395 episodes

Join neuroscientist, philosopher, and five-time New York Times best-selling author Sam Harris as he explores important and controversial questions about the mind, society, current events, moral philosophy, religion, and rationality—with an overarching focus on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live.

Sam is also the creator of the Waking Up app. Combining Sam’s decades of mindfulness practice, profound wisdom from varied philosophical and contemplative traditions, and a commitment to a secular, scientific worldview, Waking Up is a resource for anyone interested in living a more examined, fulfilling life—and a new operating system for the mind.

Waking Up offers free subscriptions to anyone who can’t afford one, and donates a minimum of 10% of profits to the most effective charities around the world. To learn more, please go to WakingUp.com.

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
    • 4.8 • 569 Ratings

Join neuroscientist, philosopher, and five-time New York Times best-selling author Sam Harris as he explores important and controversial questions about the mind, society, current events, moral philosophy, religion, and rationality—with an overarching focus on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live.

Sam is also the creator of the Waking Up app. Combining Sam’s decades of mindfulness practice, profound wisdom from varied philosophical and contemplative traditions, and a commitment to a secular, scientific worldview, Waking Up is a resource for anyone interested in living a more examined, fulfilling life—and a new operating system for the mind.

Waking Up offers free subscriptions to anyone who can’t afford one, and donates a minimum of 10% of profits to the most effective charities around the world. To learn more, please go to WakingUp.com.

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

    #371 — What the Hell Is Happening?

    #371 — What the Hell Is Happening?

    Sam Harris speaks to Bill Maher about the state of the world. They discuss the aftermath of October 7th, the cowardice and confusion of many celebrities, gender apartheid, the failures of the Biden campaign, Bill’s relationship to his audience, the differences between the left and right, Megyn Kelly, loss of confidence in the media, expectations for the 2024 election, the security concerns of old-school Republicans, the prospect of a second Trump term, totalitarian regimes, functioning under medical uncertainty, Bill’s plan to stop doing stand-up (maybe), looking back on his career, his experience of fame, Jerry Seinfeld, 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.
     

    • 43 min
    #370 — Gender Apartheid and the Future of Iran

    #370 — Gender Apartheid and the Future of Iran

    In today’s housekeeping, Sam explains his digital business model. He and Yasmine Mohammed (co-host) then speak with Masih Alinejad about gender apartheid in Iran. They discuss the Iranian revolution, the hypocrisy of Western feminists, the morality police and the significance of the hijab, the My Stealthy Freedom campaign, kidnapping and assassination plots against Masih, lack of action from the U.S. government, the effect of sanctions, the cowardice of Western journalists, the difference between the Iranian population and the Arab street, the unique perspective of Persian Jews, Islamism and immigration, the infiltration of universities, 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.
     

    • 1 hr 21 min
    #369 — Escaping Death

    #369 — Escaping Death

    Sam Harris speaks with Sebastian Junger about danger and death. They discuss Sebastian's career as a journalist in war zones, the connection between danger and meaning, his experience of nearly dying from a burst aneurysm in his abdomen, his lingering trauma, the concept of "awe," psychedelics, near-death experiences, atheism, psychic phenomena, consciousness and the brain, 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.

    • 34 min
    #368 — Freedom & Censorship

    #368 — Freedom & Censorship

    Sam Harris speaks with Greg Lukianoff about free speech and cancel culture. They discuss the origins of political correctness, free speech and its boundaries, the bedrock principle of the First Amendment, technology and the marketplace of ideas, epistemic anarchy, social media and cancellation, comparisons to McCarthyism, self-censorship by professors, cancellation from the Left and Right, justified cancellations, the Hunter Biden laptop story, how to deal with Trump in the media, the state of higher education in America, 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.

    • 42 min
    #367 — Campus Protests, Antisemitism, and Western Values

    #367 — Campus Protests, Antisemitism, and Western Values

    Sam Harris discusses the recent protests on college campuses, why focusing narrowly on the problem of "antisemitism" will be counterproductive, widespread confusion about the threat of Islamic extremism, and the necessary defense of Western values.
    A transcript of this podcast is available on Sam’s blog.
    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.

    • 53 min
    #366 — Urban Warfare 2.0

    #366 — Urban Warfare 2.0

    Sam Harris speaks with John Spencer about the reality of urban warfare and Israel's conduct in the war in Gaza. They discuss the nature of the Hamas attacks on October 7th, what was most surprising about the Hamas videos, the difficulty in distinguishing Hamas from the rest of the population, combatants as a reflection of a society's values, how many people have been killed in Gaza, the proportion of combatants and noncombatants, the double standards to which the IDF is held, the worst criticism that can be made of Israel and the IDF, intentions vs results, what is unique about the war in Gaza, Hamas's use of human shields, what it would mean to defeat Hamas, what the IDF has accomplished so far, the destruction of the Gaza tunnel system, the details of underground warfare, the rescue of hostages, how noncombatants become combatants, how difficult it is to interpret videos of combat, what victory would look like, the likely aftermath of the war, war with Hezbollah, Iran's attack on Israel, what to do about Iran, 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 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
569 Ratings

569 Ratings

Ragnarose ,

Wonderful podcast!

But - Ricky must stop interupting Sam in the episode about the Oscars.

PCM321 ,

Ranting

MrSam seems very upset that people may think he’s islamophobic. Spent half his time ranting about that. Not holding it together?

ZinZanMann ,

Used to be better

This podcast started out with the goal of having difficult conversations with people he disagreed with. However, Mr.Harris has given up on this. Now he has easy conversations with people he largely agree with; conversations that are mildly interesting. I recommend the Best of Making Sense for new listeners.

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