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)
A bit short, but it is a thought provoking and an interesting question. Is free will a thing? I'm not so sure any more. Imho Sam is a good reader and has a nice voice for this sort of thing. Will definitely continue reading his books!
I like the way Sam articulates his ideas. I've thought the same things about freewill and I've also read this book previously. There's nothing like having the author read their own work though.
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.
Say something about yourself!
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
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.
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.
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