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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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In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris shares an audio essay exploring how psychedelics are, for many, the only way to glimpse "the vast firmament beyond the prison walls” of the “conceptual mind”—and often serve as the gateway to meditation. He also discusses how the very profundity of the psychedelic experience can distract us from the true p…
 
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with David French about forces that are pulling American society apart. They discuss David’s experience as a JAG officer in Iraq, his experience of harassment for coming out against Trump, the way real grievances drive political derangement, the illiberalism on both the Left and the Right, the role …
 
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Judd Apatow about his career in comedy. They discuss his new documentary on George Carlin, why so much comedy ages badly, Carlin’s drug use, how Judd structures his work, using improv in his films, adventures in parenthood, what is worth worrying about, the downside of fame, advice for creative…
 
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jay Garfield about the illusion of the self. They discuss the default sense of subjectivity, the difference between absolute and conventional truth, interdependence, free will, subject-object duality, emptiness, the “mind-only” school of Buddhism, scientific realism and experiential anti-realis…
 
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Douglas Murray about his new book, “The War on the West.” They discuss the problem of hyper partisanship on the Left and Right, the primacy of culture, Hunter Biden’s laptop, the de-platforming of Trump and Alex Jones, the new religion of anti-racism, the problem of inequality, the 1619 Project…
 
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Eric Schmidt about the ways artificial intelligence is shifting the foundations of human knowledge and posing questions of existential risk. 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 tra…
 
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris and Ricky Gervais discuss the infamous Oscar slap. We’re excited to announce the launch of the Absolutely Mental app for iOS users. All three seasons of Absolutely Mental are available for purchase on the app. Subscribers to the Making Sense podcast will hear the episode in its entirety in their subscriber…
 
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks to Graeme Wood about Muhammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. They discuss the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the imprisonment of Saudi elites in the Ritz Carlton, the Vision 2030 campaign, relations with Israel, the posture of the Biden administration, energy policy, Saudi efforts to depr…
 
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Ian Bremmer about the ongoing war in Ukraine. They discuss the current state of the war, the power of sanctions, Biden's "gaffe" about regime change, fear of nuclear war, the logic of mutually assured destruction, the role of China, the most likely outcomes of the war, and other topics. SUBSCRI…
 
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Yuval Noah Harari about the wider implications of Russia’s war of conquest in Ukraine. They discuss different forms of war, Putin’s miscalculation regarding the internal divisions of America and the EU, the problem of misinformation, international norms of behavior, the role of China, the civil…
 
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Garry Kasparov about Putin’s war of aggression in Ukraine. They discuss Putin’s larger objectives, the perception of the war inside Russia, whether US and EU foreign policy is to blame, the expansion of NATO, American weakness, Republican support for Putin, the sanctions regime, whether the US …
 
Sam shares an episode from the third season of Absolutely Mental, his audio series with Ricky Gervais. All 10 episodes have been released today (Wednesday, March 2, 2022) and are available for purchase now at AbsolutelyMental.com. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.…
 
In this episode of the podcast, Rob Reid and Kevin Esvelt discuss USAID’s new “Deep VZN” program, which aims to discover new pandemic-grade viruses and publish their genomes to the world. Esvelt estimates that there are currently around 30,000 people who could then easily build them. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris…
 
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Anne Applebaum, David Frum, Barton Gellman, and George Packer about the ongoing threat to American democracy posed by Republican misinformation and disinformation regarding the 2020 Presidential Election and the attack on the Capitol on January 6th, 2021. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-le…
 
Questions: What is your position on vaccine mandates, school closures, etc.? Do you think painful memories remain painful because there is something left unresolved? How can you forgive a consequential lie? Can you clarify your plans to support effective altruism with NFTs? What are your views on transgender women in sports? How can we combat disin…
 
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. F…
 
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, …
 
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,…
 
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 li…
 
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 …
 
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.…
 
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 and David Whyte further explore his work in his book Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.…
 
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…
 
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