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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 ...
 
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show series
 
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, whe…
 
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 disea…
 
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…
 
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 epi…
 
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 complexi…
 
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 …
 
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 P…
 
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 …
 
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 artificia…
 
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…
 
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 A…
 
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, fai…
 
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 r…
 
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 m…
 
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 “alignm…
 
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 an…
 
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 acti…
 
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 exopla…
 
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. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samh…
 
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, th…
 
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, po…
 
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 sc…
 
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 a…
 
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 acad…
 
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-leng…
 
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 se…
 
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 …
 
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 …
 
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 propen…
 
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 rehearsa…
 
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 …
 
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 insurgen…
 
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 acce…
 
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 r…
 
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 t…
 
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