Wisdom Dojo
Mahon McCann Podcast
#81 - Adam Safron - The Cognitive Science of Free-will

#81 - Adam Safron - The Cognitive Science of Free-will

continuing the discussion of free-will but from a cognitive science perspective

Adam Safron, Ph. D., is a Cognitive Scientist and psychologist who studies the nature of preferences and motivation from mechanistic, developmental, and evolutionary perspectives. Recently, he has proposed a model of embodied agency and free will and is working on a unified mechanistic account of psychedelics.

This podcast discusses free will and embodied agency, the key role of attention and imagination, and the consequences of an individual's pursuit of meaning in life.

Check out Adam's website 👇


Google Scholar 👇


The Paper discussed on embodied agency 👇



00:00 Struggling with the Question of Free Will

04:14 Starting from the Fundamental Mechanics

06:34 Understanding How Agency Works

09:46 Unifying Physicalism and Idealism

12:24 Bridging the Gap Between Religion and Science

17:48 Tracing the Mechanics of Action Selection

18:16 The Evolution of Inhibition and Mental Simulation

22:19 Conscientiousness and the Ability to Inhibit Distraction

25:32 Embodied Self Models and Conscientiousness

28:02 The Connection Between Conscientiousness and Conscience

31:14 The Development of Imaginative Capacity for Agency

35:02 The Connection Between Embodied Self Models and Meaning

39:03 The Pursuit of Developmental Meaning

42:43 The Disconnect Between Fitness in Reality and Digital

43:51 The Normative Constraint of Imaginative Capacity

45:28 The Destination of Agency: Enslavement to the Highest Good

46:38 Neoplatonic Philosophy and Predictive Processing

50:29 Distributed Cognition and Democracy

51:13 Unity of the Soul and the Polis

52:11 Practical Applications of Understanding Agency

54:08 Creating Benevolent Agents

55:22 Ethics and Principles in Technology

56:19 Mission and Conclusion

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All the best,


Wisdom Dojo
Mahon McCann Podcast
Cultivating Wisdom, Virtue and Character in the Digital Age. Hosted by Irish Philosopher, Black belt and award-winning Playwright Mahon McCann. Every Thursday, jump into new audio essays and podcast interviews with the world’s brightest and most thought-provoking leaders to educate, inspire and motivate you to become your wisest self. (Join the Wisdom Dojo Substack to get the weekly essays and podcasts delivered to your inbox 👇)