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Making Sense with Sam Harris

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.

#244 — Food, Climate, and Pandemic Risk

Making Sense with Sam Harris

  • 1.4K views
  • 8 months ago
  • 01:12:57

In this episode of the podcast Sam Harris speaks with Bruce Friedrich and Liz Specht from the Good Food Institute about the way the problems of climate change and pandemic risk are directly connected to animal agriculture. The Good Food Institute is an international nonprofit reimagining protein production. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

#243 — A Few Points of Confusion

Making Sense with Sam Harris

  • 670 views
  • 8 months ago
  • 09:41

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#242 — Psychedelics and the Self

Making Sense with Sam Harris

  • 940 views
  • 8 months ago
  • 01:03:37

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with James Fadiman about the psychedelic experience. They discuss who should and shouldn’t take psychedelics, set and setting, the role of a guide, the effects of microdosing, the difference between MDMA and true psychedelics, “good” and “bad” trips, the power of thought, the fiction of a unified self, changing states of self, compassion, 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.

#241 — Final Thoughts on Free Will

Making Sense with Sam Harris

  • 2K views
  • 9 months ago
  • 43:54

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris presents his full argument on the illusoriness of free will—and explores its ethical and psychological implications. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

#240 — The Boundaries of Self

Making Sense with Sam Harris

  • 1.1K views
  • 9 months ago
  • 43:56

In this conversation, Sam speaks with poet David Whyte about his new and on-going series for the Waking Up app, based on his book, Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words. With the imagery of a poet and the reflection of a philosopher, David turns his attention to ordinary words, each a doorway into the underlying currents of human life. They discuss 4 tracks from the first installment—Friendship, Honesty, Ambition, and Alone. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

#239 — Yet Another Call from Ricky Gervais

Making Sense with Sam Harris

  • 530 views
  • 9 months ago
  • 21:36

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#238 — How to Build a Universe

Making Sense with Sam Harris

  • 530 views
  • 9 months ago
  • 59:12

In this conversation, 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.

#237 — Another Call from Ricky

Making Sense with Sam Harris

  • 360 views
  • 9 months ago
  • 42:20

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#237 — Another Call from Ricky Gervais

Making Sense with Sam Harris

  • 400 views
  • 9 months ago
  • 42:20

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.

#236 — Rebooting New York City

Making Sense with Sam Harris

  • 310 views
  • 10 months ago
  • 46:59

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.

#235 — A Call from Ricky Gervais

Making Sense with Sam Harris

  • 230 views
  • 10 months ago
  • 29:18

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.

#235 — A Call from Ricky

Making Sense with Sam Harris

  • 1.1K views
  • 10 months ago
  • 29:18

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#234 — The Divided Mind

Making Sense with Sam Harris

  • 1.2K views
  • 10 months ago
  • 54:52

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.

#233 — The Groves of Misinformation

Making Sense with Sam Harris

  • 370 views
  • 10 months ago
  • 50:54

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.

#232 — Inequality and Revolution

Making Sense with Sam Harris

  • 670 views
  • 10 months ago
  • 41:56

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

Making Sense with Sam Harris

  • 430 views
  • 10 months ago
  • 01:14:07

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

#230 — An Insurrection of Lies

Making Sense with Sam Harris

  • 1.5K views
  • 11 months ago
  • 41:17

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris discusses two dangerous misconceptions about the siege of the Capitol. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe

#229 — A Few Thoughts for a New Year

Making Sense with Sam Harris

  • 670 views
  • 11 months ago
  • 29:41

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 content on samharris.org/subscribe

#228 — Doing Good

Making Sense with Sam Harris

  • 1.7K views
  • 12 months ago
  • 02:14:43

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 content on samharris.org/subscribe

#227 — Knowing the Mind

Making Sense with Sam Harris

  • 660 views
  • 12 months ago
  • 46:48

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 continue listening and gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe