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The Existential Files

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Episodes

Episode #62 with Special Guest Elisha Shapiro

8/21/2017
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For episode 62 we chat to comedian, performance artist and self-styled Funniest Nihilist, Elisha Shapiro. Elisha joins us from LA to chat about a variety of topics, including telling us about the Nihilist Olympics and his unsuccessful presidential campaign. We debate the correct pronunciation of nihilist, and generally try to understand what that term means for Elisha. Elisha also runs a popular nihilism website, Nihilist’s Corner, and we chat about that too. You can learn more about...

Duration: 00:44:38


Episode #61 with Special Guest Brock Bastian

8/7/2017
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For episode 61 we continue our travels into pain and the misery of existence. We are joined by special guest, psychologist Brock Bastian, who chats with us about how pain may be the forgotten secret to happiness, and how striving for endless pleasure can actually be self-defeating. We also chat about Brock’s other great interest, morality, and ponder vegetarianism: what’s so great about sausages and other deep moral questions. You can find out more about Brock at his website:...

Duration: 00:45:12


Episode #56 with Special Guest Krissy Wilson

6/19/2017
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For episode 56 we are joined by psychologist Dr Krissy Wilson. Krissy is interested in why people believe in the paranormal (amongst other things) and is generally a skeptic of extraordinary claims. A former member of the APRU at Goldsmiths University, Krissy chats with us about a variety of topics including academia, self-deception, the placebo effect, the evolutionary advantage of belief, critical thinking, psychics and more. You can find out more about Krissy at...

Duration: 00:47:33


Episode #55 with Special Guest Andy Martin

6/12/2017
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For episode 55 we are joined by writer and academic Dr Andy Martin. Andy is a regular contributor to a variety of newspapers and has written a number of books, including an excellent account of the relationship between Camus and Sartre (The Boxer and the Beekeeper). His latest book is Reacher Said Nothing: Lee Child and the Making of Make Me, and is ostensibly about the creative process. A man with a wide range of interests and experience, we have an unusually informal chat about all...

Duration: 00:41:47


Episode #54 with Special Guest Emmy van Deurzen

6/5/2017
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For this episode we are joined by philosopher and existential psychotherapist Emmy van Deurzen. Emmy has not only written a whole host of books, but is also Principal of the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling at the Existential Academy in London. A perfect guest for this podcast, Emmy chats with us about a whole range of topics, including helping us understand what existential therapy is, and how it can help people in their lives. We also talk about Thomas Szasz (who was the topic...

Duration: 00:37:23


Episode #51 with Special Guest Graham Farmelo

5/15/2017
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For episode 51 we are joined by former academic, now science writer Graham Farmelo, to chat about his wonderful biography of physicist Paul Dirac. The nature of the universe is something we like to chat about here on The Existential Files, and Dirac essentially discovered half of it, when he posited the existence of antimatter! Dirac was a very interesting chap, and it was great to pick Graham’s brains about a host of physics questions, and about Dirac too. You can learn about Graham’s...

Duration: 00:43:37


Episode #49 with Special Guest Hayley Stevens

5/5/2017
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For this episode we are joined again by sceptical blogger and fellow podcaster, Hayley Stevens. Hayley started out as a believer in the paranormal, but found her way to the dark side of disbelief and spends much of her time looking for the nonparanormal explanations for paranormal experiences. This time we cover cryptozoology and fake paranormal researchers. You can learn more about Hayley at her blog http://hayleyisaghost.co.uk

Duration: 00:21:51


Episode #48 with Special Guest Hayley Stevens

5/5/2017
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After the head hurting topic of the last episode, it seems like a good idea to return to something a little less serious. For this episode we are joined by sceptical blogger and fellow podcaster, Hayley Stevens. Hayley started out as a believer in the paranormal, but found her way to the dark side of disbelief and spends much of her time looking for the nonparanormal explanations for paranormal experiences. We chat about ghosts and the paranormal, ghost hunters, and scepticism. You can...

Duration: 00:28:52


Episode #44 with Special Guest John Marmysz

4/18/2017
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In this episode we are joined again by a very special guest, philosophy professor and self-confessed nihilist John Marmysz. In this episode we chat about John’s book, The Nihilist: A Philosophical Novel. And we also have an extensive discussion about his upcoming book, Cinematic Nihilism. John tells us about nihilism in cinema, and offers his opinion on some favourite examples of cinematic nihilism. You can learn more about John at his blog, The Nihilist Void @ https://marmysz.wordpress.com/

Duration: 00:29:01


Episode #42

4/14/2017
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Ah. Sweet 42. [We really didn’t schedule these podcast episodes in advance, otherwise this would be a more special episode than it is!] Continuing on from Episode #41, we are joined by our not-so-special guest, who is just a listener of the podcast (maybe our only one), to chat about how the podcast has been going so far. Again we cover a variety of different topics including philosophy and psychology, Popper and falsifiability, Vygotsky, questioning psychologists' motivations in...

