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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.
173 Episodes
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#165 — Journey into Wokeness

#165 — Journey into Wokeness

2019-08-1402:15:0136

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Caitlin Flanagan about her work as a writer. They discuss controversies on social media, the contradictions within feminism, media bias, #MeToo, the new norms of sexuality, the wokeness of academia, affirmative action, college admissions, HR departments, sexual harassment, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.
#164 — Cause & Effect

#164 — Cause & Effect

2019-08-0501:53:5959

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Judea Pearl about his work on the mathematics of causality and artificial intelligence. They discuss how science has generally failed to understand causation, different levels of causal inference, counterfactuals, the foundations of knowledge, the nature of possibility, the illusion of free will, artificial intelligence, the nature of consciousness, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.
#163 — Ricky Gervais

#163 — Ricky Gervais

2019-07-1202:08:35130

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Ricky Gervais. They discuss fame, the effect of social media, the changing state of comedy, offensive jokes, Louis CK, political hypocrisy, Brexit and Trump, the state of journalism, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.
#162 — Medical Intelligence

#162 — Medical Intelligence

2019-07-0301:20:2455

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Eric Topol about the way artificial intelligence can improve medicine. They talk about soaring medical costs and declining health outcomes in the U.S., the problems of too little and too much medicine, the culture of medicine, the travesty of electronic health records, the current status of AI in medicine, the promise of further breakthroughs, possible downsides of relying on AI in medicine, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.
#161 — Rise & Fall

#161 — Rise & Fall

2019-06-2401:28:15104

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jared Diamond about the rise and fall of civilizations. They discuss political polarization, disparities in civilizational progress, the prospect that there may be biological differences between populations, the precariousness of democracy in the US, the lack of a strong political center, immigration policy, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Michael Weiss and Yascha Mounk about the state of global politics. They discuss the rise of right-wing populism in Europe, the prospect that democracy could fail in the US, Trump’s political instincts, the political liability of “wokeness,” the Left’s failure to re-think its support of Chavez, the dangers of political polarization, the attractions of extreme partisanship, cancel culture, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.
#159 — Conscious

#159 — Conscious

2019-06-0601:12:13136

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with his wife, Annaka Harris, about her new book, "Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind." You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Adam Grant about the social science of the workplace. They discuss how teams work effectively, the nature of power, personality types and fundamental styles of interaction, the critical skill of saying “no,” creativity, resilience, the strange case of Jonas Salk, the nature of mindfulness, the power of cognitive reappraisal, reflections on mortality, the replication crisis in social science, and other topics.  You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Benjamin Wittes about both volumes of the Mueller Report. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.
In the episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Nicholas Christakis about his new book, "Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society." You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only contentatsamharris.org/subscribe.
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Comments (1055)

Nicole Harris

This was all over the place to me. Parts truly seemed like satire. The generalisations were at times truly impressive and the "impartial" characterisations of people and groups was at times uncomfortable to hear.

Aug 16th
Reply

JJ Todilinus

What is paranoia over rape all about? Simple. Evolutionary instincts are so powerful, that women's perceived elevated spacial awareness of risk, all the harassment stuff, all the abuse stuff - it's all about the fear of ending up with inferior genetic material for their child. This shows why they also have no compassion for low ranking men. For all the hysteria, it's basic Darwinian theory: women are so wired to be impregnated by the high status males that our minds have created an entire mythology around trauma, assault, theft of agency, and placed all these way overblown taboos and fears around even looks or glares, all because women are so disgusted at the prospect of being impregnated by lower ranking male. I've heard it be called "the most heinous crime." Murder and genocide are apparently secondary to a slap on the butt. The kids these days all compete in visual spaces. Generation of being told to be all about equality while being told they themselves are special have created people who are utterly irrational and dishonest. I'm sitting back with a bag of popcorn and loving every second of it. Pathetic apes and their ape gods, hurling feces at eachother in their imaginary boundaries, then ordering anal bleach. So incredibly deep and loving that they are disgusted by anything that isn't perfect, hating everyone but professing to love.

Aug 14th
Reply

Owen M James

JJ Todilinus Ha ha.... the crying, insecure flannel-wankers are here!

Aug 15th
Reply

Gavin Milligan

JJ Todilinus I guess this episode brought out all the incels?

Aug 15th
Reply

km

I suspect this subject is only going to gain in importance.... 👍 #Yang2020

Aug 14th
Reply

Matt Pando

so what she seems to be saying is, women want men to be perfect, while women shouldn't change anything about themselves. got it

Aug 14th
Reply

Gavin Milligan

Matt Pando not sure what podcast you listened to but this is not even close to what she said

Aug 15th
Reply

JJ Todilinus

Matt Pando No, what she is saying is that women want men to be perfect except when they want to be more perfect, and when they know what perfect is, because sometimes she needs you to be very imperfect, although she isn't sure when that is. ah who are we kidding. If a good looking guy tells her "Baby, bend over," she'll giggle and call him naughty while slightly bending over, if an unattractive guy so much as looks at her from 1000 feet away, he is a pervert and why hasn't another man called 911 yet? That part of it gets me the most. It's the responsibility of OTHER men even to call the cops, the "victims" shouldn't even have to inform the police, someone else should have to do everything and automatically know all this, but it's men who are privileged! Brilliant!

