Philosophy vs. Improv #31: Signs, Signs, Ubiquitous Signs w/ Brooke Breit

Contemplate the difference between signs, symbols, and symptoms. Did our improv scene get Zoom-bombed, or is that just real life intruding? THINK OF THE CHILDREN (eating Doritos)! What flavor of chip is Bill trying to teach today? Why is Brooke sad? BBrooke is of course an improviser and has also been on TV and works for Jackbox Games. Follow her @brookebreit, For more  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #30: In Historica Res

...which, as I was saying, is right in the middle of a sentence or scene! Sheesh! How should our personal and family histories shape our behavior, both in real life and in improv scenes? Do these histories, these stories we tell ourselves, nail us down as people? Are we all old before our time? Are those your real parents? Hang on to your poser wallet! Image by Julia as  Continue Reading …

PvI#29: Personal Panpsychism w/ Jack Symes

Panpsycast host Jack, the Liverpudliest Liverpudlian of all, brings his promiscuous philosophy of mind to the show, wherein mind is here, there, and everywhere. But what does that mean? Skits about renting a flat for nefarious purposes and designing software for Nozick's experience machine reveal all! But the question remains... So what? You have to care! Hear Jack on his  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #28: Enhanced Interrogation w/ Adal Rifai

Today's episode is about questioning: how one might question, what sets the parameters for a proper answer, and how to give those answers in an informative and/or dramatically effective way. Watch out for dream pigs! Also, how to get into the VIP room at Stuckey's. Perhaps a pair of paralegals can help. In the post-game, included JUST THIS ONCE for public enjoyment, we  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #27: Normaliticitizationism w/ Andrew Lavin

We are joined by the young purveyor of the Reductio podcast, who wrote his dissertation on normality, which was such a normie thing to do. Can "abnormality" be morally neutral, or is that term cursed? We talk disability studies. You down with OTPs? Repeat after mes! How many towels do you need? Listen to Andrew explain his dissertation uninterrupted. Here's that offensive  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #26: Monetize Your Syphilitic Storytelling w/ Linda Orr

Is money the root of all evil, or does it save us from needless cabaret bartering? What is money qua social construction? Should we retain the chocolate fountain? Are you ready to run? Did you bring your NFTs to trade for blue powder? Bill is master of the frustration scene. Here's the Stanford article about money and finance. Listen to Linda and her husband Noah (who was  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #25: Questionable Causal Practices

We are guest free! We are unrestrained in exploring various conversational topics in a facetious manner, from hairballs to boogers to color vision among inanimate objects and rules for unicorn play. When the bad-ass, smelly, screaming white ball hits the 5 ball, how does the causality work? Is skepticism about physical forces just conspiracy theory? Image from this NY Times  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #24: Game Time w/ C. Thi Nguyen

Thi is a philosopher of games, making him a perfect match for this podcast. Why are games worthy of philosophical study? What counts as a game, anyway? We play a frustration game, finish each others' sentences, and ask dumb questions on a museum tour. It's an unusually discussion-focused episode! Picture is by Zahra, grabbed from this article. Audio editing by Tyler Hislop  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #23: Things Mean Things w/ Tommy Maranges (aka Philosophy Bro)

Can we have an entertaining discussion inspired by Aristotle's most boring book? Bill leads Mark and our guest Tommy through some let's-describe-what's-in-an-imaginary-room exercises.  Dark Tourist, I'm Sorry, the bookCan we have an entertaining discussion inspired by Aristotle's most boring book, The  Categories? Bill leads Mark and our guest Tommy through some  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #21: Sentient Garage

The scene is its own entity. What else might be its own entity? Can a machine that passes the Turing test know what it's like to be a bat? We bring in emotions from irrelevant contexts, and we keep hearing them long after they're gone. Episode art by Alvin Alvaro. Audio editing by Tyler Hislop at Pixelbox Media. Hear more PvI. Support the podcast to get bonus stuff and  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #20: The “Other” Story w/ Jenny Hansen

What is "othering"? Why did Bill get such a bad grade? Is it because of his feather quill pen? Don't miss our anti-vaxxer drama! This is our first episode with a real philosophy professor on it, and we get to talk about her experience as an academic as it relates to this most socially relevant philosophical topic. Listen to Jenny talk in more depth with Mark and co. on The  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #19: Broken Atomic Dogs

Let's all lose our jobs and talk instead about fundamental ontology and social dynamics.  Image by I don't remember. Audio editing by Tyler Hislop. Hear more PvI. Support the podcast to get bonus stuff and good karma! Sponsors: Visit betterhelp.com/improv to be matched with a licensed, professional therapist. Learn about St. John's College at sjc.edu/improv.  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #18: Utopias w/ Jill Bernard and Michelle Gilliam

Hell is NOT other people, and the more the merrier, with our second episode with guests being with TWO guest improvisers, Jill, co-founder of HUGE Theater and her friend Michelle, owner of Improv MKE. Bill and our guests each start a scene to explore something of what utopia might amount to, and of course how it will inevitably go bad. Then we discuss whether there is some  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #17: The Imitation Game (with Toaster)

Riffing on resemblance. Eventually invoking the spirit of a toaster. Mark is wrong: the God Emperor of Dune can't drink water at all, just dried food. Learn about Del Close. Philosophy barely makes it in, but if you want to chase down this nonsense about whether a robot cat is still a cat or not, check out the Twin Earth stuff in PEL's Putnam episode. Image by Maia.  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #16: The Legend of Kermit’s Gold w/ Tim Sniffen

Do you believe in miracles? If doctors believed in miracles, would they just let surgeries finish themselves? Do assumptions of a logical universe make it not just unjustified by psychologically impossible for us to really believe in miracles? Read about our VERY FIRST guest, Tim Sniffen at timsniffen.com. Follow him @MisterSniffen and hear him talking more with Mark about  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #15: There is no “I” in “Dahyulectecs”

Who stole Carmine's lunch? I think you know. Are there only a certain number of "logical" directions from one idea to another? Are there no mistakes, or are there mistakes that know? This week's image (which definitely has an eye in it) cribbed from Child's Own. Audio editing by Tyler Hislop. Hear more PvI. Support the podcast to get bonus stuff (like the post-game  Continue Reading …

Philosophy vs. Improv #14: Action Idealism!

Are so-called "material objects" really just a scam? These two cut-ups (Bill and Mark) cut up the world in various ways, showing you how to teach, how to act, and how to haggle.  Learn more about Berkeley's idealism with PEL #89. Image by Sam (called "Sharp Dressed Man"). Audio editing by Tyler Hislop. Hear more PvI. Support the podcast to get bonus stuff and good  Continue Reading …