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Free Will Audiobook

Free Will

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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

4.5 (1655 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Adam 09-09-16
    Adam 09-09-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Extremely thought provoking..."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yasser 08-31-16
    Yasser 08-31-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Free will is an illusion"

    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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chris 08-15-16
    chris 08-15-16 Member Since 2013
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    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Anuzis Tokyo, Japan 08-06-16
    Michael Anuzis Tokyo, Japan 08-06-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Thought provoking, but not Sam's best work."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-01-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Brilliant"

    Simply brilliant.

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Curtis 05-08-16
    Curtis 05-08-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Interesting but flawed"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl 05-06-16
    Carl 05-06-16
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    "Articulate, well presented, but misleading"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Moon Arlington VA 05-06-16
    Moon Arlington VA 05-06-16 Member Since 2013

    Never stop learning!

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    "Thought provoking!"

    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. ;)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nick the Sagacious 04-29-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Brief but thought provoking."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dwight E. Pennington Jr. California, USA 04-29-16
    Dwight E. Pennington Jr. California, USA 04-29-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Think for yourself."

    I encourage anyone reading this book to take the objective facts and use them to shape their worldview.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Dom
    4/22/15
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    "mind blowing book"

    Really changes the way you think. Very strong argument. Recommended to anyone who is interested. Mind it is quite short so don't blow your monthly credit on it.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Steve
    3/19/15
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    "Very interesting"

    A nice quick listen which is very well explained. Quite educational as I certainly know more about free will now.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Oliver
    9/26/16
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    "Will Free"

    I thought this was fantastically thought provoking. Unfortunately due to the contents, I find it difficult to attribute any credit to author Sam Harris.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bernard Rosewalll
    united kingdom
    9/25/16
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    "Persuasive"

    Sam Harris's book is so plausible he has convinced me he didn't write it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ian
    2/23/16
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    "Heavy"
    Where does Free Will rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top tier.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's a readable and substantial case for the lack of free-will.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I did. Bears repeating and demands full attention.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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