Oct 7, 2021 • 51M

15 - Robert Sapolsky: Why Society Would Be Fairer If We Stopped Believing in Free Will

Open in playerListen on);

Appears in this episode

Stanford Psychology Podcast
Episode details

Eric chats with Robert Sapolsky, Stanford Professor of Biology, Neurology, and Neurosurgery. Robert is a world-renowned academic and author of highly successful books such as A Primate’s Memoir, Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, and Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst. His Stanford lectures were among the first to be made available online across the entire university and have been watched tens of millions of times. Robert is a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow. He is a highly engaging teacher and lecturer, not least because of his wonderful sense of humor.

In this episode, Robert announces his upcoming (yet-to-be-written) book “Determined: A Science of Life Without Free Will.” Robert discusses when and how he came to give up his belief in free will, and why we all should if we want to live in a fairer society. However, Eric and Robert also discuss some alluring upsides of believing in free will, and Robert acknowledges he’d love to swallow the blue pill, allowing him to believe in free will again.

If you found this episode interesting at all, consider leaving us a good rating! It just takes a second but will allow us to reach more people and make them excited about psychology.


Robert's latest book Behave

Eric's website
Eric's Twitter @EricNeumannPsy

Podcast Twitter @StanfordPsyPod

Let us know what you thought of this episode, or of the podcast! :) stanfordpsychpodcast@gmail.com