A Very Bad Wizard: Morality Behind the Curtain

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Overview

?Do we have free will? What counts as justice in the Peruvian Amazon? Does evolutionary theory make ethics a sham? Is Catherine Zeta-Jones objectively hotter than Drew Barrymore?

These are just a few of the questions that philosopher Tamler Sommers attempts to answer in his interviews with ten acclaimed researchers in the burgeoning field of moral psychology.

Philip Zimbardo discusses his famous Stanford Prison Experiment, why he had to stop the study after only six days, and ...

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Overview

?Do we have free will? What counts as justice in the Peruvian Amazon? Does evolutionary theory make ethics a sham? Is Catherine Zeta-Jones objectively hotter than Drew Barrymore?

These are just a few of the questions that philosopher Tamler Sommers attempts to answer in his interviews with ten acclaimed researchers in the burgeoning field of moral psychology.

Philip Zimbardo discusses his famous Stanford Prison Experiment, why he had to stop the study after only six days, and how what happened sheds light on the abuses of Abu Ghraib. Harvard neuroscientist Joshua Greene and Liane Young use MRI machines to investigate the neuroscience behind moral judgment. Jonathan Haidt tells us why we think sleeping with our siblings is wrong and how this relates to the clash between liberals and conservatives. Renowned primatologist Frans de Waal explains what his research on chimpanzees and bonobos can tell us about love and war. And much more.

A Very Bad Wizard is essential reading for anyone curious about the origins and inner workings of our moral lives.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An intellectual feast, completely engrossing."
— Ian McEwan

“A thought-provoking and entertaining tour of one of the frontiers of human knowledge — the roots of our moral sense.”
— Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of How the Mind Works and The Stuff of Thought

“Tamler Sommers has become something of a legend in the world of philosophy, not only for his profound insights into human morality, but also for the almost supernaturally funny and engaging way he presents philosophical ideas.… These interviews give the reader a real sense for some of the most important new research in the cognitive science of morality, but they also do an amazing job of capturing some of the verve and excitement of this emerging new field.”
— Joshua Knobe, Assistant Professor, Program in Cognitive Science and
Department of Philosophy, Yale University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934781388
  • Publisher: McSweeney's Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,478,221
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Questions for the interviewer 1

Part 1 How free are we? 7

You cannot make yourself the way you are. Galen Strawson 9

The power of the situation. Philip Zimbardo 29

Part 2 Where did morality come from? What is it? Wliere is it going? 61

Lessons from our primate relatives. Franz deWaal 63

The illusion of objectivity in ethics. Michael Ruse 85

Relative justice Joseph Henrich 103

Trolley problems Joshua Greene Liane Young 131

Part 3 Bad wizard, good man: Dispelling the illusions of morality 151

Comfortably dumbfounded Jonathan Haidt 153

"I walk the line." Stephen Stich 173

Codes of honor William Ian Miller 207

Selected Reading 235

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2015

    Ok, so it's not Sam Harris' high selling pamphlet, but it's good

    Ok, so it's not Sam Harris' high selling pamphlet, but it's good. I would also recommend his podcast very bad wizards if you get the chance. 

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