Episode 30: PsychoProctology w/Jeremy Sherman PhD – What is an Asshole?

Jeremy Sherman PhD comes on to discuss the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of assholery. A bit theory-heavy, so don’t be afraid to check the show notes for explanations.

Thanks to Dr. Sherman for joining us – his new book is What’s up with A**holes: How to spot and stop them without becoming one.

This episode was edited by Ajp_productions.


  • Jeremy Sherman (Website)
  • The Farm – World’s Largest Hippy Commune
  • (Book) The End of History and The Last ManFrancis Fukuyama
  • Terrance Decan evolution of language
  • Proctology – Anus and rectum doctor
  • Congenital – From birth, inherited trait. Also See: Congenital Disorder.
  • Confirmation Bias – the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or values.
  • Fallibilism – is the philosophical claim that no belief can have justification which guarantees the truth of the belief, or that no beliefs are certain.
  • Naive Realism (Our Episode) – naïve realism is the human tendency to believe that we see the world around us objectively, and that people who disagree with us must be uninformed, irrational, or biased.
  • (Book) How to Change Your MindMichael Pollan
  • Brett Kavanaugh – Embroiled in accusations of sexual assault in the face of being made a member of the US supreme court.
  • Permian Extinction
  • Fermi Paradox – the conflict between the lack of clear, obvious evidence for extraterrestrial life and various high estimates for their existence.
  • Social Constructionism (Our Episode relating to it) – a theory of knowledge in sociology and communication theory that examines the development of jointly-constructed understandings of the world that form the basis for shared assumptions about reality. 
  • Postmodernism – an intellectual stance or mode of discourse defined by an attitude of skepticism toward what it describes as the grand narratives and ideologies of modernism, as well as opposition to epistemic certainty and the stability of meaning.
  • Epistemology – the branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge. Epistemologists study the nature, origin, and scope of knowledge, epistemic justification, the rationality of belief, and various related issues.
  • Mechanistic Model (Relating to Mechanism [Philosophy]) – the belief that natural wholes (principally living things) are similar to complicated machines or artifacts, composed of parts lacking any intrinsic relationship to each other.
  • Teleology – a reason or explanation for something as a function of its end, purpose, or goal, as opposed to as a function of its cause.
  • Scientific Formalism (Theory of Science) –  family of approaches to the presentation of science. It is viewed as an important part of the scientific method, especially in the physical sciences.
  • Empiricism (Theory of Science) – a theory that states that knowledge comes only or primarily from sensory experience. It is one of several views of epistemology, along with rationalism and skepticism. Empiricism emphasizes the role of empirical evidence in the formation of ideas, rather than innate ideas or traditions.
  • Deductive Reasoning – the process of reasoning from one or more statements (premises) to reach a logical conclusion. Deductive reasoning goes in the same direction as that of the conditionals, and links premises with conclusions. If all premises are true, the terms are clear, and the rules of deductive logic are followed, then the conclusion reached is necessarily true.
  • Inductive Reasoning – a method of reasoning in which a body of observations is synthesized to come up with a general principle.
  • Abductive Reasoning – a form of logical inference which starts with an observation or set of observations and then seeks the simplest and most likely conclusion from the observations. This process, unlike deductive reasoning, yields a plausible conclusion but does not positively verify it.
  • Originism – Only claiming to understand something by explaining how it came from what was before it; what it is replacing.
  • Emergent Reductionism – Once you’ve explained how something has emerged, reduce it to that explained category.
  • Ergodynamic – What we’re talking about when we talk about different categories; how does it change the work? How does the work of self-regeneration emerge from physical work?
  • Cartesian Materialism (Cartesianism) – the idea that at some place (or places) in the brain, there is some set of information that directly corresponds to our conscious experience. Contrary to its name, Cartesian materialism is not a view that was held by or formulated by René Descartes, who subscribed rather to a form of substance dualism.
  • Defaulty Logic – Since you’re wrong, I must be right by default. Related to Naive Realism (Our Episode) and the False Consensus Effect.
  • Normativity – generally means relating to an evaluative standard. Normativity is the phenomenon in human societies of designating some actions or outcomes as good or desirable or permissible and others as bad or undesirable or impermissible.
  • The Serenity Prayer – God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
  • (Book) The Anatomy of Fascism by Robert Paxton
  • Shell Game – related to the cups and balls conjuring trick, which is performed purely for entertainment purposes without any purported gambling element. The gambling form is always a confidence trick.
  • Monty Python Skit – Argument
  • Sealioning (Origin Comic) – a type of trolling or harassment that consists of pursuing people with persistent requests for evidence or repeated questions, while maintaining a pretense of civility and sincerity. It may take the form of “incessant, bad-faith invitations to engage in debate”.
  • Karl Popper’s The Paradox of Tolerance (Comic form) – escribed the paradox of tolerance as the seemingly counterintuitive idea that “in order to maintain a tolerant society, the society must be intolerant of intolerance.” Essentially, if a so-called tolerant society permits the existence of intolerant philosophies, it is no longer tolerant. (Source)
  • (Youtube) Innuendo StudiosThe Alt-Right Playbook
  • (Youtube) Some More NewsWhy Is Conservative Comedy So… Not Very Good?
  • Trailer Park Boys
  • The Law of Sevens (Marketing) – the prospective buyer should hear or see the marketing message at least seven times before they buy it from you.

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