A belief in free will touches nearly everything that human beings value. It is difficult to think about law, politics, religion, public policy, intimate relationships, morality—as well as feelings of remorse or personal achievement—without first imagining that every person is the true source of his or her thoughts and actions. And yet the facts tell us that free will is an illusion.
In this enlightening book, Sam Harris argues that this truth about the human mind does not undermine morality or diminish the importance of social and political freedom, but it can and should change the way we think about some of the most important questions in life.
©2012 Sam Harris (P)2012 Simon & Schuster
"Free will is an illusion so convincing that people simply refuse to believe that we don’t have it. In Free Will, Sam Harris combines neuroscience and psychology to lay this illusion to rest at last. Like all of Harris’s books, this one will not only unsettle you but make you think deeply. Read it: you have no choice." (Jerry A. Coyne, Professor of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, and author of Why Evolution Is True)
"In this elegant and provocative book, Sam Harris demonstrates—with great intellectual ferocity and panache—that free will is an inherently flawed and incoherent concept, even in subjective terms. If he is right, the book will radically change the way we view ourselves as human beings." (V. S. Ramachandran, Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, UCSD, and author of The Tell-Tale Brain)
"Brilliant and witty—and never less than incisive—Free Will shows that Sam Harris can say more in 13,000 words than most people do in 100,000." (Oliver Sacks)
Of course, but not based on this one.
Not sure. I simply disagree with how he took the book. It amounts to a disagreement on the definition of "free will" which maybe I can't really hold against the book. I was thoroughly disappointed in the depth of his reasoning and the scope of his thought. The book feels like the first 1/3 was leading to something then you are never taken anywhere special. This book should have been 30% the size it is even though its small to begin with.
The part where the woman stands in front of a target with an apple on her head and...
Whenever an author brings up an example of someone else's opinion you have never heard of to contrast with their own, and doesn't successfully defend his point of view against it, one is left feeling let down (in this case Daniel Dennett). Of course free will is nonsensical as we commonly think of it, but instead of stating that directly and moving on, Sam Harris gets stuck in first gear with simply "we don't have free will".
The subject is definitely something to continue investigating. Implications are big. To me it seems like what has happened and what is about to happen are all inevitable. We do seem like actors in a scripted play. Great narration by the author.
I bought this as an udiobook by mistake. I wanted the paperback version, but it was really nice to get to listen to it. It takes no time and it was easy to follow. I will be buying this in the paperback version.
Thank you Sam Harris.
There's a lot good to be said about this book. Narration is great. It is well written. It's not to long. Unfortunately, I feel the book has two problems that are semi related. First, the author defines free will in a way that's a little bit problematic and as a consequence he ends up making more of an argument for the Universe and everything in it being deterministic. Sure, that is true. But that's not what people generally are talking about when they talk about free will.
Still recommend the book however. It's a fun, interesting read.
Sam Harris always has inventive and out of the box theories that make you question everything you think you know. This is another fascinating listen, and he interprets it clearly and enthusiastically. Would recommend to anyone interested in the topic, or just wanting to learn something new and interesting.
I would listen to this book again because it has so much interesting information that i want to know so I'll read it as many times as it takes to retain all of it.
The most compelling aspect of the narrative of this book was how logically Sam Harris explained his point. The message was completely unbiased and complimented the reader by not dancing around tough areas and being as clear as possible.
The section in between the front cover and the back cover was particularly captivating.
The message in this book is important for everyone to know. This book should be read by everybody because if everybody understood what Sam Harris is explaining in his book then the world would be a much better place.
There are a seemingly infinite number of quotable lines in this short book. It's easy to read and lends itself to comprehension even by those who've never spend a second thinking about the topic. Harris presents his arguments in a nearly ironclad way without playing mental gymnastics or by diluting his points with equivocation.
I must say I agree with 99% of what Sam Harris says, and the other 1% is just my not understanding uncommon words (I then Google their definitions). I recommend listening to this and his other books. It's also great that this book is narrated by the author
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