Today we welcome Robert Sapolsky to the podcast. Robert is professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and a research associate with the Institute of Primate Research at the National Museum of Kenya. His research has been featured in the National Geographic documentary “Stress: Portrait of a Killer”. At age 30, Robert received the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius” grant. He is author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, A Primate’s Memoir, The Trouble with Testosterone and Monkeyluv. His latest book is called Determined: A Science of Life Without Free Will.
In this episode, I talk to Robert Sapolsky about life without free will. Humans like the idea of having control over their lives, but Robert asserts that free will is just an illusion. Life beyond free will may sound unpleasant, but Robert explains the profound consequences of this belief in reforming the justice system, meritocracy, and education. We also touch on the topics of philosophy, quantum physics, mindfulness, grit, and responsibility.
- Robert’s background and upbringing
- Life without free will
- Believing in free will
- Responsibility and punishment
- The future cannot be determined
- Mindfulness – a form of free will?
- The human experience
- Abolish the justice system and meritocracy
- Statistical guilt
- Effort, grit and taking credit
- Nobody is more “worthy”
- Life is worth living
Today’s episode is sponsored by Unlikely Collaborators. Their mission is to untangle the stories that hold us back—as individuals, communities, nations, and humanity at large. Using the Perception Box lens, they do this through storytelling, experiences, impact, investments and scientific research. Unlikely Collaborators: The Only Way Forward is Inward.
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