In the first edition of A Very Bad Wizard: Morality Behind the Curtain - Nine Conversations, philosopher Tamler Sommers talked with an interdisciplinary group of the world's leading researchers-from the fields of social psychology, moral philosophy, cognitive science, and primatology-all working on the same issue: the origins and workings of morality. Together, these nine interviews pulled back some of the curtain, not only on our moral lives but-through Sommers' probing, entertaining, and well informed questions-on the way morality traditionally has been studied.
This Second Edition increases the subject matter, adding eight additional interviews and offering features that will make A Very Bad Wizard more useful in undergraduate classrooms. These features include structuring all chapters around sections and themes familiar in a course in ethics or moral psychology; providing follow-up podcasts for some of the interviews, which will delve into certain issues from the conversations in a more informal manner; including an expanded and annotated reading list with relevant primary sources at the end of each interview; presenting instructor and student resources online in a companion website.
The resulting new publication promises to synthesize and make accessible the latest interdisciplinary research to offer a brand new way to teach philosophical ethics and moral psychology.
Tamler Sommers is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Houston. His research focuses on moral responsibility, revenge, honor, and the philosophy of punishment. He is the author of Relative Justice: Cultural Diversity, Free Will and Moral Responsibility (2012) and co-host of the Very Bad Wizards podcast. He is currently writing a book in defense of honor.
Preface to the First Edition Preface to the Second Edition Part I: Free to be You and Me? Maybe Not Introduction 1. Galen Strawson "You Cannot Make Yourself the Way You Are" 2. Philip Zimbardo "The Power of the Situation." Part II The Big Questions: Virtue, Honor, Meaning, and the Good Life Introduction 3. Valerie Tiberius "The Good Life" 4. Susan Wolf "Meaning and Objectivity" 5. Nancy Sherman "Navigating our Moral Worlds." 6. William Ian Miller "Codes of Honor." 7. Anthony Appiah "Honor and Moral Progress" Part III Ethics and Metaethics Introduction 8. Michael Ruse "The Illusion of Objectivity in Ethics." 9. Peter Singer "A Gadfly for the Greater Good." 10. Simon Blackburn "Beyond the Knave" Part IV Morality Behind the Curtain Introduction 11 Frans de Waal "Lessons From Our Primate Relatives" 12. Jonathan Haidt "Comfortably Dumbfounded" 13. Paul Bloom. "Reason Restored" 14. Joseph Henrich "Relative Justice." 15. Alan Fiske and Tage Rai "The Morality of Violence" 16. Stephen Stich "I Walk the Line" 17. Joshua Greene and Liane Young "Trolley Problems"