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Join neuroscientist, philosopher, and five-time New York Times best-selling author Sam Harris as he explores important and controversial questions about the mind, society, current events, moral philosophy, religion, and rationality—with an overarching focus on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live. Sam is also the creator of the Waking Up app. Combining Sam’s decades of mindfulness practice, profound wisdom from varied philosophica ...
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show series
 
In today’s housekeeping, Sam explains his digital business model. He and Yasmine Mohammed (co-host) then speak with Masih Alinejad about gender apartheid in Iran. They discuss the Iranian revolution, the hypocrisy of Western feminists, the morality police and the significance of the hijab, the My Stealthy Freedom campaign, kidnapping and assassinat…
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Sam Harris speaks with Sebastian Junger about danger and death. They discuss Sebastian's career as a journalist in war zones, the connection between danger and meaning, his experience of nearly dying from a burst aneurysm in his abdomen, his lingering trauma, the concept of "awe," psychedelics, near-death experiences, atheism, psychic phenomena, co…
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Sam Harris speaks with Greg Lukianoff about free speech and cancel culture. They discuss the origins of political correctness, free speech and its boundaries, the bedrock principle of the First Amendment, technology and the marketplace of ideas, epistemic anarchy, social media and cancellation, comparisons to McCarthyism, self-censorship by profess…
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Sam Harris discusses the recent protests on college campuses, why focusing narrowly on the problem of "antisemitism" will be counterproductive, widespread confusion about the threat of Islamic extremism, and the necessary defense of Western values. A transcript of this podcast is available on Sam’s blog. If the Making Sense podcast logo in your pla…
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Sam Harris speaks with John Spencer about the reality of urban warfare and Israel's conduct in the war in Gaza. They discuss the nature of the Hamas attacks on October 7th, what was most surprising about the Hamas videos, the difficulty in distinguishing Hamas from the rest of the population, combatants as a reflection of a society's values, how ma…
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Sam Harris begins by remembering his friendship with Dan Dennett. He then speaks with David Wallace-Wells about the shattering of our information landscape. They discuss the false picture of reality produced during Covid, the success of the vaccines, how various countries fared during the pandemic, our preparation for a future pandemic, how we norm…
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Sam Harris revisits the central argument he made in his book, The Moral Landscape, about the reality of moral truth. He discusses the way concepts like “good” and “evil” can be thought about objectively, the primacy of our intuitions of truth and falsity, and the unity of knowledge. If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can …
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Sam Harris speaks with Cal Newport about our use of information technology and the cult of productivity. They discuss the state of social media, the "academic-in-exile effect," free speech and moderation, the effect of the pandemic on knowledge work, slow productivity, the example of Jane Austen, managing up in an organization, defragmenting one's …
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Sam Harris and Josh Szeps (episode co-host) speak with Douglas Murray about the ongoing war in Gaza. They discuss public opinion about the war, the prospect of a widening conflict with Hezbollah and Iran, whether the Iron Dome was a mistake, the sentiments of Israeli Arabs, the global problem of Islamism, the risk of a resurgent right-wing in Europ…
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Sam Harris speaks with William MacAskill about the implosion of FTX and the effect that it has had on the Effective Altruism movement. They discuss the logic of “earning to give,” the mind of SBF, his philanthropy, the character of the EA community, potential problems with focusing on long-term outcomes, AI risk, the effects of the FTX collapse on …
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Sam Harris speaks with Robert Sapolsky about the widespread belief in free will. They discuss the limits of intuition, the views of Dan Dennett, complexity and emergence, downward causation, abstraction, epigenetics, predictability, fatalism, Benjamin Libet, the primacy of luck, historical change in attitudes about free will, implications for ethic…
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Sam Harris speaks with Cass Sunstein about habituation and its consequences. They discuss habituation to positive and negative experiences, marriage, happiness, meaning, variety, doing good vs feeling good, midlife crises, kids, wealth and happiness, things vs experience, the “illusory truth effect,” misinformation and social media, echo chambers a…
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Sam Harris speaks with Yaroslav Trofimov about the War in Ukraine. They discuss the widespread false assumptions that Russia would win a swift victory, Ukrainian attitudes toward Russia, the transformation of the Ukrainian military, Russian incompetence, Russian public opinion, the Azov Battalion and the “de-Nazification” of Ukraine, the role of th…
