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Making Sense with Sam Harris

Science

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

#272 — On Disappointing My Audience

1/10/2022
In this episode, Sam discusses some of the topics he has and hasn't covered, to the disappointment of many Making Sense listeners. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe. Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the Waking Up app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and...

Duration:00:46:49

#271 — Earning to Give

12/24/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Sam Bankman-Fried about effective altruism. They discuss how he became the wealthiest self-made billionaire under 30, what might go wrong with cryptocurrency, the Giving What We Can pledge, how SBF thinks about using his resources to do the most good in the world, how not to stigmatize wealth, wealth redistribution, norms of generosity among the ultra-wealthy, pandemic preparedness, impact through lobbying, how ambitious should we be in...

Duration:01:15:32

#270 — What Have We Learned from the Pandemic?

12/14/2021
In this episode, Sam Harris speaks with Nicholas Christakis about the lessons of the COVID pandemic. They discuss our failures to coordinate an effective response, the politics surrounding vaccination, vaccine efficacy, vaccine safety, how to think about scientific controversies, the epidemiology of excess deaths, transmission among the vaccinated, natural immunity, selection pressures and new variants, the failure of institutions, the lab-leak hypothesis, the efficacy of lockdowns, vaccine...

Duration:02:51:47

#269 — Deep Time

12/3/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Oliver Burkeman about our relationship to time. They discuss the perils of efficiency, being vs becoming, the illusion of time as a resource, parenting and childhood, work-life balance, the loss of leisure, the planning trap, social isolation, a modern Sabbath, 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. Learning how to train...

Duration:00:40:05

#268 — The Limits of Self-Knowledge

11/24/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Stephen Fleming about the neuroscience of self-awareness. They discuss the nature and limits of metacognition, the relationship between self-knowledge and intelligence, error monitoring, theory of mind, mirror neurons, deception and self-deception, false confidence, probabilistic reasoning, where metacognition fails, cognitive decline, calibrating one’s confidence, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and...

Duration:00:36:30

#267 — The Kingdom of Sleep

11/10/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Matthew Walker about the nature and importance of sleep. They discuss sleep and consciousness, the stages of sleep, sleep regularity, light and temperature, the evolutionary origins of sleep, reducing sleep, the connection between poor sleep and all-cause mortality (as well as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease), sleep across species, learning and memory, mental health, dreams as therapy, lucid dreaming, heart-rate...

Duration:00:49:48

#266 — The Limits of Pleasure

11/2/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Paul Bloom about the role that pain and suffering play in living a good life. They discuss the limitations of hedonism, the connection between chosen suffering and meaning, the research of Daniel Kahneman on well-being, integrating the experiencing and remembering selves, moral motivations, the effects of parenthood on happiness, unchosen suffering, the asymmetry of loss and gain, Nozick’s “experience machine” thought experiment,...

Duration:00:47:18

#265 — The Religion of Anti-Racism

10/27/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with John McWhorter about his new book “Woke Racism: How a New Religion has Betrayed Black America.” They discuss how the “social justice” narrative of the Left has become a religion, how this new faith has taken over institutions, and what to do about it. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe. Learning how to train your mind is the single...

Duration:00:35:19

#264 — Consciousness and Self (Rebroadcast)

10/21/2021
In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Anil Seth about the scientific study of consciousness, where consciousness emerges in nature, levels of consciousness, perception as a “controlled hallucination,” emotion, the experience of “pure consciousness,” consciousness as “integrated information,” measures of “brain complexity,” psychedelics, different aspects of the “self,” conscious AI, and many other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain...

Duration:00:48:19

#263 — The Paradox of Death

10/18/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris reflects on the subjective continuity of consciousness, the nature of identity, and the possibility that death isn’t the end of experience. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe. Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the Waking Up app. From rational mindfulness practice to...

Duration:00:18:02

#262 — The Future of American Democracy

10/5/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Andrew Yang about the state of American democracy. They discuss Andrew’s run for the Presidency, the humiliations of campaigning, the manipulation of politics by the media, Andrew's run for the mayor's office in NYC, the power of bad incentives, open primaries, rank-choice voting, the Forward Party, the weakness of a two-party system, inequality, the child tax credit, enhanced unemployment, UBI, worries about inflation, and other...

Duration:00:33:03

#261 — Belief & Identity

9/30/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jonas Kaplan about the neuroscience of belief change. They discuss the illusory truth effect, the backfire effect, failures of replication, “The Fireplace Delusion,” the connection between reason and emotion, wishful thinking, persuasion and the sense of self, conspiracy theories, the power of incentives, in-group loyalty, religion, mindfulness, cognitive flexibility, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and...

Duration:00:40:23

Absolutely Mental Season Two

9/24/2021
In this episode, Sam shares a clip from the second season of Absolutely Mental, his audio series with Ricky Gervais. All 10 episodes have been released today (Friday September 24th, 2021) and are available for purchase at AbsolutelyMental.com. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

Duration:00:16:35

Ask Me Anything #18

9/20/2021
Questions answered: Why won’t you discuss COVID vaccines and Ivermectin with Bret Weinstein on the podcast? What do you think about the recent prosecution of a 100-year-old Nazi in Germany? How can we understand voluntary behavior without free will? Does aid to the developing world do more harm than good? Have your views about the risk of artificial general intelligence changed in recent years? What did you think of Simon Biles’s decision to drop out of the Olympics? How should...

Duration:00:28:15

#260 — The Second Plane

9/9/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris recalls his experience of September 11th, 2001, and considers the future of American foreign policy. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

Duration:00:16:26

#259 — The Reckoning to Come

8/31/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Balaji Srinivasan about several civilizational challenges and possible paths forward. They discuss the evidence of American decline, the rise of India and China, centralizing and decentralizing trends in politics, the relationship between politics and technology, the failures of the FDA and TSA, how regulation preserves monopolies, the significance of Bitcoin and blockchain technology, the problem of cybersecurity, the Chinese...

Duration:01:12:58

#258 — The Fall of Afghanistan

8/22/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Peter Bergen about the US exit from Afghanistan, the resurgence of the Taliban, and his new book, “The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden.” They discuss the Neo-isolationist consensus on the Right and Left, the legitimacy of our initial involvement in Afghanistan, our ethical obligations to our Afghan allies, Biden’s disastrous messaging, the weakness of the Afghan army, the advantages of the Taliban, the implications for global jihadism,...

Duration:00:46:53

#257 — The State of the World

8/13/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Dambisa Moyo about the state of the world. They discuss public goods, economic growth, capitalism, American economic history, bad public-policy choices, inequality, tax avoidance among the wealthy, government inefficiency, the problems with democracy, the breakdown of trust in institutions, failures of transparency, voter participation, future automation and unemployment, identity politics, the reality of racism in America, the problems...

Duration:01:01:10

Ask Me Anything #17

8/8/2021
In this episode of the podcast, Sam takes your questions. He begins by addressing the blowback that followed his previous podcast on “vaccine hesitancy” with Eric Topol. And then he answers the following questions: How can I inoculate my biracial children against identity politics? In what way is journalism broken, and how can we fix it? Have you read the research suggesting that the effects of microdosing psychedelics are indistinguishable from taking placebos? Can you comment on the...

Duration:00:24:15

#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