’s Annual.

96 MINJUN 24
Comments
All the Rage

We Pod. We Pod-Cast. We Podcast. (Frankfurt’s “On Bullshit”)

EDavid and Tamler talk about police violence, the protests, and Harry Frankfurt's journal article turned bestseller ”On Bullshit." Plus we dive into a comic masterpiece of late capitalism: the University of Oregon's brand guidelines.Sponsored By:The Great Courses Plus: Never stop learning. Pursue your passion. Quench your curiosity. Embark on an educational endeavor. Watch thousands of streaming videos on hundreds of subjects. Promo Code: wizardsSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:Brand and Style | University CommunicationsThe Black Goat – A podcast about doing scienceTwo Psychologists Four Beers Episode 46: Very Good Men (with Very Bad Wizards)Break Music: Seven Minutes by peezOn Bullshit - WikipediaFrankfurt, H. (2005) On Bullshit. Princeton University Press.

121 MINJUN 10
Comments
We Pod. We Pod-Cast. We Podcast. (Frankfurt’s “On Bullshit”)

The Anality of Evil (Freud's "Civilization and its Discontents")

EDavid and Tamler dive into Sigmund Freud’s world of unconscious drives, death instincts, and thwarted incestuous urges in his classic text “Civilization and its Discontents.” If society has made so much progress, why are human beings perpetually dissatisfied? Can religion help us or is it a big part of the problem? What’s really going on when you piss on a fire to put it out? Also: how seriously should we take Freud today given some of his wackier ideas? And is he a psychologist, a philosopher, or something else entirely? Plus we select the finalists from a huge list of suggested topics for the Patreon listener-selected episode!Sponsored By:BetterHelp: You deserve to be happy. BetterHelp online counseling is there for you. Connect with your professional counselor in a safe and private online environment. Promo Code: VBWSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:Anal retentiveness - WikipediaAnal expulsiveness - WikipediaPsychosexual development - WikipediaCivilization and Its Discontents - W...

97 MINMAY 27
Comments
The Anality of Evil (Freud's "Civilization and its Discontents")

Conceptual Mummies (Nietzsche's "Twilight of the Idols")

ESocrates was ugly and tired of life, so he made a tyrant of reason. Philosophers are mummies who hate the body and the senses. Reason is a tricky old woman. Morality is a misunderstanding. Kant is a sneaky Christian. And don't even get Nietzsche started on "free will" or the "self" - just excuse for priests to punish people, a hangman's metaphysics. David and Tamler dive into Friedrich Nietzsche's Twilight of the Idols, a fascinating set of aphorisms brimming with passion, provocation, questions without answers. Plus, a professor is sanctioned for sex talk with his students - fair or coddling foul? Sponsored By:BetterHelp: You deserve to be happy. BetterHelp online counseling is there for you. Connect with your professional counselor in a safe and private online environment. Promo Code: VBWSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:George Mason University investigation faults professor for sexual talk with students in class and a hot tub, court records show - The Washington PostNietzsche, F. "Tw...

102 MINMAY 13
Comments
Conceptual Mummies (Nietzsche's "Twilight of the Idols")

More Zither

EWith a global pandemic and a collapsing economy upon us, it's time to askourselves some tough questions. Sex robots or platonic love robots - what are you more excited for?If you walked in on your partner with one of them, which would make you more jealous?Are you male or female?Can evolutionary psychology explain sex-linked preferences for sensitive, empathetic Alexas?We then dive into the shadowy echo-filled streets of post-war Vienna - and talk about one of our favorite movies, a true noir classic: The Third Man.Support Very Bad WizardsLinks:Frontiers | Friends, Lovers or Nothing: Men and Women Differ in Their Perceptions of Sex Robots and Platonic Love Robots | PsychologyBreak Music: Framed Your Eyes by peezThe Third Man - WikipediaAllied-occupied Austria - WikipediaDutch angle - Wikipedia

