Join neuroscientist, philosopher, and five-time New York Times best-selling author Sam Harris as he explores important and controversial questions about the min...
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#68 — Reality and the Imagination
Sam Harris speaks with Yuval Noah Harari about meditation, the need for stories, the power of technology to erase the boundary between fact and fiction, wealth inequality, the problem of finding meaning in a world without work, religion as a virtual reality game, the difference between pain and suffering, and other topics. Yuval Noah Harari has a PhD in history from Oxford University and is a professor in the Department of History at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He specialized in World History, medieval history and military history, but his current research focuses on macro-historical questions: What is the relation between history and biology? What is the essential difference between Homo sapiens and other animals? Is there justice in history? Does history have a direction? Did people become happier as history unfolded? He is the author of two blockbuster books, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. 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.
#96 — The Nature of Consciousness
Sam Harris speaks with Thomas Metzinger about the scientific and experiential understanding of consciousness. They also talk about the role of intuition in science, the ethics of building conscious AI, the self as an hallucination, how we identify with our thoughts, attention as the root of the feeling of self, the place of Eastern philosophy in Western science, and the limitations of secular humanism. Thomas Metzinger is full professor and director of the theoretical philosophy group and the research group on neuroethics/neurophilosophy at the department of philosophy, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany. He is the founder and director of the MIND group and Adjunct Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute of Advanced Studies, Germany. His research centers on analytic philosophy of mind, applied ethics, philosophy of cognitive science, and philosophy of mind. He is the editor of Neural Correlates of Consciousness and the author of Being No One and The Ego Tunnel. 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.
#143 — The Keys to the Mind
Sam Harris speaks with Derren Brown about his work as a “psychological illusionist.” They discuss the power of hypnosis, the power of expectations, the usefulness of Stoic philosophy, and other topics. Derren Brown began his UK television career in December 2000 with a series of specials called Mind Control. In the UK his name is now pretty much synonymous with the art of psychological manipulation. Amongst a varied and notorious TV career, Derren has played Russian Roulette live, convinced middle-managers to commit armed robbery, led the nation in a séance, stuck viewers at home to their sofas, successfully predicted the National Lottery, motivated a shy man to land a packed passenger plane at 30,000 feet, hypnotized a man to assassinate Stephen Fry, and created a zombie apocalypse for an unsuspecting participant after seemingly ending the world. He has also written several best-selling books and – a first in the history of magic – has toured with eight sell-out one-man stage shows. The shows have garnered a record-breaking five Olivier Award nominations for Best Entertainment, and won twice. This means Derren has had the largest number of nominations and wins for one-person shows in the history of the Awards. His 2017 US debut show SECRET won the New York Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical experience and is planning a Broadway return in 2019. His Latest book is Happy: Why More or Less Everything is Absolutely Fine. Website: http://derrenbrown.co.uk Twitter: @DerrenBrown Instagram: @derrenbrown 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.
#254 — The Mating Strategies of Earthlings
Sam Harris speaks with David Buss about the differential mating strategies of men and women. They discuss the controversy that surrounds evolutionary psychology, the denial of sex differences, cross-cultural findings in social science, the replication crisis in psychology, the biological definition of sex, why men and women have affairs, ovulatory shifts in mate preference, sex differences in jealousy and infidelity, the sources of unhappiness in marriage, mate-value discrepancies, what we can learn from dating apps, polyamory and polygamy, the plight of stepchildren, the “Dark Triad” personality type, the MeToo movement, and other topics. David Buss is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Buss previously taught at Harvard University and the University of Michigan. He is considered the world’s leading scientific expert on strategies of human mating and one of the founders of the field of evolutionary psychology. His books include The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating; Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind, The Dangerous Passion: Why Jealousy is as Necessary as Love and Sex, The Murderer Next Door: Why the Mind is Designed to Kill, and Why Women Have Sex (with Cindy Meston). His new book When Men Behave Badly: The Hidden Roots of Sexual Deception, Harassment, and Assault uncovers the evolutionary roots of conflict between the sexes. Buss has more than 300 scientific publications. In 2019, he was cited as one of the 50 most influential living psychologists in the world. Website: davidbuss.com Twitter: @ProfDavidBuss 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.
#126 — In Defense of Honor
Sam Harris speaks with Tamler Sommers about cultures of honor. They discuss the difference between honor and dignity, “justice porn,” honor killings, honor and interpersonal violence, prison and gang culture, collective responsibility and collective punishment, retributive vs restorative justice, the ethics of forgiveness and redemption, #metoo, and other topics. Tamler Sommers is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Houston. He is the host of the podcast “Very Bad Wizards” and holds a PhD in philosophy from Duke University. He is the author of Why Honor Matters. Twitter: @tamler 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.
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.