In this episode, Bo Bennett speaks with neurologist Dr. Robert Burton about what it means (or doesn’t mean) to be “certain.” Wars have been fought and people murdered because people are claim certainty about “what they feel is right,” whether that be following a god’s commands or simply following a passionate and convincing human leader.
Dr. Robert Burton graduated from Yale University and the University of California, San Francisco’s School of Medicine, where he also completed his neurology residency. At age thirty-three, he was appointed chief of the Division of Neurology at Mt. Zion-UCSF Hospital, where he subsequently became Associate Chief of the Department of Neurosciences. His writings include On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not, three critically acclaimed novels and a neuroscience and culture column at Salon.com, Mind Reader (2008-2009). He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. His new book, A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind; What Neuroscience Can and Cannot Tell Us About Ourselves, is now available.