Making Sense with Sam Harris podcast

Making Sense with Sam Harris

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.

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.

 

#401

#375 — On the Attempted Assassination of President Trump

If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>.   ... Read more

Yesterday

14 MINS

14:04

Yesterday


#400

#374 — Consciousness and the Physical World

Sam Harris speaks with Christof Koch about the nature of consciousness. They discuss Christof’s development as a neuroscientist, his collaboration with Francis Crick, change blindness and binocular rivalry, sleep and anesthesia, the limits of physicalism, non-locality, brains as classical systems, conscious AI, idealism and panpsychism, Integrated Information Theory (IIT), what it means to say something “exists,” the illusion of the self, brain bridging, Christof’s experience with psychedelics, 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 <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>. Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the <a href= "https://www.wakingup.com/makingsense">Waking Up</a> 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. ... Read more

09 Jul 2024

42 MINS

42:07

09 Jul 2024


#399

#373 — Anti-Zionism Is Antisemitism

Sam Harris speaks with Michal Cotler-Wunsh about the global rise of antisemitism. They discuss the bias against Israel at the United Nations, the nature of double standards, the precedent set by Israel in its conduct in the war in Gaza, the shapeshifting quality of antisemitism, anti-Zionism as the newest strain of Jew hatred, the “Zionism is racism” resolution at the U.N., the lie that Israel is an apartheid state, the notion that Israel is perpetrating a “genocide” against the Palestinians, the Marxist oppressed-oppressor narrative, the false moral equivalence between the atrocities committed by Hamas and the deaths of noncombatants in Gaza, the failure of the social justice movement to respond appropriately to events in Israel, what universities should have done after October 7th, reclaiming the meanings of words, extremism vs civilization, 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 <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>. ... Read more

02 Jul 2024

1 HR 41 MINS

1:41:43

02 Jul 2024


#398

#372 — Life & Work

Sam Harris speaks with George Saunders about his creative process. They discuss George’s involvement with Buddhism, the importance of kindness, psychedelics, writing as a practice, the work of Raymond Carver, the problem of social media, our current political moment, the role of fame in American culture, Wendell Berry, fiction as way of exploring good and evil, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, missed opportunities in ordinary life, what it means to be a more loving person, his article “The Incredible Buddha Boy,” the prison of reputation, Tolstoy, 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 <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>. Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the <a href= "https://www.wakingup.com/makingsense">Waking Up</a> 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. ... Read more

24 Jun 2024

41 MINS

41:32

24 Jun 2024


#397

#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 <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>.   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] (https://www.wakingup.com/makingsense) 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.   ... Read more

14 Jun 2024

43 MINS

43:53

14 Jun 2024


#396

#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 <a href= "https://www.mystealthyfreedom.org/">My Stealthy Freedom</a> 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 <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>.   ... Read more

06 Jun 2024

1 HR 21 MINS

1:21:03

06 Jun 2024


#395

#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 <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>. Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the <a href= "https://www.wakingup.com/makingsense">Waking Up</a> 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. ... Read more

30 May 2024

34 MINS

34:07

30 May 2024


#394

#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 <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>. Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the <a href= "https://www.wakingup.com/makingsense">Waking Up</a> 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. ... Read more

21 May 2024

42 MINS

42:47

21 May 2024


#393

#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 <a href= "https://www.samharris.org/blog/campus-protests-antisemitism-and-western-values" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Sam’s blog</a>. If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>. ... Read more

13 May 2024

53 MINS

53:46

13 May 2024


#392

#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 <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>.   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] (https://www.wakingup.com/makingsense) 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.   ... Read more

07 May 2024

1 HR 39 MINS

1:39:27

07 May 2024


#391

#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 <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>. Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the <a href= "https://www.wakingup.com/makingsense">Waking Up</a> 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. ... Read more

01 May 2024

51 MINS

51:43

01 May 2024


#390

#364 — Facts & Values

Sam Harris revisits the central argument he made in his book, [The Moral Landscape] (https://amzn.to/3WjfT8m) , 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 <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>. Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the <a href= "https://www.wakingup.com/makingsense">Waking Up</a> 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. ... Read more

23 Apr 2024

28 MINS

28:25

23 Apr 2024


#389

#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 <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>. Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the <a href= "https://www.wakingup.com/makingsense">Waking Up</a> 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. ... Read more

15 Apr 2024

51 MINS

51:34

15 Apr 2024


#388

#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 <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>. Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the <a href= "https://www.wakingup.com/makingsense">Waking Up</a> 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. ... Read more

09 Apr 2024

54 MINS

54:27

09 Apr 2024


#387

#361 — Sam Bankman-Fried & Effective Altruism

Sam Harris speaks with William MacAskill about the implosion of FTX and the effect that it has had on the Effective Altruism movement. They discuss the logic of “earning to give,” the mind of SBF, his philanthropy, the character of the EA community, potential problems with focusing on long-term outcomes, AI risk, the effects of the FTX collapse on Will personally, 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 <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>.   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] (https://www.wakingup.com/makingsense) 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. ... Read more

01 Apr 2024

1 HR 25 MINS

1:25:25

01 Apr 2024


#386

#360 — We Really Don’t Have Free Will?

