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Free Will | [Sam Harris]

Free Will

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (712 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Benjamin 06-29-15
    Benjamin 06-29-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Hard to follow."

    Book lacks examples. I was bored cause there is no real challenge to his theory in the book. He is right and here's why, is what I got from it.
    Author gives his points without God in mind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Easley, SC, United States 06-25-15
    Charles Easley, SC, United States 06-25-15 Member Since 2012

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Balancing of Vengence & Remediation, Reexamined"

    As a neurophysiologist Dr Harris makes persuasive argument that there really is no free will. Before I recovered from Presbyterianism, I could reconcile predestination with a desire to be good and win salvation because only god knew how it would come out. Now that I have embraced the truth a rebalancing of the scales of justice was in order and this little treatise was very helpful. Thanks Sam.crc

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Collin Berend 06-20-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Whether you agree or not, it's a thought pondering book"

    The book was interesting. I never agreed to free will solely based on mathematical and physical reasons, but now I have, obviously, a more neurological means to explain it.

    I'd recommend this book to anyone because if you are open minded or curious, it's worth it.

    Some parts you subjectively might fine monotonous and others stellar.

    You will only find out by reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LindsayP 06-12-15
    LindsayP 06-12-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Great book"

    It was entertaining and thought-provoking. It's a little to conversational, but intriguing nonetheless. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justine 06-11-15
    Justine 06-11-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Bored."

    It Really has to be something you're interested in - appeals to very few I suspect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jer 06-09-15
    Jer 06-09-15
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    "Life changing book!"

    This book along with many of Sam's books really got me thinking. I'm a better person because of it. I think everyone has something to gain by reading this. Enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chase 05-24-15
    Chase 05-24-15 Member Since 2015
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    "A lucid argument in murky waters"

    Perhaps Sam is preaching to the choir a bit here, but it's a d@mn good sermon. This book effectively ended any debate left in my mind about the existence of free-will. I cannot stop thinking about the causes of other's, and my own, actions, and just how backward our punitive system is in the U.S.. Sam argues that accepting the non-existence of free-will can actually make you more forgiving, more productive, and happier (and, ironically, a bit more free). As usual, Harris has devoured a topic full of disagreement and significance and provided an entertaining and consciousness-raising thesis destined to warp your mind. Enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward United States 05-22-15
    Edward United States 05-22-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Not as persuasive as The Moral Landscape"

    Sam's excellent reading of Free Will persuaded me to his views less than The Moral Landscape.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JeanPaul 05-21-15
    JeanPaul 05-21-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Read this multiple times"

    I've read this book at least five times and I always find something new
    in it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vitaly 05-17-15
    Vitaly 05-17-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A great book."

    Despite the fact that the book is short, it's well worth the money.
    Sam Harris provides the reader with a lot of material and arguments to consider deeply.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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