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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 (1952 )
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4.6 (1710 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    KT Vermont 04-30-12
    KT Vermont 04-30-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Not so profound"
    Would you try another book from Sam Harris and/or Sam Harris?

    Of course, but not based on this one.


    What could Sam Harris have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Not sure. I simply disagree with how he took the book. It amounts to a disagreement on the definition of "free will" which maybe I can't really hold against the book. I was thoroughly disappointed in the depth of his reasoning and the scope of his thought. The book feels like the first 1/3 was leading to something then you are never taken anywhere special. This book should have been 30% the size it is even though its small to begin with.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The part where the woman stands in front of a target with an apple on her head and...


    Any additional comments?

    Whenever an author brings up an example of someone else's opinion you have never heard of to contrast with their own, and doesn't successfully defend his point of view against it, one is left feeling let down (in this case Daniel Dennett). Of course free will is nonsensical as we commonly think of it, but instead of stating that directly and moving on, Sam Harris gets stuck in first gear with simply "we don't have free will".

    7 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johannes Nilsson 05-18-17 Member Since 2017
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    2
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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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kurtis K. Karr 05-14-17

    fredericksburger

    ratings
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    216
    7
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    Story
    "Nothing new here."

    Naively asserts that not knowing *why* we make a choice is same as not choosing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thorin 04-29-17
    Thorin 04-29-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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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 ;)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Winnie Tsang Australia 04-23-17
    Winnie Tsang Australia 04-23-17
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    1
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    Story
    "Thought provoking"

    The beginning of the book seems, for a lack of a better word, boring.
    I guess I am more drawn to stories and examples with stories so I was paying more attention when Sam started demonstrating his points with different scenarios.
    But none the less a great audio book (my first one actually) and very thought provoking.
    It simultaneously makes you feel that you cannot control anything you do, and that you can.
    I will definitely be listening to it again in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shaolin Wookie Atlanta 04-18-17
    Shaolin Wookie Atlanta 04-18-17 Member Since 2016
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    3
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    "He never defines free will"

    I was expecting more, based on what I've heard about this book. I suppose this isn't Sam's fault. But as he began to speak about "freedom," Sam was all over the map. He never actually defined what he was critiquing. No consistent definition of freedom is possible except -- the absence of coercion by other acting humans, where "coercion" is defined as acts of aggression against person or property by third parties. He instead defines free will as intentional self-determination: one's ability to predetermine one's actions like a god or self-determinist. If one cannot do this, then one cannot also "not" do it. And hence, his argument is self-refuting not because he's right, but because he is woefully deficient in definitions. Once this definition as "absence of coercion, etc." is accepted because it can be pinpointed to empirical reality, then the framework of this book is pedestrian in content and outline. It is sophistry on the whole, with particular bits of true scientific information. It is terrible when it turns to politics and justice. He never defines these terms either.

    Once again--Sam's scientism is to fault for logical inconsistency. "Define your terms" is an exhortation that vitiates nearly every book he writes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E M. 04-15-17
    E M. 04-15-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Fantastic book!"

    This is the second Sam Harris book that I've read and I've already purchased my third one. I enjoyed every word. Sam is so articulate! This is fantastic!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin 04-04-17
    Justin 04-04-17 Member Since 2016
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    1
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    "Short but interesting"

    Pretty good book, definitely worth the 1 hour listen time, lots of things to think over and discuss with friends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    thatguyandrew1992 03-21-17
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    5
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    "Great!"

    Was I free to choose to write this review? Why am I typing right now?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-04-17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
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    "Thought provoking argument"

    Discourse is well thought out and explained. I personally prefer professional speakers over authors narrations as they tend to have better dynamic range.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Dom
    4/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    Overall
    Performance
    "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
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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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