This is a well-reasoned and clear presetation of the ideas behind the notion that free will is an illusion. While this idea may be off-putting to most, after carefully listening to the ideas and examples presented in this book, the notion becomes less nebulous and accessible to understanding. Sam Harris speaks in clear matter-of-fact tone and presents the ideas and arguments in the form of analogies and thought-provoking examples of the varying degrees to which we tend to judge certain actions ad the results of free will and in so doing brings the reader/listener to consider the thesis more carefully.
If you are scientifically minded and had any doubt that free will is an illusion I think this book will definitely end the argument for you and make it a fact we don't have free will
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Sam is a brilliant and articulate philosopher on many topics, but his arguments have several weaknesses in Free Will that left me wanting for more insightful reasoning. As a cognitive scientist transitioning to the pursuit of artificial general intelligence, I suggest we should have more nuanced distinctions about where it is reasonable and relevant to expect human agency and where it is not. While listening, it was often tempting to add commentary to a transcript of the book pointing out where more nuanced distinctions make sense, but alas, upon deliberation I'm deciding following such a course of action is not worth the time (at least not yet). Overall, still an enjoyable and thought provoking book that makes several insightful points. Short and worth a listen.
You want beer? Why?Who or what decide what you want? Where does your "want" come from?
You like women? Why are you not gay? Use your free will to desire the opposite sex. You can't.
The author raises some interesting questions and proposes a view of free will which places all of the responsibility on blind chance and "luck". While he (Harris) seems to want to replace a traditional understanding of free will he offers nothing in the line of proof against it.
I am a fan of Sam Harris. This was a pleasure to listen too. However, while he does show that there is no 'Free Will' as most understand it to be, he fails eliminate a practical version of it.
ie. We can affect our future thoughts. Even I can predict and therefore edit my future choices - I am the author.
Never stop learning!
This is a must read. To me, it's a beginning of a conversation on free will, not its conclusion. We have yet to learn much about our brains to make any definitive conclusion. But, it is clear we do not control our thoughts or their genesis much like we do not control our digestion. ;)
Detailed exploration into determinism. I disagree but enjoyed it none the less. Sam goes into great detail into the ramifications of not being responsible for anything. This is only possible by decoupling the subconscious from "will". As a neurologist I understand his perspective but I believe not only in a deeper sense of self but I believe this subconscious's will is part of our free will. My only complaint is the brevity v. cost. $10 for just over an hour of content is not pleasing.
I encourage anyone reading this book to take the objective facts and use them to shape their worldview.