320 episodes

Join neuroscientist, philosopher, and best-selling author Sam Harris as he explores important and controversial questions about the human mind, society, and current events.

Sam Harris is the author of five New York Times bestsellers. His books include The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, Free Will, Lying, Waking Up, and Islam and the Future of Tolerance (with Maajid Nawaz). The End of Faith won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction. His writing and public lectures cover a wide range of topics—neuroscience, moral philosophy, religion, meditation practice, human violence, rationality—but generally focus on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live.

Harris's work has been published in more than 20 languages and has been discussed in The New York Times, Time, Scientific American, Nature, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and many other journals. He has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Economist, The Times (London), The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The Annals of Neurology, and elsewhere.

Sam Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.

Making Sense with Sam Harris Sam Harris

    • Science
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Join neuroscientist, philosopher, and best-selling author Sam Harris as he explores important and controversial questions about the human mind, society, and current events.

Sam Harris is the author of five New York Times bestsellers. His books include The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, Free Will, Lying, Waking Up, and Islam and the Future of Tolerance (with Maajid Nawaz). The End of Faith won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction. His writing and public lectures cover a wide range of topics—neuroscience, moral philosophy, religion, meditation practice, human violence, rationality—but generally focus on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live.

Harris's work has been published in more than 20 languages and has been discussed in The New York Times, Time, Scientific American, Nature, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and many other journals. He has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Economist, The Times (London), The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The Annals of Neurology, and elsewhere.

Sam Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.

    #305 — Moral Knowledge

    #305 — Moral Knowledge

    Sam Harris speaks with Erik Hoel about the nature of moral truth. They discuss the connection between consequentialism and Effective Altruism, the problems with implementing academic moral philosophy, bad arguments against consequentialism, the implications of AI for our morality, the dangers of moral certainty, whether all claims about good and evil are claims about consequences, the problem of moral fanaticism, difficulty in thinking about low-probability events, and other topics.
    If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.
    Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the Waking Up app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    #304 — Why I Left Twitter

    #304 — Why I Left Twitter

    Only the first 1 hour and 9 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the BLACK podcast logo). If you’d like to hear the full 2 hours and 34 minutes of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast, you’ll need to SUBSCRIBE here. If you’re already subscribed and on the private RSS feed, the podcast logo should appear RED.
    Sam Harris explains why he deleted his Twitter account. He then speaks with Cal Newport about the fragmentation of modern life. They discuss the history of computer science, how information technology has changed our lives, the effects of social media, the business model of the Internet, the power of TikTok, the future of Twitter, winner-take-all dynamics in podcasting, conspiracy thinking, the way technology drives cultural change, email and the loss of productivity, the cognitive cost of context switching, deep work, the benefits of controlling one's time, the problem with the advice to "follow your passion," and other topics.
    Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the Waking Up app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it.
    If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Making Sense of Artificial Intelligence | Episode 1 of The Essential Sam Harris

    Making Sense of Artificial Intelligence | Episode 1 of The Essential Sam Harris

    Filmmaker Jay Shapiro has produced a new series of audio documentaries, exploring the major topics that Sam has focused on over the course of his career.
    Each episode weaves together original analysis, critical perspective, and novel thought experiments with some of the most compelling exchanges from the Making Sense archive. Whether you are new to a particular topic, or think you have your mind made up about it, we think you’ll find this series fascinating.
    In this episode, we explore the landscape of Artificial Intelligence. We’ll listen in on Sam’s conversation with decision theorist and artificial-intelligence researcher Eliezer Yudkowsky, as we consider the potential dangers of AI – including the control problem and the value-alignment problem – as well as the concepts of Artificial General Intelligence, Narrow Artificial Intelligence, and Artificial Super Intelligence.
    We’ll then be introduced to philosopher Nick Bostrom’s “Genies, Sovereigns, Oracles, and Tools,” as physicist Max Tegmark outlines just how careful we need to be as we travel down the AI path. Computer scientist Stuart Russell will then dig deeper into the value-alignment problem and explain its importance.
     
    We’ll hear from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt about the geopolitical realities of AI terrorism and weaponization. We’ll then touch the topic of consciousness as Sam and psychologist Paul Bloom turn the conversation to the ethical and psychological complexities of living alongside humanlike AI. Psychologist Alison Gopnik then reframes the general concept of intelligence to help us wonder if the kinds of systems we’re building using “Deep Learning” are really marching us towards our super-intelligent overlords.
     
    Finally, physicist David Deutsch will argue that many value-alignment fears about AI are based on a fundamental misunderstanding about how knowledge actually grows in this universe.
     

    • 1 hr 7 min
    #303 — The Fall of Sam Bankman-Fried

    #303 — The Fall of Sam Bankman-Fried

    To gain access to ALL full-length episodes, you'll need to subscribe. If you’re already subscribed and on the private RSS feed, the podcast logo should appear RED. If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.
    Sam Harris discusses the recent Sam Bankman-Fried fiasco, the collapse of FTX, and the future of Effective Altruism.
    Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the Waking Up app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it.

    If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

    • 20 min
    #302 — Science & Civilization

    #302 — Science & Civilization

    Only the first 49 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the BLACK podcast logo). If you’d like to hear the full 1 hour and 39 minutes of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast, you’ll need to SUBSCRIBE here. If you’re already subscribed and on the private RSS feed, the podcast logo should appear RED.
    Sam Harris speaks with Neil deGrasse Tyson about his new book, Starry Messenger. They discuss what makes science a unique human endeavor, the tension between respecting scientific consensus and overturning it, confusion about paradigm shifts and scientific controversies, the social importance of probability and statistics, climate change, the consequences of exponential cultural change, social media, social inequality and affirmative action, identity politics and a post-racial future, the wisdom of focusing on class rather than race, and other topics.
    Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the Waking Up app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it.

    If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

    • 49 min
    #301 — The Politics of Unreality: Ukraine and Nuclear Risk

    #301 — The Politics of Unreality: Ukraine and Nuclear Risk

    Only the first hour of this episode is available on the paywalled podcast version (the BLACK podcast logo). If you’d like to hear the full 1 hour and 39 minutes of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast, you’ll need to SUBSCRIBE here. If you’re already subscribed and on the private RSS feed, the podcast logo should appear RED.
    Sam Harris speaks with Timothy Snyder about the ongoing war in Ukraine. They discuss the effect of Russian propaganda, Putin’s motives, whether the US and NATO bear some responsibility for the war, widespread calls for de-escalation, nuclear blackmail and nuclear risk, and other topics.
    Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the Waking Up app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it.
     
    If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

    • 1 hr

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