Making Sense with Sam Harris
Making Sense with Sam Harris
Sam Harris
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.
#297 — Preparing for the End
Only the first 1 hour and 4 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the BLACK podcast logo). If you’d like to hear the full 2 hours and 13 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 RED. Sam Harris speaks with BJ Miller and Shoshana Berger about preparing for death. They discuss the difference between palliative care and hospice, the tension between getting the most out of life and not clinging to experience, planning for death while still healthy, the importance of an advance directive, navigating the healthcare system, pain control at the end of life, assisted suicide, psychedelic therapy for end-of-life anxiety, and other topics. 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. 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.
Sep 23
1 hr 4 min
#296 — Repairing Our Country
Only the first 42 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the black podcast logo). If you’d like to hear the full 1 hour 42 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 red. Sam Harris speaks with Jonah Goldberg about the state of American politics and civil society. They discuss the hyperpartisanship of the Left and Right, what Trump has done to the Republican party, the breakdown of trust in institutions, the “new catastrophism” enabled by social media, the problem of populism, and other topics. 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. 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.
Sep 13
42 min
#295 — Philosophy and the Good Life
Only the first 44 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the black podcast logo). If you’d like to hear the full 1 hour 56 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 red. Sam Harris speaks to Kieran Setiya about the relevance of philosophy to living a good life. They discuss the existence of objective moral truths, being happy vs living well, our response to grief, the difference between "telic" and "atelic" activities, the power of reframing, FOMO, bias toward the future, regret, the asymmetry between pain and pleasure, and other topics.   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. 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.
Sep 9
44 min
#294 — Status Games
Only the first 40 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the black podcast logo). If you’d like to hear the full 1 hour 25 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 red. Sam Harris speaks with Will Storr about the role that status plays in human life and culture. They talk about the taboo around caring about status, egalitarianism, the perpetual insecurity of status, how we play multiple status games simultaneously, identity, social connection, dominance, virtue, success, status as an evolved mechanism, gossip, status and health, the consequences of humiliation, the role of social media, status and politics, conspiracy thinking, moral panics, status and philanthropy, and other topics.   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. 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.
Aug 31
40 min
#293 — What I Really Think About Trump and Media Bias
To gain access to ALL full-length episodes, you'll need to subscribe. If you’re already subscribed and on the private RSS feed, the podcast logo should appear RED. 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. Sam Harris responds to a controversy over a recent podcast appearance.   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.
Aug 25
43 min
#292 — How Much Does the Future Matter?
To gain access to ALL full-length episodes, you'll need to subscribe. If you’re already subscribed and on the private RSS feed, the podcast logo should appear RED. 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. Sam Harris speaks with William MacAskill about his new book, What We Owe the Future. They discuss the philosophy of effective altruism (EA), longtermism, existential risk, criticism of EA, problems with expected-value reasoning, doing good vs feeling good, why it's hard to care about future people, how the future gives meaning to the present, why this moment in history is unusual, the pace of economic and technological growth, bad political incentives, value lock-in, the well-being of conscious creatures as the foundation of ethics, the risk of unaligned AI, how bad we are at predicting technological change, and other topics.   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. 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.  
Aug 14
2 hr
#291 — Where is Happiness?
Only the first 1 hour and 4 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the BLACK podcast logo). If you’d like to hear the full 1 hour and 43 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 RED. Sam Harris speaks with Arthur C. Brooks about what it takes to build a good life. They discuss the power of social comparison, the intelligence taboo, political dignity and ethical hierarchy, the Dalai Lama, the nature of love, fluid and crystallized intelligences, the strange case of Linus Pauling, the limits of identity, atheism and religious faith, fear of death, psychedelics, existentialism, St. Thomas Aquinas, and other topics. Arthur C. Brooks is a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard Business School, where he teaches courses on leadership and happiness. He is also a columnist at The Atlantic, where he writes the popular “How to Build a Life” column. Brooks is the author of 12 books, including the 2022 #1 New York Times bestseller From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life. He speaks all around the world about love and happiness, giving more than 150 speeches and lectures per year in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.  Brooks began his career as a classical musician, leaving college at 19, and performing with ensembles in the United States and Spain. In his late twenties, while still performing, he returned to school, earning a BA in economics through distance learning. At 31, he left music and earned an MPhil and PhD in public policy analysis, during which time he worked as a military analyst for the Rand Corporation. Brooks then spent the next 10 years as a university professor at Syracuse University, where he taught economics and nonprofit management. In 2009, Brooks became the president of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC, one of the world’s most influential think tanks, which he led for a decade. During this period, he was selected as one of Fortune Magazine’s “50 World’s Greatest Leaders” and was awarded seven honorary doctorates.  Originally from Seattle, Brooks currently lives outside Boston, with his wife Ester Munt-Brooks, who is a native of Barcelona. They have three adult children.   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. 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.
