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Making Sense with Sam Harris
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Making Sense with Sam Harris

Author: Sam Harris

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Join neuroscientist, philosopher, and best-selling author Sam Harris as he explores important and controversial questions about the human mind, society, and current events.

Sam Harris is the author of five New York Times bestsellers. His books include The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, Free Will, Lying, Waking Up, and Islam and the Future of Tolerance (with Maajid Nawaz). The End of Faith won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction. His writing and public lectures cover a wide range of topics—neuroscience, moral philosophy, religion, meditation practice, human violence, rationality—but generally focus on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live.

Harris's work has been published in more than 20 languages and has been discussed in The New York Times, Time, Scientific American, Nature, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and many other journals. He has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Economist, The Times (London), The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The Annals of Neurology, and elsewhere.

Sam Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.
246 Episodes
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Ricky Gervais calls Sam to ask if AI will replace comedians. They also discuss the implications of not having free will and if a chimp has ever asked, "what does it all mean?" They agree that bears are dangerous. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Frank Wilczek about the fundamental nature of reality. They discuss the difference between science and non-science, the role of intuition in science, the nature of time, the prospect that possibility is an illusion, the current limits of quantum mechanics, the uncertainty principle, space-time as a substance, the “unreasonable effectiveness” of mathematics in science, the possibility that we might be living in a simulation, the fundamental building blocks of matter, the structure of atoms, the four fundamental forces, wave-particle duality, the electromagnetic spectrum, the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, the implications of infinite space-time, dark energy and dark matter, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.
Ricky Gervais calls to discuss Sam's monster joke from their last conversation and then other things happen... SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with mayoral candidate, Andrew Yang, about the future of New York City. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.
Ricky Gervais calls Sam to ask why we dream? They discuss why puns are terrible and breakdown some of the mechanics of comedy. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.
#234 — The Divided Mind

#234 — The Divided Mind

2021-02-0554:5324

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Iain McGilchrist about the differences between the right and left hemispheres of the human brain. They discuss the evolutionary history of the divided brain, research on surgically divided brains, popular misconceptions about the differences between the hemispheres, the left hemisphere's propensity for confabulation, the prospect that consciousness might be partitioned in an intact brain, the difference between consciousness and attention, the boundary between the conscious and unconscious mind, how face-to-face encounters differ between the hemispheres, the unique deficits resulting from damage to the left and right hemispheres, the ascendancy of the left-hemisphere in modern culture, the possibility that the brain is a mere receiver of mind, the prospect of surviving death, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Zeynep Tufekci about the problem of misinformation and group-think. They discuss the Covid-19 pandemic, the early failures of journalists and public health professionals to make sense of it, the sociology of mask wearing, the problem of correcting institutional errors, Covid as a dress rehearsal for something far worse, asymmetric information warfare, failures of messaging about vaccines, the paradox of scientific authority, the power of incentives, how to reform social media, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jack Goldstone about the rise in social inequality and political instability in the United States. They discuss how wealth is deployed, the loss of social mobility, comparative judgments of well-being, cosmopolitanism and the isolation of the rich, decreased life expectancy, taxation, the need for government to solve problems, success and social obligation, the causes of revolution, universal basic income (UBI), and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.
#231 — Crossing the Abyss

#231 — Crossing the Abyss

2021-01-1701:14:0816

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with General Stanley McChrystal and Chris Fussell about the radicalization of the far Right under Trump. They discuss the events of January 6, 2021, the behavior of the Capitol police, the history of white supremacy in the US, the effect of banning extremists from social media, the logic of insurgency, the consequence of public lies, what should happen to Trump and his enablers, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris discusses two dangerous misconceptions about the siege of the Capitol. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris analyzes a few disturbing trends and shares his hopes for 2021. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.
#228 — Doing Good

#228 — Doing Good

2020-12-1402:11:2240

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Will MacAskill about how to do the most good in the world. They discuss the "effective altruism" movement, choosing causes to support, the apparent tension between wealth and altruism, how best to think about generosity over the course of one's lifetime, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.
#227 — Knowing the Mind

#227 — Knowing the Mind

2020-12-0746:4933

In this episode of the podcast, Stephen Laureys interviews Sam Harris about meditation practice and the scientific study of the mind. They discuss why Sam began to practice meditation, the difference between dualistic and nondualistic mindfulness, the search for happiness, wisdom vs knowledge, our relationship with death, the Buddhist doctrine of rebirth, the hard problem of consciousness, the role of introspection in science, meditation and free will, the self and the brain, the difference between voluntary and involuntary actions, dangerous knowledge, the mystery of being, the power of hypnosis, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.  
Join Sam Harris as he explores some of the most important questions about the human mind, society, and current events. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Adam Gazzaley about the way our technology is changing us. They discuss our limited ability to process information, our failures of multitasking, "top-down" vs "bottom-up" attention, self-interruptions and switching costs, anxiety, boredom, "digital medicine," neuroplasticity, video games for training the mind, the future of brain-machine interface, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.  
#225 — Republic of Lies