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Sam Harris speaks with Bret Stephens about America’s place in the world. They discuss the waning Pax Americana, American isolationism, Republican fondness for Putin, Tucker Carlson, why America should support Ukraine, the significance of Alexei Navalny, what it would mean to properly hold Putin responsible for his death, nuclear blackmail, valid cr…
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Sam Harris and Rory Stewart debate whether Islam poses a unique threat to open societies. If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can 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 cre…
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Sam Harris speaks with Peter Zeihan about the unraveling world order. They discuss the Bretton Woods system, America’s role in securing the global supply chain, the coming end of American security guarantees, the shrinking of the US Navy, Houthi terrorism, deterring Iran, conflict in the Middle East, the future of Israel, the limits of immigration,…
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Sam Harris speaks with John Gray about the possibility of moral and political progress. They discuss historical and current threats to freedom of thought, the limits of law, the spread of dangerous technology, failures of convergence on norms and values, Arthur Koestler, de-industrialization in Europe, fellow travelers and the progressive embrace o…
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Sam Harris speaks with Coleman Hughes about race, racism, and social justice. They discuss the ideal of "color blindness," race and crime, Coleman's experience at TED, LatinX, the confusion of the elites, Ibram X. Kendi, affirmative action, class differences, poverty, single-parent families, the death of George Floyd and the trial of Derek Chauvin,…
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Sam Harris speaks with Rory Stewart about the fraying world order. They discuss the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the problems with nation building, cultural ignorance, tolerance for corruption, our catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan, the role that Islam played in our failures in Afghanistan and Iraq, conspiracy theories, the influence of soc…
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Sam Harris speaks with Jonathan Rauch and Josh Szeps about the foundations of knowledge and the fragmentation of society. They discuss the state of the mainstream media, diversity of viewpoints, the "reality-based" community, what Covid did to our information landscape, the Overton window and the news value of controversial stories, the unique chal…
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Sam Harris speaks with Chris Anderson about generosity in the age of the Internet. They talk about the new spirit of cynicism in tech and finance, the problems with DEI, the Coleman Hughes controversy at TED, the norm of color blindness, the science of generosity, the leverage of the Internet, the false opposition between selfishness and selflessne…
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Sam Harris speaks with Rabbi David Wolpe about the global response to the atrocities of October 7th, 2023. They discuss the difference between Israeli and diaspora Jews, the history and logic of antisemitism, the role of conspiracy theories, Great Replacement Theory, reasons for Jewish success, right-wing antisemitism, left-wing antisemitism, the r…
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If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can 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 created the Waking Up app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most impo…
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Sam Harris speaks with Brian Muraresku about ancient mystery religions and the possible psychedelic roots of Christianity. They discuss the Mysteries of Eleusis, the “pagan continuity hypothesis,” the cult of Dionysius, the Dead Sea scrolls and the Gnostic Gospels, Christianity as a cult of human sacrifice, the evidence for the use of psychedelics …
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Sam Harris speaks with Amanda Knox about her experience of having been falsely convicted and imprisoned for murder in Italy. If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can 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…
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Sam Harris comments on the recent testimony of university presidents before Congress, along with Elon Musk's reinstating of Alex Jones on X. He then introduces a recent episode of the Call Me Back podcast about the war in Gaza, hosted by Dan Senor. Sam really enjoyed listening to this conversation and we’re delighted to be able to share it with the…
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Sam Harris speaks with Peter Singer about important problems in ethics. They discuss his career as a philosopher, the moral status of non-human animals, the ethics of moral hierarchies, speciesism, the scale of animal suffering, conscientious omnivores, animal experimentation, the tragic case of Sam Bankman-Fried, concerns about Effective Altruism,…
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Sam Harris speaks with Yuval Noah Harari about the events of October 7th and the resulting war in Gaza. They discuss the unraveling of global order, the failure of the IDF, the incompetence of the Netanyahu government, the goals of Hamas, the Saudi peace treaty, the right of Israel to exist, the status of Palestinian and Jewish refugees, victim and…
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Sam Harris speaks with Jeannie Fontana and Robin Carhart-Harris about the TREAT Initiative in California and the growing promise of psychedelics for mental health care. If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe. Learning how to train your mind is…
