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)
Why did Sam Harris even write a book on this? It could have been said in one sentence: "When you think you are making a decision you are really just giving in to whatever physiological impulse is stronger." He basically says this over and over for an hour +. Absolutely did not have to turn this into a book.
I love how Sam Harris delivers thought provoking concepts with ease and clarity while also presenting opposing views. Anymore it's rare for an author, with such a definitive position as Mr. Harris has, not to belittle those who think differently. Thanks for another look into your insights.
Sam Harris presents good arguments in a way that comes off as passionate but reasonably objective. This was not a long listen, but a worthwhile short listen that stirred things up and made me think.
great book for people wishing to look beneath the veil. i. ultimately you do not have choice either way! ha!
Absolutely. Sam Harris' style is clear and to the point. He illustrates his argument with poignant simplicity. Using what we have learned from science - he applies the facts to our incessant need to cling to myths and assumptions of transcendence.
It is about us - all of us and how our brains are wired.
He doesn't have to read his own work but he doesn't detract from it by so doing - some authors should not read their own writing. Sam Harris reads his work without embellishment - thankfully.
and you thought you were in charge
Thank you Sam Harris for your courage to challenge cultural iconic beliefs.
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!
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