Making Sense with Sam Harris - Subscriber Content-logo

Making Sense with Sam Harris - Subscriber Content

Philosophy Podcasts

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.

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.

Location:

United States

Description:

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.

Language:

English


Episodes

#256 - A Contagion of Bad Ideas

7/23/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Eric Topol about vaccine hesitancy and related misinformation. They discuss the problem of political and social siloing, concerns about mRNA vaccines, the Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA, the effectiveness of the COVID vaccines, vaccine efficacy vs effectiveness, the Delta variant, the misuse of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), concerns about long-term side effects from vaccines, bad incentives in medicine,...

Duration:01:26:54

#255 - The Future of Intelligence

7/9/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jeff Hawkins about the nature of intelligence. They discuss how the neocortex creates models of the world, the role of prediction in sensory-motor experience, cortical columns, reference frames, thought as movement in conceptual space, the future of artificial intelligence, AI risk, the “alignment problem,” the distinction between reason and emotion, the “illusory truth effect,” bad outcomes vs existential risk, and other topics. Jeff...

Duration:01:36:25

#254 - The Mating Strategies of Earthlings

6/25/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with David Buss about the differential mating strategies of men and women. They discuss the controversy that surrounds evolutionary psychology, the denial of sex differences, cross-cultural findings in social science, the replication crisis in psychology, the biological definition of sex, why men and women have affairs, ovulatory shifts in mate preference, sex differences in jealousy and infidelity, the sources of unhappiness in marriage,...

Duration:01:49:48

#253 - Corporate Courage

6/17/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jason Fried about the recent controversy over the “no politics” policy at his company Basecamp. They discuss his business philosophy, the surrender of institutions to "social-justice" activism, how politics has acquired a religious fervor, some of the cultural risks of remote work, keeping activists out of one’s company, social media use as analogous to smoking cigarettes, antitrust regulations for big tech, how social media might be...

Duration:01:36:04

#252 - Are We Alone in the Universe?

6/10/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Neil deGrasse Tyson about our place in the universe. They discuss our current understanding of extra-solar planets, the prospect that there is complex life elsewhere in the galaxy, the Fermi problem, the possibility that all advanced civilizations self destruct, how we can detect life on exoplanets, recent media interest in UFOs, whether a direct encounter with alien life would change our world, the flat-Earth conspiracy, the public...

Duration:01:52:44

#251 - Corporate Cowardice

5/26/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Antonio García-Martínez about his recent firing at Apple. They discuss his experience in tech, his book "Chaos Monkeys," the controversy at Apple, cancel culture, and other topics. Antonio García Martínez is a former early Facebooker, advisor at Twitter, and (very briefly) an employee at Apple before being the object of a petition for his dismissal. His memoir Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure was on The New York Times...

Duration:00:55:44

#250 - Broken Conversations

5/21/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jesse Singal about a variety of controversial topics. They discuss fragmentation in the media, bad incentives in journalism, Jesse’s encounters with cancel culture, transgender activism, the case of J.K. Rowling, the capture of cultural institutions by the far Left, racism, class inequality, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, whether Jesse should try psychedelics, and other topics. Jesse Singal is the co-host of the...

Duration:01:30:22

#249 - Distance & Arrival

5/14/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris and David Whyte further explore his work in his book Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words. David Whyte is a poet and the author of 10 books of poetry along with four books of prose. David holds a degree in Marine Zoology, honorary degrees from Neumann College and Royal Roads University, and has traveled extensively, including living and working as a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands and leading...

Duration:01:09:45

#248 - Order & Freedom

4/30/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Michele Gelfand about the difference between tight and loose cultures. They discuss the primacy of cultural norms in governing human behavior, the trade-offs between order and freedom, conservatism vs liberalism, sensitivity to threat, scarcity, the COVID pandemic, the Jeffrey Toobin affair, political polarization, the problem of extreme stereotypes, and other topics. Michele Gelfand is a Distinguished University Professor of Psychology...

Duration:01:23:45

Special Episode: Engineering the Apocalypse

4/24/2021
In this nearly 4-hour SPECIAL EPISODE, Rob Reid delivers a 100-minute monologue (broken up into 4 segments, and interleaved with discussions with Sam) about the looming danger of a man-made pandemic, caused by an artificially-modified pathogen. The risk of this occurring is far higher and nearer-term than almost anyone realizes. Rob explains the science and motivations that could produce such a catastrophe and explores the steps that society must start taking today to prevent it. These...

Duration:03:41:21

#247 - Constructing Minds

4/22/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Lisa Feldman Barrett about the origins and function of the human brain. They discuss how brains evolved, the myth of the “triune brain,” the brain’s network organization, the predictive nature of perception and action, the construction of emotion, concepts as prescriptions for action, culture as an operating system, and other topics. Lisa Feldman Barrett is University Distinguished Professor of psychology at Northeastern University with...

Duration:02:06:59

#246 - Police Training & Police Misconduct

4/16/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Rener Gracie about police procedure and about the special relevance of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for safely controlling resisting suspects. Rener Gracie is a third-generation member of the legendary Gracie Family credited with creating the self-defense system known as Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. He started learning the family craft at two years old, and he was 10 years old when his father created the UFC. Today, Rener is the co-owner and chief...

Duration:01:41:54

#245 - Can We Talk About Scary Ideas?

4/12/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Peter Singer, Francesca Minerva, and Jeff McMahan about the newly launched Journal of Controversial Ideas. They discuss the ethics of discussing dangerous ideas, the possibility of having a market in vaccines, the taboo around the topic of race and IQ, the relationship between activism and academia, the shallow-pond argument for doing good, and other topics. Peter Singer is a professor of bioethics at Princeton University. He focuses on...

Duration:01:25:07

#244 - Food, Climate, and Pandemic Risk

4/7/2021
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. Bruce Friedrich oversees GFI’s global strategy, working with the U.S. leadership team and international managing directors to ensure that GFI is maximally effective at implementing...

Duration:01:12:57

#242 - Psychedelics and the Self

3/24/2021
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. James Fadiman, Ph.D., has been exploring psychedelics since 1961 and the effect of...

Duration:02:10:02

#241 - Final Thoughts on Free Will

3/12/2021
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.

Duration:01:29:53

#240 - The Boundaries of Self

3/7/2021
In this episode of the podcast, 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. David Whyte is a...

Duration:01:21:56

#239 - Yet Another Call from Ricky Gervais

2/24/2021
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.

Duration:00:21:36

#238 - How to Build a Universe

2/23/2021
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...

Duration:01:45:35