12 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.

Follow Sam on Twitter: @SamHarrisOrg

The Best of Making Sense with Sam Harris Sam Harris

    • Science
    • 4.5 • 126 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.

Follow Sam on Twitter: @SamHarrisOrg

    #175 — Leaving the Faith

    #175 — Leaving the Faith

    Sam Harris speaks with Yasmine Mohammed about her book Unveiled: How Western Liberals Empower Radical Islam. They discuss her family background and indoctrination into conservative Islam, the double standard that Western liberals use when thinking about women in the Muslim community, the state of feminism in general, honor violence, the validity of criticizing other cultures, and many other topics.
    Yasmine Mohammed is a human rights activist and writer. She advocates for the rights of women living within Islamic majority countries, as well as those who struggle under religious fundamentalism. She is the founder of Free Hearts Free Minds, an organization that provides psychological support for ex-Muslims living within Muslim majority countries. 
    Website: YasmineMohammed.com
    Twitter: @YasMohammedxx
    If the Best Of Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK & WHITE, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.
     
    Episodes that have been re-released as part of the Best of Making Sense series may have been edited for relevance since their original airing.

    • 1 hr 20 min
    #211 — The Nature of Human Nature

    #211 — The Nature of Human Nature

    Only the first 34 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the BLACK & WHITE podcast logo). If you’d like to hear the full 1 hour and 53 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 GOLD & WHITE.
    Sam Harris speaks with Robert Plomin about the role that DNA plays in determining who we are. They discuss the birth of behavioral genetics, the taboo around studying the influence of genes on human psychology, controversies surrounding the topic of group differences, the first law of behavior genetics, heritability, nature and nurture, the mystery of unshared environment, the way genes help determine a person’s environment, epigenetics, the genetics of complex traits, dimensions vs disorders, the prospect of a GATTACA-like dystopia and genetic castes, heritability and equality of opportunity, the implications of genetics for parenting and education, DNA as a fortune-telling device, and other topics.
    Robert Plomin is MRC Research Professor in Behavioral Genetics at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London and has previously taught at the University of Colorado Boulder and at Pennsylvania State University. He has received lifetime research achievement awards from the major associations related to his field (Behavior Genetics Association, Association of Psychological Science, Society for Research in Child Development, International Society for Intelligence Research), as well as being made Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, British Academy, American Academy of Political and Social Science, and Academy of Medical Sciences (UK).
    Robert’s latest book, Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are, makes the case that DNA inherited from our parents at the moment of conception can predict our psychological strengths and weaknesses.
    Website: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/robert-plomin
     
    Episodes that have been re-released as part of the Best of Making Sense series may have been edited for relevance since their original airing.
    If the Best Of Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK & WHITE, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

    • 34 min
    #209 — A Good Life

    #209 — A Good Life

    Sam Harris speaks with Scott Barry Kaufman about human well-being. They discuss intelligence and creativity, wisdom and transcendence, the history of humanistic psychology, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the connection between well-being and ethics, self-esteem, psychedelics and meditation, peak and plateau experiences, mortality salience, the pre-trans fallacy, intrinsic vs. extrinsic rewards, pathological altruism, intimacy vs. belonging, two aspects of self-transcendence, and other topics.
    Scott Barry Kaufman is a humanistic psychologist exploring the depths of human potential. He has taught courses at the nation’s leading universities including Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, and New York University. He wrote the column Beautiful Minds for Scientific American and hosts The Psychology Podcast, which discusses insights into the mind, brain, behavior, and creativity. He has also written for The Atlantic and Harvard Business Review.
    Scott’s latest book Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization is a reimagining of Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs. It provides new insights for realizing one’s full potential and living a creative, fulfilled, and connected life. His previous books include Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined, Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind, and Twice Exceptional: Supporting and Educating Bright and Creative Students with Learning Difficulties. Scott is also credited for editing The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence.
    SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.
    Episodes that have been re-released as part of the Best of Making Sense series may have been edited for relevance since their original airing.

