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.
In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Andrew Marantz about his book “Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation." They discuss the effect of social media on politics, the distinction between publishers and platforms, the problem of guilt by association, getting too close to interview subjects, the confusing nature of troll culture, the notion of “dog whistles,” how to respond to the current reality of racism, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Megan Phelps-Roper about her book "Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church." You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Andrew McAfee about the history of human progress and the modern uncoupling of our prosperity from resource consumption. They discuss the pitfalls and hidden virtues of capitalism, technological progress, environmental policy, the future of the developing world, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Kathleen Belew about the white power movement in the United States. They discuss white supremacy, white nationalism, white separatism, the militia movement, “The Turner Diaries,” the connection between the white power movement and war, the significance of Ruby Ridge and Waco, the Christian Identity movement, the significance of “leaderless resistance,” the failures of the justice system in prosecuting white power crimes, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Barbara Tversky about how our senses of space and motion underlie our capacity for thought. They discuss the evolution of mind prior to language, the importance of imitation and gesture, the sensory and motor homunculi, the information communicated by motion, the role of “mirror neurons,” sense of direction, natural and unnatural categories, cognitive trade-offs, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris addresses listener concerns that he uses a "double standard" to evaluate the relative threats of white supremacy and jihadism. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Matt McCarthy about his book "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic." They discuss the problem of drug resistant bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses, and the failure of the pharmaceutical industry to keep pace with evolution. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Caitlin Flanagan about her work as a writer. They discuss controversies on social media, the contradictions within feminism, media bias, #MeToo, the new norms of sexuality, the wokeness of academia, affirmative action, college admissions, HR departments, sexual harassment, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Judea Pearl about his work on the mathematics of causality and artificial intelligence. They discuss how science has generally failed to understand causation, different levels of causal inference, counterfactuals, the foundations of knowledge, the nature of possibility, the illusion of free will, artificial intelligence, the nature of consciousness, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Ricky Gervais. They discuss fame, the effect of social media, the changing state of comedy, offensive jokes, Louis CK, political hypocrisy, Brexit and Trump, the state of journalism, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Eric Topol about the way artificial intelligence can improve medicine. They talk about soaring medical costs and declining health outcomes in the U.S., the problems of too little and too much medicine, the culture of medicine, the travesty of electronic health records, the current status of AI in medicine, the promise of further breakthroughs, possible downsides of relying on AI in medicine, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jared Diamond about the rise and fall of civilizations. They discuss political polarization, disparities in civilizational progress, the prospect that there may be biological differences between populations, the precariousness of democracy in the US, the lack of a strong political center, immigration policy, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Michael Weiss and Yascha Mounk about the state of global politics. They discuss the rise of right-wing populism in Europe, the prospect that democracy could fail in the US, Trump’s political instincts, the political liability of “wokeness,” the Left’s failure to re-think its support of Chavez, the dangers of political polarization, the attractions of extreme partisanship, cancel culture, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with his wife, Annaka Harris, about her new book, "Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind." You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Adam Grant about the social science of the workplace. They discuss how teams work effectively, the nature of power, personality types and fundamental styles of interaction, the critical skill of saying “no,” creativity, resilience, the strange case of Jonas Salk, the nature of mindfulness, the power of cognitive reappraisal, reflections on mortality, the replication crisis in social science, and other topics.  You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Benjamin Wittes about both volumes of the Mueller Report. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In the episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Nicholas Christakis about his new book, "Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society." You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only contentatsamharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Shane Parrish about some of the mental models that should guide our thinking and behavior. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris reads from an issue of Dabiq, the magazine of ISIS, and discusses the beliefs and goals of jihadists worldwide. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris introduces John Brockman's new anthology, "Possible Minds: 25 Ways of Looking at AI," in conversation with three of its authors: George Dyson, Alison Gopnik, and Stuart Russell. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In the episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Roger McNamee about his book Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Nick Bostrom about the problem of existential risk. They discuss public goods, moral illusions, the asymmetry between happiness and suffering, utilitarianism, "the vulnerable world hypothesis," the history of nuclear deterrence, the possible need for "turnkey totalitarianism," whether we're living in a computer simulation, the Doomsday Argument, the implications of extraterrestrial life, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Daniel Kahneman at the Beacon Theatre in NYC. They discuss the replication crisis in science, System 1 and System 2, where intuitions reliably fail, expert intuitions, the power of framing, moral illusions, anticipated regret, the asymmetry between threats and opportunities, the utility of worrying, removing obstacles to wanted behaviors, the remembering self vs the experiencing self, improving the quality of gossip, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Sally Satel about addiction. They discuss whether addiction should be considered a disease, the opiate epidemic in the U.S., the unique danger of fentanyl, the politicization of medicine, PTSD, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jack Dorsey about how he manages his dual CEO roles at Square and Twitter, the role that Twitter plays in journalism, how it’s different from other social media, what makes a conversation healthy, the logic by which Twitter suspends people, the argument for kicking Trump off the platform, Jack’s practice of meditation, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Stephen Fry about comedy, atheism, political correctness, meditation, ambition, empathy, psychedelics, Christopher Hitchens, Stephen's experience of manic depression, and much else. