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Free Will (2012)
by Sam Harris
There is some good stuff here, but I think the fact that he never actually defines what free will IS is a major flaw. For a subject like this I expect the author to be very precise with their language and their reasoning. I think Harris is a very witty and entertaining writer but I think he has a bit of a tendency to take shortcuts. ( )
Very poor and simplistic argumentation concerning the determinism of human behavior. Suggested just for those readers interested in exploring different viewpoints on the matters of will and consciousness.
I didn't read this book from start to finish. Well, I did. Just not how I usually did. If I had to guess how long it actually took me to read this book, it be less. Way less. However, I read and reread passages. Several times I put the book down and processed paragraphs. Sometimes this processing too me days and I'd come back. Am I free to say that I didn't like it? Or agree with it? I did like his writing, though. Am I free to say that?
Yup, still very good.
A very disappointing book that's big on exposition but small on argument. I would like to argue with Harris's conclusions, but I can't because he doesn't explain why he believes what he does.
Harris tells me it's an illusion that he consciously chose to drink two cups of coffee this morning. Instead, he asserts "The choice was made for me by events in my brain that I, as the conscious witness of my thoughts and actions could not inspect or influence." But Harris doesn't explain how or why he came to that conclusion. He simply asserts the idea and develops it, without justification.
Harris believes that choices aren't made by what we perceive as "free will," but are actually determined by purely physical processes that we ourselves "cannot know." Harris limits his scientific analysis of his claims to single paragraph on page 21. He briefly cites three studies that he does not explain or mention again through the rest of the book. I expected a lot more out of a writer who earned a PhD in cognitive neuroscience.
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Wikipedia in English (3)
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.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)123.5Philosophy and Psychology Philosophy Of Humanity Chance, Free Will, And Necessity Free Will
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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.