#225 — Republic of Lies

2020-11-1831:3536

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris discusses President Trump's failure to concede the 2020 presidential election. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris describes his new understanding of why people support President Trump. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris and Andrew Sullivan sing the praises of President Trump. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Nicholas Christakis about the Covid-19 pandemic. They discuss the breakdown of trust in institutions and experts, the corruption of science by politics, the ineptitude of the Trump administration in handling the pandemic, whether the gravity of Covid-19 has been exaggerated, preparing for future pandemics, whether Covid deaths are being over-reported, bad incentives in the medical system, tracking "excess death" statistics, the prospect that the novel coronavirus will evolve to become more benign, the efficacy of current treatments, safety concerns about a rushed vaccine, the importance of public health communication, when life might return to normal, the economic impact of the pandemic, long term social changes, the future of universities, Nicholas's personal habits during the pandemic, the importance of rapid testing, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Michael Sandel about the problem with meritocracy . They discuss the dark side of the concept of merit, the pernicious myth of the self-made man, the moral significance of luck, the backlash against "elites" and expertise, how we value human excellence, the connection between wealth and value creation, the ethics of the tax code, higher education as a sorting mechanism for a caste system, alternatives to 4-year colleges, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.
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Comments (1798)

JJ

episode title: how to build a universe. Sam: So how do we build a universe?... music fades in over start of reply. As a freeloading non-subscriber i feel attacked.

Feb 25th
Reply

Nonya Bizness

#238: how to build a universe. my head spun backwards just reading the description, and i immediately imagined a marathon 8 hour podcast. then i checked- nope, just 59 minutes. i'll pass.

Feb 24th
Reply (1)

Abdulmajeed Almutairi

It's very weird how a thinker or philosopher or however Sam calls himself, tries to justify Israel actions. we all know isralies invaded Palestine not so long ago with the help of some European countries and USA. Palestinians don't want to be colonised by Israel or any other country, just like aboriginals in Australia and any home land owners, it's very very simple concept to understand for any one looking objectively.

Feb 22nd
Reply

Chris Winn

This is how the AI will kill us. The funniest joke in the world.

Feb 17th
Reply

Jonathan Petherbridge

if you say "exactly the people you want policing the city" you should be talking about their character not their race and sex like Andrew Yang.

Feb 12th
Reply (5)

JJ

Episode description: egomaniac comedian lectures neuroscientist about brain, cognition and other junk while contradicting himself in almost every statement he makes.

Feb 10th
Reply

JJ

Does anyone beleive that Ricky Gervais has ever run or Sam Harris has ever laughed?

Feb 10th
Reply

Jack Trowsdale

This woman is boring and insufferable. Almost as insufferable as Sam blowing smoke up her arse (which impressive with the amount of rubbish simultaneously coming out of it). The only misinformation is the gment driven propaganda which has terrified people and destroyed liberal society.

Feb 10th
Reply

Ricardo Rodrigues

Very interesting episode!!!

Feb 3rd
Reply

LetItBeMe

Self congratulatory bore. Trump said things about the virus that were true as well Sam. But you wasn't tryin to hear dat.

Feb 3rd
Reply

Jonathan Petherbridge

Stopped listening when the expert on misinformation said China is handling pandemic so much better than the US.

Feb 3rd
Reply (12)

Dane

Sam's commitment to ranting at his guests for validation is getting a little out of hand.

Feb 3rd
Reply

Lachlan Ray

I

Feb 2nd
Reply

Matt Pando

you are far to arrogant for you own good...and miss quite a few things.

Jan 29th
Reply (4)

Pedro

sedition and incitement to violence is abuse of free speech Sam, it's illegal to shout fire in a crowded theater. Get a grip man.

Jan 27th
Reply

Jonathan Petherbridge

Sam Harris has former US general present cultural Marxist view of race relations in America; this year is going to be so much wilder than 2020.

Jan 19th
Reply

Jonathan Roseland

This week on the Deep-State Propaganda Hour Podcast...

Jan 18th
Reply (1)

Chris Winn

lol, oh that wasn't whiskey in his water General.

Jan 17th
Reply

Sarah Stamp

Nope

Jan 16th
Reply

ironholdG@gmail.com

"I didnt see any bending of the knee" that is a metaphor for the selfies they took? and your "constant kneeling of police" during blm protests was the same officers who ranted about warehousing all minorities for a generation doing a notable PR stunt a handful of times. They stood by & ransacked a elected officials office to let their off-duty start fires to make blm protests look bad

Jan 15th
Reply
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