100 MINAPR 22
Comments
More Zither

The One with Peter Singer

EThe legendary Peter Singer joins us to talk about effective altruism, AI, animal welfare, esoteric morality, future Tuesday indifference, and more. I mean, it’s Peter freakin’ Singer - what more do we need to say? Plus, the explosive ‘one or two spaces after a period' debate: has science resolved it?Special Guest: Peter Singer.Sponsored By:GiveWell: Givewell searches for the charities that save or improve lives the most per dollar. Consider a donation this holiday season--your dollar goes a lot further than you might think!Support Very Bad WizardsLinks:Are two spaces better than one? | Butterick’s Practical TypographyRappers, sorted by the size of their vocabulary [thanks to listener Kevin Litman-Navarro]Peter Singer - Wikipediade Lazari-Radek, K., & Singer, P. (2017). Utilitarianism: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press.Singer, P. (2010). The life you can save: How to do your part to end world poverty. Random House Incorporated."A Gadfly for the Greater Good" (Tam...

89 MINAPR 8
Comments
The One with Peter Singer

The Devil's Playground

EDavid and Tamler begin by talking about the question on everyone’s mind right now – are we obligated to be pansexual? Then, since many of us have more free time on our hands these days, we thought it might be a good idea to revisit Bertrand Russell’s essay (published in Harper’s Magazine) “In Praise of Idleness.” How did workaholism become the norm? Why do we see working insanely long hours as a virtue, a moral duty rather than a necessity? Would more leisure make us more fulfilled and creative or just bored? We also discuss Daniel Markovits’ book "The Meritocracy Trap" - when life is a non-stop hyper-competitive grind from preschool to retirement even among the elites, is anyone happy?Sponsored By:BetterHelp: You deserve to be happy. BetterHelp online counseling is there for you. Connect with your professional counselor in a safe and private online environment. Promo Code: VBWSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:Is Pansexuality Obligatory? – The Electric AgoraIn Praise of Idleness, by Bertrand Russell | Harper's Magazine“The Meritocracy Trap,” explained - VoxThe Meritocracy Trap by Daniel Markovits [Amazon affiliate link]

84 MINMAR 25
Comments
The Devil's Playground

Latest Episodes

God Has No Mother (with Chris Matheson)

EDavid and Tamler welcome special guest Chris Matheson - co-writer of the "Bill and Ted" movies and author of "The Story of God" and "The Buddha’s Story" - to talk about religion, immortality, comedy, Freud, and why the secret ingredient to good satire is love. Plus David and Tamler do a conceptual analysis of stoner movies and discuss their favorites.Special Guest: Chris Matheson.Sponsored By:The Great Courses Plus: Never stop learning. Pursue your passion. Quench your curiosity. Embark on an educational endeavor. Watch thousands of streaming videos on hundreds of subjects. Promo Code: wizardsBetterHelp: You deserve to be happy. BetterHelp online counseling is there for you. Connect with your professional counselor in a safe and private online environment. Promo Code: VBWSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:Chris Matheson (screenwriter) - WikipediaThe Story of God by Chris Matheson [amazon.com affiliate link]The Trouble with God by Chris Matheson [amazon.com affiliate link]Bill & Ted's Ex...

113 MIN1 d ago
Comments
God Has No Mother (with Chris Matheson)

Free Wanting (Frankfurt's "Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person")

EDavid and Tamler want to go old school and discuss a classic Frankfurt paper on free will. But do they want to want that? Are they free to want what they want to want? Are they free to will what they want to will or to have the will they want? And if that’s not Dr. Seuss enough for you, shouting “FUCK” increases pain tolerance but what about shouting “TWIZPIPE”?Sponsored By:BetterHelp: You deserve to be happy. BetterHelp online counseling is there for you. Connect with your professional counselor in a safe and private online environment. Promo Code: VBWSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:Repeating the “F” word can improve threshold for pain during an ice water challengeFrontiers | Swearing as a Response to Pain: Assessing Hypoalgesic Effects of Novel “Swear” Words | PsychologyVery Bad Wizards has a new shirt! [CottonBureau.com]Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person by Harry Frankfurt

