Very Bad Wizards
Tamler Sommers & David Pizarro
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 156: Notes From Underground (Pt. 1)
We’re sick men. We’re spiteful men. We’re unpleasant men. We think our livers are diseased (especially Tamler’s). So we talk about Dostoevsky’s wild, complex, stream of consciousness masterpiece Notes From Underground. For this episode we focus on part 1 of the novella, and the philosophy behind it. Is the underground man an existentialist hero affirming his freedom in the face of a deterministic hyper-rationalist worldview? Or is he a lonely man consumed with guilt and self-loathing, constructing a pretentious post-hoc rationalization of his character and behavior? Plus, the American Psychological Association just issued guidelines for how to treat men who embrace traditional masculine ideologies. Is the backlash justified? This episode is brought to you by Eero, Curiosity Stream, and the generosity of listeners like you. Sponsored By:Eero Promo Code: VERYBADWIZARDSCuriosityStream Promo Code: VBWSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:'Traditional Masculinity' Can Be Harmful, Psychologists Find - The AtlanticAPA ‘Masculinity’ Guidelines Face a Title IX Challenge at Harvard University, for Discriminating Against Men in PsychologyNotes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky (trans. by Constance Garnett) [amazon.com affiliate link]Notes from Underground - Wikipedia
Episode 155: Alfred Hitchcock's Money Shot
David and Tamler dive deep into Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 hallucinatory classic, Vertigo. Why does this movie seem to gain stature among critics and academics every year? Is this a really a exploration of Hitchcock's own obsessions and sexual repression? Is it a story about filmmaking and celebrity? Or is it just a twisty noir thriller about a man who has no job and can't kiss to save his life? Plus, some thoughts about bad reviews on Rate My Professor and why it's hard to get feedback about job performance in academia. Support Very Bad WizardsLinks:Relax (Short film by Matthew Herbertz)Bob Einstein on "The Ringer" podcastVertigo (film) - WikipediaVertigo | Scanners | Roger Ebert
Episode 154: Metaphysical Vertigo (Borges's "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius")
In the famous words of the idealist philosopher George Berkeley, “To exist is to be perceived.” Our ideas and perceptions are the fundamental objects in the universe; there is no real world beyond them. Hume wrote (I think) that Berkeley’s arguments don’t admit of the slightest refutation, and they don’t inspire the slightest conviction. On Earth, that may be true. On Tlön, it’s false – the people there are “congenital idealists.” Their language, philosophy, literature, and religion presuppose idealism. It’s their common sense. And their philosophy starts to encroach on their reality. But what happens when we read and hear about Tlön – can their idealism invade our “real” world? Will we start to lose our metaphysical bearings? David and Tamler talk about Borges’s invasive, unsettling story “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius.” Please listen so we can exist! (And speaking of things that may or may not exist, we also discuss the metaphysics of holes.) This episode is brough...
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