261 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
    • 4.7 • 23.3K 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.

    #253 — Corporate Courage

    #253 — Corporate Courage

    In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jason Fried about the recent controversy over the “no politics” policy at his company Basecamp. They discuss his business philosophy, the surrender of institutions to "social-justice" activism, how politics has acquired a religious fervor, some of the cultural risks of remote work, keeping activists out of one’s company, social media use as analogous to smoking cigarettes, antitrust regulations for big tech, how social media might be improved, the tax-avoidance schemes of the richest Americans, the prospect of implementing a wealth tax, and other topics.
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    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.

    • 45 min
    #252 — Are We Alone in the Universe?

    #252 — Are We Alone in the Universe?

    In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Neil deGrasse Tyson about our place in the universe. They discuss our current understanding of extra-solar planets, the prospect that there is complex life elsewhere in the galaxy, the Fermi problem, the possibility that all advanced civilizations self destruct, how we can detect life on exoplanets, recent media interest in UFOs, whether a direct encounter with alien life would change our world, the flat-Earth conspiracy, the public understanding of science, the problem of political partisanship, racial inequality, and other topics.
    SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast 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.

    • 52 min
    #251 — Corporate Cowardice

    #251 — Corporate Cowardice

    In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Antonio García-Martínez about his recent firing at Apple. They discuss his experience in tech, his book "Chaos Monkeys," the controversy at Apple, cancel culture, and other topics.
    SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast 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.

    • 39 min
    #250 — Broken Conversations

    #250 — Broken Conversations

    In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jesse Singal about a variety of controversial topics. They discuss fragmentation in the media, bad incentives in journalism, Jesse’s encounters with cancel culture, transgender activism, the case of J.K. Rowling, the capture of cultural institutions by the far Left, racism, class inequality, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, whether Jesse should try psychedelics, and other topics.
    SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast 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.

    • 45 min
    #249 — Distance & Arrival

    #249 — Distance & Arrival

    In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris and David Whyte further explore his work in his book Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.
    SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

    • 33 min
    #248 — Order & Freedom

    #248 — Order & Freedom

    In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Michele Gelfand about the difference between tight and loose cultures. They discuss the primacy of cultural norms in governing human behavior, the trade-offs between order and freedom, conservatism vs liberalism, sensitivity to threat, scarcity, the COVID pandemic, the Jeffrey Toobin affair, political polarization, the problem of extreme stereotypes, and other topics.
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    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
23.3K Ratings

23.3K Ratings

Gary Heffernan ,

Enjoyed

Thanks!

Velvet Jones81 ,

Not ready to pay

Sam is the smartest person commenting on the most important issues today. Sounds hyperbolic, I know. Very few people are capable of debating and explaining different points of view and their relation to each as well as Sam does.

His take after the George Floyd murder was better than anyone else’s and helped me put things into perspective instead of going all DTP.

Sam does has a very mild case of TDS but the symptoms have subsided since Trump left office.

I do pay for waking up app but as good as this show is there are too many other good podcasts like Lex Friedman and James Lindsay to have to pay for any podcast even if it is someone as great as Sam Harris.

Sequiter1 ,

Independent Reasoning

I would give this 4.5/5 stars if I could. I’ll list the good and bad but please know that I see the good as very much outweighing the bad.

The good:
-Sam is committed to reasoning and following that reason earnestly wherever it leads him. This makes him not align with traditional left/right political discourses. I see Sam’s commitment to reason and truth as the core value of the show.

-Sam has a breath of understanding on neurology,neuropsychology, and meditation/self cultivation. He is a highly articulate communicator on these topics.

-Sam provides reasoned takes on contemporary controversies despite the flak I’m sure he gets. He is clearly committed to independent thought regardless of how much of a pariah he risks making himself put to be.

The bad:
-Sam has a tendency to attribute bad faith to what is actually bad/insufficient reasoning done in good faith. He occasionally conflates others’ poorly thought out opinions with bad faith, which engenders a rigidity to his view of those with differing viewpoints.

-As a byproduct of his willingness to seek truth, Sam finds himself constantly wading through the thorniest cultural issues, sometimes ad nauseum. While he’s not a one-topic host, he seems magnetically attracted to the heaviest controversies such as wokeness, BLM, cancel culture, etc. This risks overshadowing what I think are his more worthwhile topics.

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