015 | You have no Choice in the Matter


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This is Part 1 of the series on Free Will. In this episode, Gianluca and Jared dispel the assumption that humans have Free Will by presenting the argument from Determinism—popularised by Sam Harris. They discuss the evidence from physics, neurology, and the famous Libet experiments; before laying the groundwork for later conversations about what this implies morally and societally. You have no choice but to listen.



Sam Harris’s “Free Will: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13259270-free-will

Ted Chiang’s Story of Your Life (and some of his other fantastic shorts): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/223380.Stories_of_Your_Life_and_Others

Arrival, the film adaptation of Story of Your Life: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2543164

Principle of Least Action: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_least_action

Chaos Theory: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory

Good primer on the Libet experiments that preempted decision making: https://youtu.be/OjCt-L0Ph5o

The original Libet publication [paywalled]: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6640273

Details of more recent versions of the Libet experiments with 7 second preempting and some predictive capability: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMDuakmEEV4

A recent “debunking” of the Libet results: https://www.pnas.org/content/109/42/e2904

A popular article on the Libet experiments in the light of the new model: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/09/free-will-bereitschaftspotential/597736/

Great CGP Grey video on split brain experiments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfYbgdo8e-8

Decent primer on Sperry’s split-brain experiments: https://embryo.asu.edu/pages/roger-sperrys-split-brain-experiments-1959-1968

“Behave” by Robert Sopalsky: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31170723-behave

17 episodes