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Sam Harris speaks with Yascha Mounk about identity politics. They discuss Yascha’s concept of the “identity synthesis,” skepticism about “cancel culture,” racial segregation in schools, the ideological change on college campuses, Michel Foucault and postmodernism, the rejection of universalism, Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw, the “permanence of ra…
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Sam Harris speaks with David Brooks about the state of American democracy and the liberal world order. They discuss the weakness of moral individualism, the loss of social trust, the dangers of identity politics, what happened to the Republican Party, the hatred of elites, the 2024 Presidential Election, the Trump indictments, the war in Ukraine, m…
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Sam Harris speaks with Chris Field about climate change and its consequences. They discuss skepticism about climate change, the accuracy of climate models, the magnitude of temperature increases, how global temperatures are measured, the historical record of climate variation, the range of possibilities in the coming decades, feedback mechanisms, w…
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Sam Harris speaks with Mustafa Suleyman about his new book, “The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the 21st Century’s Greatest Dilemma.” They discuss the progress in artificial intelligence made at his company DeepMind, the acquisition of DeepMind by Google, Atari DQN, AlphaGo, AlphaZero, AlphaFold, the invention of new knowledge, the risks of ou…
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Sam Harris speaks with Carl Robichaud about the ongoing threat of nuclear war. They discuss the film "Oppenheimer," the ethics of dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the false lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the history and future of nuclear proliferation, the logic of deterrence, cyber vulnerabilities, the history of de-escalatio…
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Sam Harris speaks with Bret Stephens about the current state of the Republican Party. They discuss the strange change in Republican attitudes toward Putin, the character of Tucker Carlson, the war in Ukraine, the failures of elites and experts, the tension between concerns about misinformation and free speech, the Hunter Biden laptop, the 2024 Pres…
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Sam Harris speaks with Peter Attia about his book, “Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity.” They discuss "healthspan," centenarians, diet and nutrition, sugar, macronutrients, alcohol, fasting and time-restricted eating, exercise, Zone 2 training, heart disease, blood pressure, cholesterol, cancer, brain health, metabolic disorders, proactive m…
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Sam Harris speaks with L.A. Paul about the nature of transformative experiences. They discuss how certain experiences change the self, the nature of regret, changing belief systems, conspiracy thinking, empathy, doing good in the world, our relationship to our future selves, changing our values, the nature of possibility, the ethics of punishment, …
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Sam Harris speaks with Nina Schick about generative AI and information integrity. They discuss the challenges of regulating AI, authentication vs detection, fake video, hyper-personalization of information, the promise of generative design, productivity gains, disruptions in the labor market, OpenAI, and other topics. If the Making Sense podcast lo…
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Sam Harris discusses Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s recent appearances on other podcasts. If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can 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 th…
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Sam Harris speaks with Marc Andreessen about the future of artificial intelligence (AI). They discuss the primary importance of intelligence, possible good outcomes for AI, the problem of alienation, the significance of evolution, the Alignment Problem, the current state of LLMs, AI and war, dangerous information, regulating AI, economic inequality…
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Sam Harris speaks with Martin Rees about the importance of science and scientific institutions. They discuss the provisionality of science, the paradox of authority, genius, civilizational risks, pandemic preparedness, artificial intelligence, nuclear weapons, the far future, the Fermi problem, the prospect of a "Great Filter", the multiverse, stri…
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In this episode, we traverse a decade of Sam’s conversations on the topic of meditation. We start with the very first recorded episode from the archives: a conversation with Sam’s meditation teacher and friend, Joseph Goldstein. Goldstein recalls how his thinking was unlocked—allowing him to fully realize the power of the practice—by the utterance …
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Sam Harris speaks with Andy Clark about the predictive brain, embodied cognition, and the extended mind. They discuss the structure of perception, novelty, precision, pain, psychedelics, emotion, ways to hack our predictions, hypnosis, meditation, artificial intelligence, consciousness, and other topics. If the Making Sense podcast logo in your pla…
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