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Very Bad Wizards

By Tamler Sommers & David Pizarro

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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.

Customer Reviews

A Very Good Show

I recently listened to Very Bad Wizard after seeing a post about it from my alma mater, the University of Houston. For a semester Dr. Sommers led one of my classes, which led to some frustrating but always interesting debates. Here it's pretty much the same thing, but with pairing him with someone much more knowledgable and funnier. The conversations you'll find here are insightful and it's great to hear Dr. Sommers frequent the role of Devil's advocate. You'll be thinking about each episode for a while and even come away with a few laughs. Listen to this if you like other shows like How Stuff Works or Professor Blastoff, but would like a little more academia in your podcast.


This podcast quickly moved its way up the rankings of my podcast library. Very Bad Wizards has many of the qualities possessed by my long-time favourites such as Rationally Speaking, Skeptics Guide to the Universe, and Reasonable Doubts: Balancing Casual/fun conversational tone without compromising intellectual content; having a multidisciplinary point of view; interesting subject matter; and finally at least one of the hosts is funny and knowledgeable ;)
PS. As a Canadian (living in Houston, TX) I'm curious to hear Dave's observations about Canadians. Don't be afraid to be honest... Also, if Dave's interested, there's a great (critical) book on Canadian cultural identity myths: "The Unfinished Canadian". Maybe "national myths" (about character) is general topic you guys can do--Americans have plenty too!
Great work guys...I'm looking forward to more episodes.

I wish I could play this for my classes

These discussions are a perfect example of how good thinking gets done: A philosopher and a psychologist walk into the bar... It's irreverent, distasteful (hilariously so), and spot on for the type of raw, throw-it-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks idea development that forms of the basis of some of the best theory discussions. If I could somehow get my undergraduates to understand that brainstorming sometimes means saying whatever comes to mind - however crazy it might sound - this would be perfect for teaching how theory is developed and informs experiment. I'm working on this but I'm at a religious institution... Hmmm. If only I was a philosopher or social psychologist, I'd figure how to make this happen.

Very Bad Wizards
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Customer Ratings