Duration: 00:28:11


Episode #41

4/14/2017
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A different type of episode for this one. Today we are joined by a not-so-special guest, somebody who is just a listener of the podcast (maybe our only one), to chat with us about how the podcast has been going so far. We talk about a variety of topics including artificial selection and evolution, the different types of nihilism, love, and epistemology and objective truth. Thanks to Elizabeth Grant for asking us some very interesting questions.

Duration: 00:36:11


Episode #40

4/9/2017
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In this episode we continue our previous discussion on the essay by Louie entitled 'Misery in the Brain of the Earth Ape' (which can be found on his blog everythingispointless.com). We chat about a variety of topics, including freewill and determinism, existential responsibility, morality, genes and psychopathy.

Duration: 00:23:39


Episode #38

4/9/2017
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In this episode we chat between ourselves about existential crises, nihilism and secular humanism.

Duration: 00:16:58


Episode #39

4/9/2017
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In this episode we discuss an essay by written by Louie entitled 'Misery in the Brain of the Earth Ape' (which can be found on his blog everythingispointless.com). We debate some of the ideas of the essay including the importance of biology to existential being, the past and identity, and evolution.

Duration: 00:26:36


Episode #37 with Special Guest R. Scott Bakker

4/3/2017
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In this episode we are are joined by another special guest, R. Scott Bakker. Scott is a prolific and successful fantasy author, but has also recently published a paper in the Journal of Consciousness Studies called On Alien Philosophy. Scott joins us to discuss some of the ideas outlined in his paper (for example blind brain theory) and we have a very stimulating and friendly chat (though we're first to admit some of it went way over our heads!). We hope to chat to Scott again in the...

Duration: 00:38:19


Episode #36 with Special Guest Yannick Jacob

3/29/2017
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In this episode we are joined again by our special guest, Yannick Jacob. Yannick is the programme leader for the MSc Coaching Psychology at UEL and he also teaches and lectures on the topics of existentialism, coaching, mediation and positive psychology. So a perfect guest for our podcast given our preoccupations with existentialism and positive psychology. We chat about who is an existential being, the purpose of existential coaching, flow, risk-taking and happiness, and finally how...

Duration: 00:30:25


Episode #35 with Special Guest Yannick Jacob

3/29/2017
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In this episode we are joined by another special guest, Yannick Jacob. Yannick is the programme leader for the MSc Coaching Psychology at UEL and he also teaches and lectures on the topics of existentialism, coaching, mediation and positive psychology. So a perfect guest for our podcast given our preoccupations with existentialism and positive psychology. We chat about positive psychology and suspicions, beliefs in god and spirituality, and existentialism. You can find more out about...

Duration: 00:30:44


Episode #34 with Special Guest Susan Blackmore

3/25/2017
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In this episode we are joined by another very special guest, Dr Susan Blackmore. Sue is a former parapsychologist who has moved away from the study of the paranormal and onto investigating a wide range of topics, including evolution, memes and consciousness. During our interview we discussed PhDs, memes and the third replicator (tremes), technology and AI, evolution and cyberspace, consciousness, the self and identity, the subjective and the objective, drugs, hallucinations, and altered...

Duration: 00:35:46


Episode #33 with Special Guest Christopher French

3/17/2017
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For this episode we are joined again by an extra special guest, Professor Christopher French. Chris French was Louie's PhD supervisor, and is a well known British psychologist interested in paranormal beliefs and claims. He is currently head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths College, and we continue our chat about anomalistic psychology and parapsychology. Also discuss briefly positive psychology and the meaning of life. You can find more on Chris and the APRU at...

Duration: 00:19:07


Episode #32 with Special Guest Christopher French

3/17/2017
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For this episode we are joined by an extra special guest, Professor Christopher French. Chris French was Louie's PhD supervisor, and is a well known British psychologist interested in paranormal beliefs and claims. He is currently head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths College, and he chats with us about anomalistic psychology and parapsychology (amongst other things). You can find more on Chris and the APRU at http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/

Duration: 00:28:56

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