88 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Free Wanting (Frankfurt's "Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person")

Postmodern Wet Dreams (Borges' "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote")

EDavid and Tamler dive into “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” a very funny Borges story that also raises deep questions about authorship, reading, and interpretation. What would it mean for the same text to be written by two different authors more than three hundred years apart? Is this story the post-modernist manifesto that literary critics like Roland Barthes believed it to be? Or is the narrator in the story just a delusional sycophant, a victim of Menard’s practical joke – and the story by extension, a practical joke by Borges on the post-modernist movement to come? Plus, My Little Pony fans finally confront their Nazi problem.Sponsored By:BetterHelp: You deserve to be happy. BetterHelp online counseling is there for you. Connect with your professional counselor in a safe and private online environment. Promo Code: VBWSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:'My Little Pony' Fans Confront Their Nazi Problem - The AtlanticVery Bad Wizards has a new shirt! [CottonBureau.com]Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote - WikipediaThe Brothers Karmazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky) — This is the edition we will be reading from in our upcoming miniseries.

96 MINJUL 8
Comments
Postmodern Wet Dreams (Borges' "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote")

All the Rage

EA lotta anger out there right now, but does it do more harm than good? Is anger counterproductive, an obstacle to progress? And even when it is, can anger be appropriate anway? We talk about two excellent articles by the philosopher Amia Srinivasan criticizing anger's critics. Plus we express some counterproductive anger of our own at the IDWs response to the protests.Sponsored By:The Great Courses Plus: Never stop learning. Pursue your passion. Quench your curiosity. Embark on an educational endeavor. Watch thousands of streaming videos on hundreds of subjects. Promo Code: wizardsSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:Would Politics Be Better Off Without Anger? | The NationWelcomeSrinivasan, A. (2018) The Aptness of Anger, Journal of Political Philosophy. Reprinted in the Philosopher’s Annual.

96 MINJUN 24
Comments
All the Rage

We Pod. We Pod-Cast. We Podcast. (Frankfurt’s “On Bullshit”)

EDavid and Tamler talk about police violence, the protests, and Harry Frankfurt's journal article turned bestseller ”On Bullshit." Plus we dive into a comic masterpiece of late capitalism: the University of Oregon's brand guidelines.Sponsored By:The Great Courses Plus: Never stop learning. Pursue your passion. Quench your curiosity. Embark on an educational endeavor. Watch thousands of streaming videos on hundreds of subjects. Promo Code: wizardsSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:Brand and Style | University CommunicationsThe Black Goat – A podcast about doing scienceTwo Psychologists Four Beers Episode 46: Very Good Men (with Very Bad Wizards)Break Music: Seven Minutes by peezOn Bullshit - WikipediaFrankfurt, H. (2005) On Bullshit. Princeton University Press.

121 MINJUN 10
Comments
We Pod. We Pod-Cast. We Podcast. (Frankfurt’s “On Bullshit”)

The Anality of Evil (Freud's "Civilization and its Discontents")

EDavid and Tamler dive into Sigmund Freud’s world of unconscious drives, death instincts, and thwarted incestuous urges in his classic text “Civilization and its Discontents.” If society has made so much progress, why are human beings perpetually dissatisfied? Can religion help us or is it a big part of the problem? What’s really going on when you piss on a fire to put it out? Also: how seriously should we take Freud today given some of his wackier ideas? And is he a psychologist, a philosopher, or something else entirely? Plus we select the finalists from a huge list of suggested topics for the Patreon listener-selected episode!Sponsored By:BetterHelp: You deserve to be happy. BetterHelp online counseling is there for you. Connect with your professional counselor in a safe and private online environment. Promo Code: VBWSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:Anal retentiveness - WikipediaAnal expulsiveness - WikipediaPsychosexual development - WikipediaCivilization and Its Discontents - W...