Jul 28
1 hr 4 min
#290 — What Went Wrong?
Only the first 48 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the BLACK 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 RED. In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Marc Andreessen about the current state of Internet technology and culture. They discuss Marc's background in tech, the birth of the Internet, how advertising became the business model for digital media, the three stages of the Web, the blockchain, how successful technology reorders status and power in society, the Bitcoin white paper, the mystery surrounding the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the importance of distributed consensus, Bitcoin as digital gold, how society has performed during Covid, James Burnham and managerial capitalism, the principal-agent problem, negative externalities, risk and regulation, trust in institutions, WTF happened in 1971, regulatory capture, banning Trump and Alex Jones from social media, perverse incentives in philanthropy, and other topics. Marc Andreessen is a co-founder and general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. He is an innovator and creator, one of the few to pioneer a software category used by more than a billion people and one of the few to establish multiple billion-dollar companies. Marc co-created the highly influential Mosaic internet browser and co-founded Netscape, which later sold to AOL for $4.2 billion. He also co-founded Loudcloud, which as Opsware, sold to Hewlett-Packard for $1.6 billion. He later served on the board of Hewlett-Packard from 2008 to 2018. Marc holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.   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. 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.
Jul 21
48 min
#289 — Time Management for Mortals
Only the first 38 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the BLACK podcast logo). If you’d like to hear the full 1 hour and 28 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 RED. Sam Harris presents an unconventional perspective on time management from Oliver Burkeman. Rather than focusing on rote efficiency or productivity, Burkeman calls on us to embrace our finitude and surrender to the rhythms of life, so that we may “end our struggle with time”—and live with “more accomplishment, more success, and more time spent on what matters most.” Oliver Burkeman is the author of the New York Times bestseller Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, about embracing limitation and finally getting round to what counts, along with The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking and Help!: How to Be Slightly Happier, Slightly More Successful and Get a Bit More Done. For many years he wrote a popular column on psychology for The Guardian, This Column Will Change Your Life, and has reported from London, New York, and Washington, D.C. In his email newsletter, The Imperfectionist, he writes about productivity, mortality, and building a meaningful life in an age of distraction.   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. 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.
Jul 18
38 min
#288 — The End of Global Order
Only the first 54 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the BLACK podcast logo). If you’d like to hear the full 1 hour and 50 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 RED. Sam Harris speaks with Peter Zeihan and Ian Bremmer about Peter's new book, The End of the World is Just the Beginning. They discuss a wide range of issues related to the deglobalization and demographic collapse, the differing fates of China and America, climate change, the war in Ukraine, and other topics. Peter Zeihan is a geopolitical strategist, speaker, and author. Peter founded his own firm, Zeihan on Geopolitics, in 2012 in order to provide a select group of clients with direct, custom analytical products. Today those clients represent a vast array of sectors including energy majors, financial institutions, business associations, agricultural interests, universities, and the U.S. military. He is the author of The Accidental Superpower, The Absent Superpower, Disunited Nations, and most recently, The End of the World is Just the Beginning. Ian Bremmer is a political scientist who helps business leaders, policymakers, and the general public make sense of the world around them. He is president and founder of Eurasia Group, the world’s leading political risk research and consulting firm, and GZERO Media, a company dedicated to providing intelligent and engaging coverage of international affairs. Ian is an independent voice on critical issues around the globe, offering clearheaded insights through speeches, written commentary, and even satirical puppets (really!). He is the host of GZERO World on US public television and is the author of eleven books including his latest, The Power of Crisis: How Three Threats—and Our Response—Will Change the World. Ian also serves as the foreign affairs columnist and editor at large for Time magazine and teaches at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.   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. 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.
Jul 14
54 min
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