Aug 14th
Reply

C H

10:54

Aug 14th
Reply

Paul Holland

C H Dude

Aug 14th
Reply

Cooper Scott

C H Ok, thanks

Aug 14th
Reply

Jaime Arevalo

ye-know

Aug 13th
Reply

Suzette Bagg

Wow, Sam Harris. You're so far off base here that I can't listen to anymore of your bullshit.

Aug 8th
Reply

Samuel Anderson

Suzette Bagg :((

Aug 9th
Reply

Arramis _

I really wish this guy would clear his throat

Aug 7th
Reply

Amanda Marie

I've noticed that lately Harris seems really bent on getting some allies on his show to agree with his positions on doxing, and the general desire to see some sort of collective social agreeement to allow for a "genuine apology" from what largely seems to be missteps made by wealthy entertainers and entrepreneurs. Harris seems genuinely perplexed by why Gervais can seemingly "get away" with saying unorthodox things that would be career suicide by most. I thought Gervais did a fantastic job reiterating the fact that he is a comedian and thus the standards are different. And secondly "free speech" goes both ways - 1. you can say what you want 2. society doesn't have to like you. I'm not super keen on the far left call out culture myself, but also as your everyday US wage slave if I were to solicit my colleagues for a round of consensual masturbation a la Louis, I would permamemtly lose my job, and probably my license to practice - And considering the amount of behavioral therapy likely required for any rational person to think the apology is genuine (not sure why Harris is so quick to believe) there is simply no reason for me to believe that many of these public apologies by the offenders are not motivated by money. Louis in particular just isn't somebody I come to think of as having been screwed over by the callout culture. Aziz Ansari or Al Franken would make for better discussion than a guy who admitted to pulling his penis out at his desk.

Aug 7th
Reply

Aaliyah  King

Amanda Marie 🤔🤔😮

Aug 8th
Reply

Jeremy H Siraky

brilliant.. I love these guys

Aug 7th
Reply

David M

Let's enjoy the old world while we still have it, as the lives we lead in the post AI era will vaguely resemble the human experience we were all lucky enough to have. Fare thee well, humanity 1.0

Aug 5th
Reply

David M

Pedro Abreu I don't think it read as "wise" or "pessimistic" so much as reverent and nostalgic. I'm a software architect working on technology I believe will help improve the lives of every human on the planet, and I do this every day of my life, and have been for the last 12 years of it, so you can kiss my BW dick if desired my friend 😘

Aug 12th
Reply

Pedro Abreu

David M It's easy to sound wise by being pessimistic and announcing the end of times. It's harder to actually try to think how to change things towards a positive outcome because you quickly realize how ignorant you were before. Just a thought.

Aug 11th
Reply

I like dick up my Bum Hole and

foreskin GANG

Aug 5th
Reply

Martin Z

stopped listening when this guy claimed the image recognition capcha is a machine learning tool to train self driving cars. pretty effing ridiculous stuff

Jul 31st
Reply

Martin Z

Martin Z google wouldnt be dumb enough to risk wrongly training its driving ai when someone with bad eye sight enters the wrong thing or if a program is trying to pass for a human and enters the wrong thing.

Aug 11th
Reply

Bas Vegt

Martin Z why so?

Aug 5th
Reply

Corey Dougherty

I completely disagree with the concept of restorative justice. We are all responsible for our actions. If you commit a crime you do so at the risk of facing the prescribed consequences under the law. Good podcast!

Jul 29th
Reply

Wyatt Hayes

Corey Dougherty yes, we are all responsible for our actions

Jul 30th
Reply

guitarforumdude

what a terrible, ahistorical, out of context, cherry picked conflation of events about Israel/disputed land. Harris is worse than the regressive left of the 70s. He's a far right hawk masquerading as a liberal "intellectual." Disgraceful.

Jul 28th
Reply

Primo Russell

guitarforumdude :(

Jul 29th
Reply

boson96

Sam has TDS. But I still love his show. Trump is gonna win big again in 2020.

Jul 27th
Reply

Erik Babb

Guest's voice is too deep and quiet to hear while in the car

Jul 25th
Reply

Lars Wood

Erik Babb that's good:)

Jul 25th
Reply

Charles Howarth

happy Birthday Carol

Jul 22nd
Reply

Sam Lee

Please ask your sound man to use more audio compression for guests like Fry, push up the quiet speech and lower the loud. Thanks so much for all the great guests and insights 👍

Jul 21st
Reply

Alex Mercedes

too much caffeine or does he always talk over people in conversation? interesting show but frustrating because of Ricky's penchant for gobbling airspace.

Jul 21st
Reply
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