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  • Sam Harris speaks with Bari Weiss, Michael Shellenberger, and Renee DiResta about the release of “the Twitter files” and the loss of trust in the institutions of media and government. They discuss Bari and Michael’s experience of participating in the Twitter files release, the problem of misinformation, the relationship between Twitter and the federal government, Russian influence operations, the challenges of content moderation, Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop, the need for transparency, platforms vs. publishers, Twitter’s resistance to the FBI, political bias at Twitter, J.K. Rowling, the inherent subjectivity of moderation decisions, the rise of competitive platforms, rumors vs. misinformation, how Twitter attempted to control the spread of Covid misinformation, the throttling of Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, the failure of institutions to communicate Covid information well, the risk of paternalism, abuses of power, 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 samharris.org/subscribe.

    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.

  • This episode centers around the specter of violence and surfaces some of Sam’s most controversial positions and difficult conversations.

    We begin with author and former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss, who delivers some potentially life-saving aspects of “tactical empathy,” which can also be applied to less extreme circumstances. Author and security expert Gavin de Becker then lays out his thesis from The Gift of Fear, which recasts this unfairly maligned emotion as an important attention-demanding, evolved signal.

    We then spend time with Sam’s position on “profiling” and the moral and political complexities woven into it. This careful consideration leads to a conversation with author and firearms instructor Scotty Reitz, as they paint a stark picture of certain extremes of violence and consider what responsible gun ownership might look like.

    Sam then answers questions directly on his often criticized and often misunderstood position on gun ownership before we turn to author and former Navy Seal Jocko Willink to apply pressure on the philosophical stance of pacifism. We conclude with the philosopher Tamler Sommers, who ponders the idea of “honor” in society and inspects how third-party delegation of violence might generate an illusive sense of justice.

    About the Series

    Filmmaker Jay Shapiro has produced The Essential Sam Harris, a new series of audio documentaries exploring the major topics that Sam has focused on over the course of his career.

    Each episode weaves together original analysis, critical perspective, and novel thought experiments with some of the most compelling exchanges from the Making Sense archive. Whether you are new to a particular topic, or think you have your mind made up about it, we think you’ll find this series fascinating.

  • Sam Harris speaks with Martha C. Nussbaum about her philosophical work. They discuss the relevance of philosophy to personal and political problems, the influence of religion, the problem of dogmatism, the importance of Greek and Roman philosophy for modern thought, the Stoic view of emotions, anger and retribution, deterrence, moral luck, sexual harassment, the philosophical significance of Greek tragedy, grief, human and animal flourishing, the "capabilities approach" to valuing conscious life, the rightness or wrongness of moral hierarchies, "the fragility of goodness," 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 samharris.org/subscribe.

    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.

  • Sam Harris speaks with Robert Waldinger about the Harvard Study of Adult Development. They discuss the limitations of relying on self-report to assess a person’s well-being; Daniel Kahneman’s remembering and experiencing selves; why it can be hard to figure out what makes us happy; the effects of alcohol, smoking, and exercise; the connection between work and fulfillment; the primacy of relationships; the diminishing importance of wealth; status vs feeling valued; the connection between good relationships and physical health; having kids and marital satisfaction; introversion vs extroversion; mortality and loss; collecting experiences vs things; the benefits of walking; taking relationships for granted; quantity vs quality time; the self and self states; the guru-disciple relationship; and the possibility of enlightenment.

    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.

    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.

  • In this episode, we try to trace morality to its elusive foundations. Throughout the compilation we take a look at Sam’s “Moral Landscape” and his effort to defend an objective path towards moral evaluation.

    We begin with the moral philosopher Peter Singer who outlines his famous “shallow pond” analogy and the framework of utilitarianism. We then hear from the moral psychologist Paul Bloom who makes the case against empathy and points out how it is more often a “bug” in our moral software than a “feature.” Later, William MacAskill describes the way a utilitarian philosophy informs his engagement with the Effective Altruism movement.

    The moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt then puts pressure on Sam’s emphasis on rationality and objective pathways towards morality by injecting a healthy dose of psychological skepticism into the conversation.

    After, we hear a fascinating exchange with the historian Dan Carlin where he and Sam tangle on the fraught issues of cultural relativism.

    We end by exploring the intersection of technological innovation and moral progress with the entrepreneur Uma Valeti, whom Sam seeks out when he encounters his own collision with a personal moral failure.

    About the Series

    Filmmaker Jay Shapiro has produced The Essential Sam Harris, a new series of audio documentaries exploring the major topics that Sam has focused on over the course of his career.

    Each episode weaves together original analysis, critical perspective, and novel thought experiments with some of the most compelling exchanges from the Making Sense archive. Whether you are new to a particular topic, or think you have your mind made up about it, we think you’ll find this series fascinating.

  • Sam Harris discusses Elon Musk's behavior on Twitter and the illusion of "free-speech absolutism."

    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.

    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.

  • Filmmaker Jay Shapiro has produced a new series of audio documentaries, exploring the major topics that Sam has focused on over the course of his career.

    Each episode weaves together original analysis, critical perspective, and novel thought experiments with some of the most compelling exchanges from the Making Sense archive. Whether you are new to a particular topic, or think you have your mind made up about it, we think you’ll find this series fascinating.

    In this episode, we survey the landscape of consciousness and get acquainted with the mystery of the mind. We start with an attempt to define consciousness–and veterans of conversations on consciousness will know that this is a huge part of the challenge.

    David Chalmers begins with his conception of what he coined “The Hard Problem of Consciousness” and a famous question offered by the philosopher Thomas Nagel.

