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Whether or not there is free will has tortured scientists from many fields since philosophers in ancient Greece started wondering about it.

But for one scientist, there’s no question about it…

Meet neuroendocrinology researcher, bestselling author, and Stanford University professor – Robert Sapolsky! Sapolsky’s journey has led him from studying stress and neuronal degeneration in wild baboons in Kenya to exploring the relationship between schizotypal disorders and the emergence of shamanism and the major Western religions.

But more recently, Sapolsky has plunged into philosophical waters, studying free will, or rather the lack thereof, to come up with A Science of Life Without Free Will.

Today, he’s here to present his case! Tune in.

Key Takeaways:

00:00:00 Intro

00:01:27 How can we understand free will without understanding consciousness? 

00:04:30 Panpsychism 

00:07:25 Quantum indeterminacy and free will 

00:15:17 Do baboons have free will?

00:19:36 Are there levels of determinism? 

00:30:46 The neuroscience of free will

00:37:42 Free will, ethics, and a criminal justice reform 

00:45:58 Punishment and justice in Judaism 

00:54:37 God’s omniscience and free will 

01:01:16 What can we learn from baboons? 

01:05:26 The most magical discovery

01:08:11 What did Robert change his mind on? 

01:10:08 Outro

Additional resources:

📚 Get Determined by Robert Sapolsky on Amazon: 

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