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Douglas Rushkoff about the state of the digital economy. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Renee Diresta about Russia's "Internet Research Agency" and its efforts to amplify conspiracy thinking and partisan conflict in the United States. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Peter Attia about meditation and the nature of mind. They discuss types of meditation, the difference between pain and suffering, the difference between joy and wellbeing, the half-life of negative emotions, thinking and dreaming, the power of culture, the power of language, letting go of anger, MDMA, loving one's enemies, moral luck, the ethics of lying, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Deeyah Khan about her groundbreaking films "Jihad" and "White Right." They discuss her history as a target of religious intolerance, her adventures with neo-Nazis and other white supremacists, the similarities between extremist groups, the dangers of political correctness, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, 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. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Johann Hari about his books "Chasing the Scream" and "Lost Connections." You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Rebecca Traister about her new book "Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger." You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

Sam talks to the head of TED, Chris Anderson, about using reason to build our morality. Sam makes the case that reason can indeed answer moral questions, and then explores the many controversies that emerge from that claim. Moral superiority? Cultural superiority? Moral progress? Chris and Sam dig in to discuss the right ways to think about defining right from wrong, and reason’s role in it all. This is an episode of The TED Interview, a new podcast from TED. It's available wherever you get your podcasts. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Matt Taibbi about the state journalism and the polarization of our politics. They discuss the controversy over Steve Bannon at the New Yorker Festival, monetizing the Trump phenomenon, the Jamal Kashoggi murder, the Kavanaugh hearing, the Rolling Stone reporting on the UVA rape case, the viability of a political center, the 2020 Presidential election, the Russia investigation, our vanishing attention span, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris gets together with Bill Maher and Larry Charles to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their film "Religulous." They discuss religion, politics, comedy, and other dangerous topics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris introduces the Waking Up Course. More information can be found at WakingUp.com. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Yuval Noah Harari about his new book “21 Lessons for the 21st Century.” They discuss the importance of meditation for his intellectual life, the primacy of stories, the need to revise our fundamental assumptions about human civilization, the threats to liberal democracy, a world without work, universal basic income, the virtues of nationalism, the implications of AI and automation, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jonathan Haidt about his new book "The Coddling of the American Mind." They discuss the hostility to free speech that has grown more common among young adults, recent moral panics on campus, the role of intentions in ethical life, the economy of prestige in “call out” culture, how we should define bigotry, systemic racism, the paradox of progress, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jaron Lanier about the economics, politics, and psychology of our digital lives. They discuss the insidious idea that information should be free, what we should want from an advanced economy, the role of advertising, libertarianism in Silicon Valley, the problems with social media, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Martie Haselton about sex and gender, the role of hormones in human psychology, “Darwinian feminism,” the unique hormonal experience of women, transgenderism, the Google Memo, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Coleman Hughes about race, racism, and identity politics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Ian Bremmer about the failure of globalism and rise of populism. They discuss immigration, trade, automation, wealth inequality, Trump, identity politics and other topics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Chris Voss about his experience as a hostage negotiator for the FBI. They discuss different types of hostage crises, along with many of the lessons that apply to negotiating in normal life. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Masha Gessen about Vladimir Putin, the problem of gauging public opinion in Russia, Trump's fondness for dictators, the challenges of immigration, comparisons between Christian and Muslim intolerance, "fake news" and the health of journalism, the #MeToo movement, and other topics.  You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with presidential candidate Andrew Yang about "universal basic income" (UBI). They discuss the state of the economy, the rise of automation and AI, the arguments for and against UBI, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Dr. Nina Shapiro about the practice of medicine. They discuss the unique resiliency of children, the importance of second opinions, bad doctors, how medical training has changed in recent years, medical uncertainty, risk perception, vaccine safety, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Geoffrey Miller about evolutionary psychology. They discuss sexual selection, virtue signaling, social media, public shaming, monogamy and polyamory, taboo topics in science, genetic engineering, gender differences and the “Google memo,” moral psychology, existential risk, AI, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Michael Pollan about his new book “How to Change Your Mind.” They cover the the resurgence of interest in psychedelics in clinical practice and end-of-life care, the “betterment of well people,” the relationship between thinking and mental suffering, the differences between psychedelics and meditation, the non-duality of consciousness, the brain’s “default mode network,” their experiences with various psychedelics, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast 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. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at SamHarris.org/subscribe.