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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 (743 )
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Performance
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  •  
    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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    1
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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
  •  
    GARY 05-14-15
    GARY 05-14-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Great"

    Sam's subject very deep as usual. I needed a 2nd and 3rd listen to grasp fully. Will read more of his books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eugen 04-30-15
    Eugen 04-30-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great audio book!"

    Easy to listen to, well argumented, typical Sam Harris approach! Would definitely recommend to anyone interested in the "Free Will" concept.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Halogen28372 Wake Forest, NC USA 04-29-15
    Halogen28372 Wake Forest, NC USA 04-29-15 Member Since 2015

    Electronics Guru

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    "Not well reasoned"

    Much of the authors conclusion simply boils down to science can't measure free will therefore it doesn't exist.
    As someone who has studied science the scientific perspective would be science has no way to measure free will therefore it is not a question for science.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sam 04-27-15
    sam 04-27-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent - the case against free will"

    This is the case against free will. You may or may not agree with it, but it's the best argument the position against has to offer. Sam Harris is unquestionably the best narrator of his work. This isn't always true in my experience, sometimes an excellent narrator can bring a work to life in an audio book in a way the writer cannot. However, as a public speaker and a writer, Harris' narration is the natural companion to his writing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GJK 04-18-15
    GJK 04-18-15 Listener Since 2006
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    "Black and White thinking."

    Argument is based on the assumption that there can be no given our unknown sources of the ideas in our minds at the time of choosing. As Libet himself points out,while a source may not be in our control, we can and do edit our impulses and inclinations. For him, his research does not imply lack of free will and he says as much. See Benjamin Libet, "Do We Have Free Will? (Journal of Consciousness Studies, 6, No. 8–9, 1999, pp. 47–57).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Masonic Prince 04-16-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great work."

    Interesting science based theory of free will, decision making & Neurology. It's a concise read with good examples used to illustrate the message.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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