Episode 317

What Do We Know About Our Minds?

A Conversation with Paul Bloom

April 20, 2023

Sam Harris speaks with Paul Bloom about the state of psychological science. They discuss fiction as a window onto the mind, recent developments in AI, the tension between misinformation and free speech, bullshitting vs lying, truth vs belonging, reliance on scientific authority, the limits of reductionism, consciousness vs intelligence, Freud, behaviorism, the unconscious origins of behavior, confabulation, the limitations of debate, language, Koko the gorilla, mental health, happiness, behavioral genetics, birth-order effects, living a good life, the remembered and experiencing selves, and other topics.

Paul Bloom is Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, and Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Yale University. Paul Bloom studies how children and adults make sense of the world, with special focus on pleasure, morality, religion, fiction, and art. He has won numerous awards for his research and teaching. He is past-president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, and co-editor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. He has written for scientific journals such as Nature and Science, and for popular outlets such as The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic Monthly. He is the author of seven books, including his latest Psych: The Story of the Human Mind.

Website: paulbloom.net

Twitter: @paulbloomatyale


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