2021 CogFest Film and Television Event



Cognitive Science and The Good Place

Thursday April 8th at 7pm EDT

Guests from joined us virtually to engage in a wide-ranging panel discussion on the cognitive science themes raised by the popular television series, The Good Place (NBC, 2016-2020). We brought together four experts in various cognitive science disciplines who are passionate about the series. They were excited to engage in questions from the audience. The event was free and open to everyone!

Expert Panel:

Pamela Hieronymi, Ph.D. (Professor of Philosophy, UCLA)

Dr. Hieronymi’s research focuses on ethics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of action. She served as a Philosophy Consultant for The Good Place, working with creator/producer Michael Schur, as he was writing the original scripts for the show. She is currently writing a book, Minds that Matter, addressing the problem of free will and moral responsibility.

Pamela Hieronymi


Richard Samuels, Ph.D. (Professor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University)

Dr. Samuels works at the intersection between philosophy and related disciplines of cognitive science, with interests including cognitive development, reasoning, and numerical cognition. He co-edited The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science and is currently co-authoring Number Concepts: The Nature and Content of Numerical Thought.

Richard Samuels


Damien Williams, M.S. (Doctoral Candidate in Science, Technology & Society, Virginia Tech)

Mr. Williams’ research interests span philosophy of mind, artificial intelligence, disability studies, and the representations of nonhuman consciousness in pop culture. He is especially interested in The Good Place’s character Janet. He recently published an article titled, Consciousness and Conscious Machines: What’s at Stake?

Damien Williams


Robin Zebrowski, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Cognitive Science, Beloit College)

Dr. Zebrowski studies human embodiment and how it relates artificial intelligence, robotics, and cyborg theory. She has published multiple scholarly papers on The Good Place, including a piece titled, From Clickwheel Through Busty Alexa: The Embodied Case for Janet and Artificial Consciousness. She also teaches a popular course, The Good Place and Philosophy.

Robin Zebrowski



Co-sponsored by CCBS, The Wexner Center for the Arts, and the Cognitive Science Club.