Free Will

Harris, Sam, 1967-

Paperback - 2012
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Free Will
In this enlightening book, Sam Harris argues that free will is an illusion but that this truth should not undermine morality or diminish the importance of social and political freedom; indeed, this truth can and should change the way we think about some of the most important questions in life.

Published: New York : Free Press, 2012.
Edition: 1st Free Press trade pbk. ed.
ISBN: 1451683405
Branch Call Number: 123.5 HAR
Characteristics: 83 p. ;,21 cm.


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Sep 04, 2014
  • redban rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Philosophy always finds a way to muddle the debates, and perhaps that is the point of engaging in philosophy, but the science in this topic is fascinating. This book is quite short, so it is really just an introduction. Steven Pinker's classic [How the Mind Works] is highly recommended for further explorations.

May 02, 2014
  • erikares1 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

While Harris brings up an interesting and possibly valid hypothesis he failed to ultimately sell me on it. The field of neuroscience is absolutely fascinating and I can't wait till we discover more about the field, but this book didn't particularly interest me.

Mar 12, 2012
  • roaddogg09 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Sam's new book is short and to the point: free will is an illusion. The idea that you are the conscious arbiter of your thoughts, actions, and beliefs is just false. Even though the book is short (less than 70 pages), it covers a lot of ground. I wish Sam had written a full-length book on such an important topic, but even with its shortness, "Free Will" does the job and makes a compelling case.

I'm hoping to see Sam and Daniel Dennett have a conversation on their differing views of free will. Sam's treatment of Dennett's position, compatiblism, were thought-provoking and made me reconsider my own position.

It is doubtful this little book will end the debate, but it will add much to the conversation.

Another book that argues free will is an illusion is Michael Gazzaniga's wonderful book, "Who's in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain"


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