391 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 • 33 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.

    #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
    #365 — Reality Check

    #365 — Reality Check

    Sam Harris begins by remembering his friendship with Dan Dennett. He then speaks with David Wallace-Wells about the shattering of our information landscape. They discuss the false picture of reality produced during Covid, the success of the vaccines, how various countries fared during the pandemic, our preparation for a future pandemic, how we normalize danger and death, the current global consensus on climate change, the amount of warming we can expect, the consequence of a 2-degree Celsius warming, the effects of air pollution, global vs local considerations, Greta Thunberg and climate catastrophism, growth vs degrowth, market forces, carbon taxes, the consequences of political stagnation, the US national debt, the best way to attack the candidacy of Donald Trump, 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.

    • 51 min
    #364 — Facts & Values

    #364 — Facts & Values

    Sam Harris revisits the central argument he made in his book, The Moral Landscape, about the reality of moral truth. He discusses the way concepts like “good” and “evil” can be thought about objectively, the primacy of our intuitions of truth and falsity, and the unity of knowledge.
    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.

    • 28 min
    #363 — Knowledge Work

    #363 — Knowledge Work

    Sam Harris speaks with Cal Newport about our use of information technology and the cult of productivity. They discuss the state of social media, the "academic-in-exile effect," free speech and moderation, the effect of the pandemic on knowledge work, slow productivity, the example of Jane Austen, managing up in an organization, defragmenting one's work life, doing fewer things, reasonable deadlines, trading money for time, finding meaning in a post-scarcity world, the anti-work movement, the effects of artificial intelligence on knowledge work, 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.

    • 51 min
    #362 — Six Months of War

    #362 — Six Months of War

    Sam Harris and Josh Szeps (episode co-host) speak with Douglas Murray about the ongoing war in Gaza. They discuss public opinion about the war, the prospect of a widening conflict with Hezbollah and Iran, whether the Iron Dome was a mistake, the sentiments of Israeli Arabs, the global problem of Islamism, the risk of a resurgent right-wing in Europe, the crisis at the southern border in the US, 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.

    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
33 Ratings

33 Ratings

Zann P. ,

The Best Podcast Ever

What a mess. I know this is Sam's experiment. It failed miserably. However, it will not be put to total waste if Sam learns to pick the guests carefully next time. It is really frustrating to hear really defensive, and totally unresponsive answers to simple questions. What really got to me is the fact that is was obvious Omer had a view of Sam NOT from reading Sam's books but instead from snippets all over the internet. Sad, indeed. At the very least, Omer, please read Sam's books.

And to Sam, you have to pick your guests carefully. Not all are willing to converse and exchange ideas. Most are just looking for a debate and to win at all costs. That's not how intellectual progress is made. But again, I know this was an experiment. I suppose next time, it'll be better.

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