Philosophy vs. Improv #73: Family Whêtspät w/ Colleen Doyle

The co-host of the Those Who Aunt podcast joins Mark and Bill to joke about the family as the fundamental political unit and its special place in ethics. On the flip side, what questions should you ask yourself about your character at the start of a scene? Plus, Jan. 6, Platonic eugenics, transcending physical desire, a story that doesn't quite get started, a military  Continue Reading …

PvI#72: Spock Fever w/ Cole Nasrallah and Chris Rathjen

It's another TEAM PLAY episode, with our returning champions, star of improv stages and podcasts Chris and College of Southern Nevada philosophy prof Cole receiving NOT THE INFORMATION THEY EXPECT and gettin' all rational and such when consoling a friend and wrangling about a math quiz. Luxuriate in the rich characters and philosophy tools! Cole photographs nature (her Insta  Continue Reading …

PvI#71: The Cranio-Fascism Exchange

If people would be uniquely healed by your blood, how much would you charge for it? Would it make a difference if they were wealthy vampires? Bill entices Mark to join a cult. You can watch video for this episode, including all our post-game chatting, all ad-free, just by visiting our Patreon page; you need not subscribe. The episode image was snatched from here. Hear  Continue Reading …

PvI#68: Mark and Bill Oozing at Christmastime

It's our office holiday party, where we engage in chit-chat then enter into a few holiday scenes. Is there any philosophy content in this one at all? We do talk a bit about status and authority. Was there any particular improv lesson? We forgot to actually lay out our lessons at the end, and (SPOILER) declined to name a winner. Our Post-Game discussion is a mere 2.5 minutes  Continue Reading …

PvI#67: Consent to Improv w/ Sukaina Hirji

Sukaina teaches philosophy at U. of Pennsylvania, combining work from ancient Greek, contemporary moral, and feminist philosophy. She lets Mark and Bill know about critiques by feminist philosophers of the idea of consent. We talk a bit about moral agency, teaching dynamics given these kids today, Aristotelian virtue, and testing personality types by turning them up to 11.  Continue Reading …

PvI#66: Legacy Mops w/ Kevin Allison

Kevin is the creator and host of the storytelling podcast RISK! and is the alphabetically foremost member of the MTV-televised, newly reformed, celebrity-infested sketch comedy troupe The State. He tells us he was also the creative director of an improv troupe for a year, but it's not his primary jam, so we talk about that before launching into a scene about a suspicious  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #65: Pop Spice

Recorded on 9/11 (a date not known primarily for its improv activities), only now making its way to you, this discussion between Mark and Bill talk child deification, pop philosophy vs. pop improv, foreign accents, and guns in schools in the hands of improvisers. The image is from this Reddit article asking for ideas on how to "spice up" a potential tattoo drawing of mice by  Continue Reading …

PvI#64: TEAM PLAY GENERALS with Linda Orr and Andrew Lavin

Returning freedom fighters Andrew and Linda and join Bill and Mark to talk about philosophical liberalism: Its rationales and varieties. Plus, preschool orientation, and Greek gods creating a new world. Follow Linda @IrisCutter. Her weekly improv show is with the troupe Dumb John. Listen to Andrew's philosophy podcast, Reductio, which has dwelt further on Rawlsian  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #63: Virtual Socrates w/ David Chalmers

The New York University Prof and author of many influential books including the new Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy joins Mark and Bill to simulate debates about AI, cybersex, actor vs. character, and keeping children safe from reality. We refer to Nick Bostrom's argument that we're most likely now in a simulation. In a past episode, we discussed  Continue Reading …

PvI#62: Cutting Every Edge w/ Jeremy Richards

The author of The Accomplished Creative, a sort of anti-self-help book based around Jeremy's improv experience and what he learned as a philosophy major, joins Mark and Bill to talk impostor syndrome and benign violations, get real meta about Die Hard scenarios, and have a cheese intervention.  Follow @JeremyRichards. Listen to Jeremy's podcast Think Like An Improviser.  Continue Reading …

PvI#61: TEAM PLAY CIRCUS with Adal Rifai and Jenny Hansen

It's our season three premiere, and the elephants are in the room! It's St. Lawrence University philosophy prof Jenny (a frequent PEL guest) in the ring with UIC Theater instructor/Podcaster with Hey Riddle Riddle and Hello From the Magic Tavern Adal, along with Mark and Bill, of course. And the Bullshot is flying! Who will be hit? Who will master the rings? Who will shoot from  Continue Reading …

PvI#59: Yes, and Technological Dystopia w/ Anthony LeBlanc

How does new technology affect ethics? Anthony (who is on strike, but that doesn't apply to improv) is an improviser with a computer science degree who now coaches kid TV actors. We talk personal identity, transhumanism, genetic engineering, AI, organizational ethics, Black Mirror, Beastars, and transporter virginity. Listen to more transporter talk on The Partially Examined  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #58: Avant Garde Accounting

The guests are away, and so Billy and Markaroony will play. This fast-paced, sweet-moving discussion covers the genius individual artist and how that might or might not allow collaboration, genres and definitions, strife, and more. Mark just can't WAIT for a canoe, and getting CRAZY at the salad bar. Oops, we forgot to determine a winner, so YOU decide. The image was pulled  Continue Reading …

PvI#57: Happier Cancer w/ Monica McCarthy

Watch this episode as a video. This includes the full post-game segment, so you can see what you're missing by not being a supporter to this podcast. Don't you think it's time you became one? Monica is an actor and writer who ran a live-on-stage philosophy podcast called The Happier Hour, and so naturally we talk about happiness, or flourishing (eudaimonia). Can babies  Continue Reading …

PvI#55: Oversouled Behavior w/ Genevieve Joy

Genevieve is a comedian, podcaster, and she was a philosophy major who's studying for her doctorate in Divinity (in the Science of Mind/New Thought tradition). We talk about the idea that "we are all one" (and thus we are all God, if you want to call the sum of all things by that name) that's in various traditions. Ralph Waldo Emerson called this the "oversoul." Unique to  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #54: Do You Want to Be Here? w/ Brain in a Vat

Mark Oppenheimer and Jason Werbeloff of the Brain in a Vat podcast join Bill and Mark L. (aka Alf) to talk about rationality, broadly construed, while not moving a couch and not giving each other Christmas presents. Does "reason" by itself tell us what to do and what to believe? Is trypophobia really just bigotry? (It is not.) What's the rationale for making negative  Continue Reading …