    • 45 min
    #205 — The Failure of Meritocracy

    #205 — The Failure of Meritocracy

    Sam Harris speaks with Daniel Markovits about the problems with meritocracy. They discuss the nature of inequality in the United States, the disappearance of the leisure class, the difference between labor and capital as sources of inequality, the way the education system amplifies inequality, the shrinking middle class, deaths of despair, differing social norms among the elite and the working class, universal basic income, the relationship between meritocracy and political polarization, the illusion of earned advantages, and other topics.
    Daniel Markovits is Guido Calabresi Professor of Law at Yale Law School and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Private Law. Markovits works in the philosophical foundations of private law, moral and political philosophy, and behavioral economics. 
    His writing has appeared in a number of notable publications including The New York Times, The Atlantic, Science, The American Economic Review, and The Yale Law Journal. His latest book, The Meritocracy Trap: How America’s Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles The Middle Class, and Devours The Elite, places meritocracy at the center of rising economic inequality and social and political dysfunction. The book takes up the law, economics, and politics of human capital to identify the mechanisms through which meritocracy breeds inequality and to expose the burdens that meritocratic inequality imposes on all who fall within meritocracy’s orbit. 
    SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.
    Episodes that have been re-released as part of the Best of Making Sense series may have been edited for relevance since their original airing.

    • 44 min
    #113 — Consciousness and the Self

    #113 — Consciousness and the Self

    In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Anil Seth about the scientific study of consciousness, where consciousness emerges in nature, levels of consciousness, perception as a “controlled hallucination,” emotion, the experience of “pure consciousness,” consciousness as “integrated information,” measures of “brain complexity,” psychedelics, different aspects of the “self,” conscious AI, and many other topics.
    Anil Seth is Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex and Founding Co-Director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science. In his work, he seeks to understand the biological basis of consciousness by bringing together research across neuroscience, mathematics, artificial intelligence, computer science, psychology, philosophy, and psychiatry. In addition to delivering new insights into the nature of consciousness, his research has helped shape novel approaches to psychiatric disorders, as well as driving innovative methods in machine learning and in brain-inspired technologies. 
    His recent book—Being You: A New Science of Consciousness—explores what it means to “be you”—that is, to have a specific, conscious experience of the world around you and yourself within it.
    SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.
    Episodes that have been re-released as part of the Best of Making Sense series may have been edited for relevance since their original airing.

    • 1 hr 44 min
    #18 — The Multiverse & You (& You & You & You...)

    #18 — The Multiverse & You (& You & You & You...)

    Sam Harris speaks with MIT cosmologist Max Tegmark about the foundations of science, our current understanding of the universe, the risks of future breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, and other topics.
    Max Tegmark is a professor of physics who has published more than two hundred technical papers and been featured in dozens of science documentaries. His work with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey on galaxy clustering shared the first prize in Science magazine’s “Breakthrough of the Year: 2003.” He is the author of Our Mathematical Universe. For more information about his work, please visit his MIT website and the Future of Life Institute.
    SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.
    Episodes that have been re-released as part of the Best of Making Sense series may have been edited for relevance since their original airing.

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
126 Ratings

126 Ratings

Syncopy13 ,

A man with character, values, intelligence and wit.

I’ve been practicing meditation through Sam Harris’ Waking Up App almost from the beginning. You learn a lot about a person when they explain complex ideas with compassion and sincerity. A lot of what Sam has to say is based on his experience of life and what is true. Seeking the truth, aren’t we all? Getting the truth is not always pleasant, especially when the truth conflicts with your world view. Understanding that cognitive dissonance, holding conflicting beliefs and making sense of them, finding a path through life and suffering less that is the journey we are on.
Thank you Sam, you have made my world a better place.

MnReview ,

garbage

more garbage from fascist commie democrat trash

philhand13 ,

The best there is.

I’ve been listening to Sam for many years, and while I have at times disagreed with details or nuance, his opinions are consistent, reasoned, and intelligent — exactly what I ask myself, my colleagues, my friends, and my loved ones to strive to be when discussing issues or assessing circumstances. Indeed, while I was listening to Sam before the rise of the fascist right and the maga science deniers, before my own religious views were seen to conflict with those of the Christian nationalists running amok, before science and expertise became something to attack rather than something to revere and admire… while Sam was in my ear before that, having Sam since the fascists and COVID took over our world has been indispensable. Thank you, Sam! Onward we go!

You Might Also Like

Sam Harris
thesaadtruthwithdrsaad
Michael Shermer
Sean Carroll | Wondery
Quillette
Lawrence M. Krauss