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Your identity is a story you tell yourself

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Your identity is a story you tell yourself

17 November 2022

Sean Illing talks with neuroscientist Gregory Berns, author of The Self Delusion. Berns claims that the idea of a unified, persistent self is a kind of illusion, and that we are better understood as multiple selves at different moments in time, tied together by a story — which is what we call our identity. Sean and Greg also talk about whether the brain is a computer, how perception works, the limits of thinking too much about thinking, and what psychedelics can do to disrupt and change the stories we tell about ourselves. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Gregory Berns (@gberns), author; professor of psychology and distinguished professor of neuroeconomics, Emory University References:  The Self Delusion: The New Neuroscience of How We Invent — and Reinvent — Our Identities by Gregory Berns (Basic; 2022) More on the "Ship of Theseus" by Noah Levin "Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness" by David Chalmers (Journal of Consciousness Studies 2; 1995) More on "The Hard Problem of Consciousness" by Josh Weisberg (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy) "The extraordinary therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs, explained" by Sean Illing (Vox; Mar. 8, 2019)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


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