033. Herbert Gintis: Entangled Minds and Motivations
RemakeJune 09, 202201:07:57155.97 MB

033. Herbert Gintis: Entangled Minds and Motivations



Dr. Herbert Gintis is an American economist, behavioral scientist, and educator known for his theoretical contributions to sociobiology, especially altruism, cooperation, epistemic game theory, gene-culture coevolution, efficiency wages, strong reciprocity, and human capital theory. He's currently External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute and carries a PhD in economics from Harvard University.


Throughout his career, he has worked extensively with economist, Samuel Bowles. Their most recent book, A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution, was published by Princeton University Press in 2011.




In this conversation we talk about:

  • Why pandemics change everything.
  • Why people have entangled minds, and what this means for fighting misinformation.
  • Why conspiracy theories operate like religions.
  • Growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, as a curious and science-minded kid.
  • The five powers of human beings.
  • His journey through math, economics, the social sciences and sandal making.
  • The risks of becoming a single discipline thinker.
  • The contradictory models of human behavior in the humanities.
  • Why people vote despite the fact that their individual vote doesn't determine the outcome.
  • His model of social rationality.
  • What does it mean to be conscious?
  • The explanation of altruism as a phenomenon.
  • And many, many other topics.


Herbert is a remarkably prolific researcher, writer, and thinker. And this conversation is packed to the brim with insights and fascinating questions. It's one of a dozen or so weekly conversations we already have lined up for you with thinkers, designers, makers, authors, entrepreneurs, and impact investors who are working to change our world for the better.


So follow this podcast on your favorite podcast app, or head over to remakepod.org to subscribe so you don't miss them.


And now, let's jump right in with Dr. Herbert Gintis.




[3:45] Life During Covid

[6:27] Entangled Minds

[10:29] Early Childhood Curiosity 

[13:17] Mathematics and Spirituality 

[17:43] A Transition to Economics

[20:38] A Lesson in Marxism 

[22:24] Models of Human Behavior 

[33:21] Altruism and Strong Reciprocity 

[37:05] The Rational Actor Model and Game Theory

[52:00] Entanglement and the Internet

[55:58] Physics and Consciousness 

[1:05:15] A Short Sermon