Episode 91

Published on:

30th Jan 2024

Mini Decoding: Yuval and the Philosophers

Join us for a mini decoding to get us back into the swing of things as we examine a viral clip that had religious reactionaries, sensemakers, and academic philosophers in a bit of a tizzy. Specifically, we are covering reactions to a clip from a 2014 TEDx talk by Yuval Noah Harari, the well-known author and academic, in which he discussed how human rights (and really all of human culture) are a kind of 'fiction'.

Get ready for a thrilling ride as your intrepid duo plunges into a beguiling world of symbolism, cultural evolution, and outraged philosophers. By the end of the episode, we have resolved many intractable philosophical problems including whether monkeys are bastards, if first-class seating is immoral, and where exactly human rights come from. Philosophers might get mad but that will just prove how right we are.


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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.