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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

Critic Reviews

"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)

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  • Overall

Good one

A small eye opener too the society we really live in and really interesting thoughts

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increases gratitude

well though out & argued, makes me think differently about how grateful we must be for our circumstances and mean to make good choices in life

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Enjoying a better understanding

I knew before listening to this book that Harris was going to present an uncomfortable idea that I have no free will. I think he's right when he says that people don't want to believe they have no free will because it will rob them of something they feel is an essential ingredient of what makes us human. But what surprised me most about this book was how habitable an understanding that we are not the prime movers of our actions really is. Harris doesn't a very good job, in my opinion, of showing how our justice system and our entire conception of morality can be enhanced by the recognition that individuals are not overtly the cause of the behaviors. He also addresses the instance of what would happen if you decided to let yourself go when you realize you have no control of your actions and how you would continue to live your life regardless of your seeming resolve. After reading this book I feel much more comforted knowing that I have no free will than I did before.

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Thoughtful but lost in conclusion.

I am a big fan of Sam Harris' work, and this book is no different. He has always provide an objective and logical insight to philosophy and modern problems, and is enjoyable to listen to as a narrator for audiobooks. Unfortunately I don't feel that the content provided the same level of introspection as his other works had done for me. I agreed with the conclusion, but was left with a feeling apathy toward the subject. Perhaps I am just not as thoughtful of a person as the author is.

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I enjoyed sam harris book very much. enlightening.

I enjoyed the Sam Harris was able to be direct and to the point about his topic instead of adding a lot of fluff.

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Awesome

I've been a fan of Sam's podcast for about a year and only recently delved into his books... damn! This and Lying were both revelatory. Well worth the hour and the few bucks.

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Concise novel laying out thoughts and interesting take on consciousness and free will

Sam Harris manages to lay out quite a lot of information and arguments for and against the idea of free will in this 1.5 hour audiobook.

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Elephant

Sam Harris has masterful insight. Most persuasive is his observation that our subjective experience does not appear to provide for free will.
What's more, he presents a framework for addressing the expected societal and pragmatic implications for a world that overcomes the illusion of free will.

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Exquisite argumentation

Sam Harris puts forh a great argumentation for free will simply being an illusion. Through counter-arguments, storytelling and parables he makes a quite agreeable case. This in combination with "Waking Up" really puts your whole "Self", basis for choice and identity, and empathy for others in a whole new light.

Loved it and recommend it to everyone, especially ones with religious and/or conservative background!

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Short and impactful

I like how Sam quickly hammers out these points and some counter arguments. He goes all the way down the events leaving no room for free will. I also like how it doesn't rely on materialism.

did you like this review or not? Either way you weren't free to decide.

now you want to change your mind or double down? also determined ;)