Episode 56

Published on:

27th Sep 2022

Interview with Neil Levy on Intellectual Virtue Signalling

Fellow decoders: a few weeks ago Chris and Matt were invited to virtually attend a lecture at Macquarie University that promised to be of interest for the podcast. And that lecture was presented by the philosophy professor Neil Levy on the intriguing topic of 'Intellectual Virtue Signalling'. That is the status-seeking advertising of what is commonly perceived as intellectual virtues. We found Neil's thesis extremely compelling, with clear applications to a lot of the stuff we observe week on and week out on DTG. So, naturally, we swallowed our pride and our eternal disdain for philosophy and begged Neil to grace our humble show with his presence. Neil kindly agreed and we proceeded to have an enjoyable conversation with our patented meandering waffle juxtaposed against Neil's careful philosophizing.

Before the interview, we also spend a little bit of time spelling out our policy on being abusive to the gurus. Here it is in summary: Don't do it! Robust criticism, ok. Personal abuse/doxing, is not ok. Got it? Good!

Prof. Levy holds a dual position at the Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford University. He publishes not only in practical ethics and moral philosophy but also across diverse topics in cognition, addiction, and pathology. Neil has also written a number of books, most recently:

'Bad Beliefs' is directly related to the podcast, and is available freely online!

We heartily recommend this interview, and might even go so far as to say Neil has helpfully provided us with a bit of conceptual framework that undergirds some high-level stuff that's happening within and across the quantum circuits of the Gurometer. Thanks for that Neil!

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About the Podcast

Decoding the Gurus
A psychologist and an anthropologist try to make sense of the world's greatest self-declared Gurus.
An exiled Northern Irish anthropologist and a hitchhiking Australian psychologist take a close look at the contemporary crop of 'secular gurus', iconoclasts, and other exiles from the mainstream, offering their own brands of unique takes and special insights.

Leveraging two of the most diverse accents in modern podcasting, Chris and Matt dig deep into the claims, peek behind the psychological curtains, and try to figure out once and for all... What's it all About?

Join us, as we try to puzzle our way through and talk some smart-sounding smack about the intellectual giants of our age, from Jordan Peterson to Robin DiAngelo. Are they revolutionary thinkers or just grifters with delusions of grandeur?

Join us and let's find out!
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About your hosts

Christopher Kavanagh

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A Northern Irish cognitive anthropologist who occasionally moonlights as a social psychologist. Chris has long standing interests in the psychology of conspiracy theorists and pseudoscience. His academic research focuses on the Cognitive Science of Religion and ritual psychology. He lives happily in Japan with his family.

Matthew Browne

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An Australian psychologist and numbers-guy. He does research on all kinds of stuff, but particularly enjoys looking into why people believe the things they do: religion, conspiracy theories, alternative medicine and stuff. He's into social media in the same way people slow down for car accidents.