97 MINMAY 27
Comments
The Anality of Evil (Freud's "Civilization and its Discontents")

Conceptual Mummies (Nietzsche's "Twilight of the Idols")

ESocrates was ugly and tired of life, so he made a tyrant of reason. Philosophers are mummies who hate the body and the senses. Reason is a tricky old woman. Morality is a misunderstanding. Kant is a sneaky Christian. And don't even get Nietzsche started on "free will" or the "self" - just excuse for priests to punish people, a hangman's metaphysics. David and Tamler dive into Friedrich Nietzsche's Twilight of the Idols, a fascinating set of aphorisms brimming with passion, provocation, questions without answers. Plus, a professor is sanctioned for sex talk with his students - fair or coddling foul? Sponsored By:BetterHelp: You deserve to be happy. BetterHelp online counseling is there for you. Connect with your professional counselor in a safe and private online environment. Promo Code: VBWSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:George Mason University investigation faults professor for sexual talk with students in class and a hot tub, court records show - The Washington PostNietzsche, F. "Tw...

102 MINMAY 13
Comments
Conceptual Mummies (Nietzsche's "Twilight of the Idols")

More Zither

EWith a global pandemic and a collapsing economy upon us, it's time to askourselves some tough questions. Sex robots or platonic love robots - what are you more excited for?If you walked in on your partner with one of them, which would make you more jealous?Are you male or female?Can evolutionary psychology explain sex-linked preferences for sensitive, empathetic Alexas?We then dive into the shadowy echo-filled streets of post-war Vienna - and talk about one of our favorite movies, a true noir classic: The Third Man.Support Very Bad WizardsLinks:Frontiers | Friends, Lovers or Nothing: Men and Women Differ in Their Perceptions of Sex Robots and Platonic Love Robots | PsychologyBreak Music: Framed Your Eyes by peezThe Third Man - WikipediaAllied-occupied Austria - WikipediaDutch angle - Wikipedia

100 MINAPR 22
Comments
More Zither

The One with Peter Singer

EThe legendary Peter Singer joins us to talk about effective altruism, AI, animal welfare, esoteric morality, future Tuesday indifference, and more. I mean, it’s Peter freakin’ Singer - what more do we need to say? Plus, the explosive ‘one or two spaces after a period' debate: has science resolved it?Special Guest: Peter Singer.Sponsored By:GiveWell: Givewell searches for the charities that save or improve lives the most per dollar. Consider a donation this holiday season--your dollar goes a lot further than you might think!Support Very Bad WizardsLinks:Are two spaces better than one? | Butterick’s Practical TypographyRappers, sorted by the size of their vocabulary [thanks to listener Kevin Litman-Navarro]Peter Singer - Wikipediade Lazari-Radek, K., & Singer, P. (2017). Utilitarianism: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press.Singer, P. (2010). The life you can save: How to do your part to end world poverty. Random House Incorporated."A Gadfly for the Greater Good" (Tam...

89 MINAPR 8
Comments
The One with Peter Singer

The Devil's Playground

EDavid and Tamler begin by talking about the question on everyone’s mind right now – are we obligated to be pansexual? Then, since many of us have more free time on our hands these days, we thought it might be a good idea to revisit Bertrand Russell’s essay (published in Harper’s Magazine) “In Praise of Idleness.” How did workaholism become the norm? Why do we see working insanely long hours as a virtue, a moral duty rather than a necessity? Would more leisure make us more fulfilled and creative or just bored? We also discuss Daniel Markovits’ book "The Meritocracy Trap" - when life is a non-stop hyper-competitive grind from preschool to retirement even among the elites, is anyone happy?Sponsored By:BetterHelp: You deserve to be happy. BetterHelp online counseling is there for you. Connect with your professional counselor in a safe and private online environment. Promo Code: VBWSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:Is Pansexuality Obligatory? – The Electric AgoraIn Praise of Idleness, by Bertrand Russell | Harper's Magazine“The Meritocracy Trap,” explained - VoxThe Meritocracy Trap by Daniel Markovits [Amazon affiliate link]

84 MINMAR 25
Comments
The Devil's Playground

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