    We then construct a “Philosophical Zombie” before the philosopher Thomas Metzinger explains why he is thoroughly unimpressed by the ability to imagine “such a thing,” while he simultaneously warns us against ever attempting to build one. Anil Seth brings some hope of whittling away the intuition gap of the hard problem by pursuing the “easy” problems, with clear scientific reasoning.

    Later, Iain McGilchrist lays out the intuition-shattering implications of the famous Roger Sperry experiments with split brain patients that suggest that consciousness can be cut with a knife… at least temporarily. Annaka Harris then shifts the conversation to the realm of panpsychism, which suggests that consciousness is nomologically fundamental and potentially permeates all matter.

    Finally, Don Hoffman explains that consciousness is not only fundamental and non-illusory, but that the physical world we appear to be navigating is merely a virtual space-time interface, which has evolved to hide the true nature of reality from us.

  • Sam Harris speaks with Roland Griffiths about psychedelics and mortality. They discuss the current state of psychedelic research, the timeline for FDA approvals, the risks to mental health posed by psychedelics in vulnerable populations, the use of psychedelics among the well, the relationship between psychedelics and meditation, advice for “bad” trips, microdosing, Roland’s stage-4 cancer diagnosis, reflections on death, 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 samharris.org/subscribe.

    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.

  • Sam Harris speaks with Erik Hoel about the nature of moral truth. They discuss the connection between consequentialism and Effective Altruism, the problems with implementing academic moral philosophy, bad arguments against consequentialism, the implications of AI for our morality, the dangers of moral certainty, whether all claims about good and evil are claims about consequences, the problem of moral fanaticism, difficulty in thinking about low-probability events, 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 samharris.org/subscribe.

    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.

  • Only the first 1 hour and 9 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 34 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 explains why he deleted his Twitter account. He then speaks with Cal Newport about the fragmentation of modern life. They discuss the history of computer science, how information technology has changed our lives, the effects of social media, the business model of the Internet, the power of TikTok, the future of Twitter, winner-take-all dynamics in podcasting, conspiracy thinking, the way technology drives cultural change, email and the loss of productivity, the cognitive cost of context switching, deep work, the benefits of controlling one's time, the problem with the advice to "follow your passion," 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.

  • Filmmaker Jay Shapiro has produced a new series of audio documentaries, exploring the major topics that Sam has focused on over the course of his career.

    Each episode weaves together original analysis, critical perspective, and novel thought experiments with some of the most compelling exchanges from the Making Sense archive. Whether you are new to a particular topic, or think you have your mind made up about it, we think you’ll find this series fascinating.

    In this episode, we explore the landscape of Artificial Intelligence. We’ll listen in on Sam’s conversation with decision theorist and artificial-intelligence researcher Eliezer Yudkowsky, as we consider the potential dangers of AI – including the control problem and the value-alignment problem – as well as the concepts of Artificial General Intelligence, Narrow Artificial Intelligence, and Artificial Super Intelligence.

    We’ll then be introduced to philosopher Nick Bostrom’s “Genies, Sovereigns, Oracles, and Tools,” as physicist Max Tegmark outlines just how careful we need to be as we travel down the AI path. Computer scientist Stuart Russell will then dig deeper into the value-alignment problem and explain its importance. We’ll hear from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt about the geopolitical realities of AI terrorism and weaponization. We’ll then touch the topic of consciousness as Sam and psychologist Paul Bloom turn the conversation to the ethical and psychological complexities of living alongside humanlike AI. Psychologist Alison Gopnik then reframes the general concept of intelligence to help us wonder if the kinds of systems we’re building using “Deep Learning” are really marching us towards our super-intelligent overlords. Finally, physicist David Deutsch will argue that many value-alignment fears about AI are based on a fundamental misunderstanding about how knowledge actually grows in this universe.
  • 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 discusses the recent Sam Bankman-Fried fiasco, the collapse of FTX, and the future of Effective Altruism.

    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.

  • Only the first 49 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 39 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 Neil deGrasse Tyson about his new book, Starry Messenger. They discuss what makes science a unique human endeavor, the tension between respecting scientific consensus and overturning it, confusion about paradigm shifts and scientific controversies, the social importance of probability and statistics, climate change, the consequences of exponential cultural change, social media, social inequality and affirmative action, identity politics and a post-racial future, the wisdom of focusing on class rather than race, 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.

  • Only the first hour of this episode is available on the paywalled podcast version (the BLACK podcast logo). If you’d like to hear the full 1 hour and 39 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 Timothy Snyder about the ongoing war in Ukraine. They discuss the effect of Russian propaganda, Putin’s motives, whether the US and NATO bear some responsibility for the war, widespread calls for de-escalation, nuclear blackmail and nuclear risk, 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.

  • 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 Meg Smaker about the controversy around her documentary, "The Unredacted (Jihad Rehab)." They discuss her background as a firefighter; the effect that 9/11 had on the firefighting community; her subsequent adventures in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia; the deprogramming of jihadists; the organized campaign to silence her film; the capitulations Sundance, SXSW, and other festivals; 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.

  • 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 2 hours and 3 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 Russ Roberts about decision-making and the nature of moral progress. They discuss the shortcomings of economics as a science, the power of books, the difference between "wild" and "tame" problems, Darwin’s embarrassing thoughts about the value of marriage, the utility of decision of analysis, incommensurate goods, free riding, counterfactuals, how the decisions we make change us, the difficulty of predicting future experience, changing moral norms, Effective Altruism, free speech, whether we are making moral progress, social media, truth vs comfort, problems with consequentialism, rule-based consequentialism, free will, meditation, 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.

  • 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 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.

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.