Sam Harris speaks with Robert Sapolsky about the widespread belief in free will. They discuss the limits of intuition, the views of Dan Dennett, complexity and emergence, downward causation, abstraction, epigenetics, predictability, fatalism, Benjamin Libet, the primacy of luck, historical change in attitudes about free will, implications for ethics and criminal justice, the psychological satisfaction of punishing bad people, understanding evil, punishment and reward as tools, meritocracy, the consequences of physical beauty, the logic of reasoning, 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 <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>. Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the <a href= "https://www.wakingup.com/makingsense">Waking Up</a> 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. ... Read more

27 Mar 2024

39 MINS

39:06

27 Mar 2024


#385

#359 — Getting Used to It

Sam Harris speaks with Cass Sunstein about habituation and its consequences. They discuss habituation to positive and negative experiences, marriage, happiness, meaning, variety, doing good vs feeling good, midlife crises, kids, wealth and happiness, things vs experience, the “illusory truth effect,” misinformation and social media, echo chambers and extremism, what governments can do to respond to misinformation, free speech on college campuses, the 2024 Presidential election, 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 <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>. Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the <a href= "https://www.wakingup.com/makingsense">Waking Up</a> 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. ... Read more

19 Mar 2024

31 MINS

31:27

19 Mar 2024


#384

#358 — The War in Ukraine

Sam Harris speaks with Yaroslav Trofimov about the War in Ukraine. They discuss the widespread false assumptions that Russia would win a swift victory, Ukrainian attitudes toward Russia, the transformation of the Ukrainian military, Russian incompetence, Russian public opinion, the Azov Battalion and the “de-Nazification” of Ukraine, the role of the Orthodox Church, conspiracy thinking and Russian propaganda, Putin’s popularity on the Right, NATO membership, the Minsk 2 agreement, alleged failures of Western diplomacy, Zelensky’s leadership, the moral clarity of the war, Russian war crimes, the new cult of WW2 victory in Russia, the numbers of casualties and displaced people in Ukraine, delays in US aid to Ukraine, nuclear blackmail, long-range weaponry, the weakness of western sanctions, the sabotage of the Nordstream pipeline, how the war might end, the complicated prospects of a Trump presidency, 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 <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>. ... Read more

11 Mar 2024

36 MINS

36:12

11 Mar 2024


#383

#357 — America & World Order

Sam Harris speaks with Bret Stephens about America’s place in the world. They discuss the waning Pax Americana, American isolationism, Republican fondness for Putin, Tucker Carlson, why America should support Ukraine, the significance of Alexei Navalny, what it would mean to properly hold Putin responsible for his death, nuclear blackmail, valid criticisms of Israel, the war in Gaza, Palestinian public opinion, the need for total military defeat, a two-state solution, the isolation of Israel at the UN and the International Criminal Court of Justice, waning support for the war in the Biden Administration, Hezbollah and war with Iran, Israeli politics and the settlements in the West Bank, charges of “settler colonialism,” antisemitism as a series of double standards, the prospect of a Trump victory in 2024, Biden’s age problem, the crisis at the southern border, U.S. immigration policy, 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 <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>. Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the <a href= "https://www.wakingup.com/makingsense">Waking Up</a> 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. ... Read more

04 Mar 2024

32 MINS

32:28

04 Mar 2024


#382

#356 — Islam & Freedom

Sam Harris and Rory Stewart debate whether Islam poses a unique threat to open societies. If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>. Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the <a href= "https://www.wakingup.com/makingsense">Waking Up</a> 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. ... Read more

28 Feb 2024

29 MINS

29:12

28 Feb 2024


#381

#355 — A Falling World

Sam Harris speaks with Peter Zeihan about the unraveling world order. They discuss the Bretton Woods system, America’s role in securing the global supply chain, the coming end of American security guarantees, the shrinking of the US Navy, Houthi terrorism, deterring Iran, conflict in the Middle East, the future of Israel, the limits of immigration, the demographic pyramid, the demise of Europe, the war in Ukraine, the prospect of nuclear war, demographic collapse in China, loose nukes, America’s relative immunity to the world’s chaos, U.S. debt, the U.S. Southern border and immigration policy, why Trump will not win the 2024 election, 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 <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>. Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the <a href= "https://www.wakingup.com/makingsense">Waking Up</a> 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. ... Read more

21 Feb 2024

48 MINS

48:36

21 Feb 2024