Episode 102: Josh Knobe discusses the true self

This month, we get right into it with Josh Knobe (Yale University) about the notion of a person’s true self. Click here to listen to our conversation.

Who are you, deep down, in your core? Maybe it isn’t fully clear what would count as an answer to that question, but it’s still a question we ask all the time. There seems to be some kind of folk intuition that we’re all guided by an inner force, and that this inner force is who we really are. My superficial behavior upon waking up, when I’m in a cranky mood, isn’t indicative of who I really am. Only my behavior once I’ve had my coffee tells you about my ‘true self.’

In this episode, Josh Knobe discusses a whole bunch of research he’s done into the folk psychology of ‘the true self.’ He and his colleagues began by looking into whether we think a person’s true self is the part of them that’s rational, or whether we think it’s the part of them that’s emotional. What they found, astonishingly, is that it’s neither of these two things. Rather, it’s whatever part of the other person that we think is morally good.

Join us as our guest runs through some of this exciting new research!

Matt Teichman






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