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Daniel Gilbert is the Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. His research with Tim Wilson on "affective forecasting" investigates how and how well people can make predictions about[…]

Kant is the foundation for modern psychology, Gilbert says.

Question: Which philosopher really gets it?

Dan Gilbert: I’m a big fan of Spinoza, and I’ve written articles about Spinoza and belief. Modern philosophers … gosh … I’ve … Ancient philosophers, I’d say Spinoza, Manuel Kant. Modern philosophers … Dennis Parfitt is an exciting philosopher to me. “Reasons and Persons” just blew my mind in the way that a good Phillip K. Dick does. All these philosophers have written about different things that have excited me. You know, Kant … I mean, Kant’s notions are the basis of modern psychology. The idea that perception is constructed by the brain … that our eyes are not video cameras that are just taking in the world and broadcasting it on a little theater screen inside our heads. But then the fact that we’re actively constructing everything that we see, hear around us. It’s a product of not only incoming information from the environment, but what we already know, believe, hope, want and dream. That’s a really big idea, and it’s Kant’s idea. And it’s what legitimates modern psychology.

Recorded on: 6/12/2007