Start reading Free Will on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Add Audible Narration
Free Will Narrated by Sam Harris $9.40 $6.49
Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available
 

Free Will [Kindle Edition]

Sam Harris
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (473 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $10.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $1.00 (9%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
This price was set by the publisher

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Audible Narration

Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration with Whispersync for Voice. Add narration for a reduced price of $6.49 when you buy the Kindle book.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $9.99  
Paperback $7.52  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $0.00 Free with Audible trial
Einstein's Dice and Schrödinger's Cat: How Two Great Minds Battled Quantum Randomness to Create a Unified Theory of Physics
Einstein's Dice and Schrödinger's Cat: How Two Great Minds Battled Quantum Randomness to Create a Unified Theory of Physics
Physicist Paul Halpern tells the little-known story of how Einstein and Schrödinger searched, first as collaborators and then as competitors, for a theory that transcended quantum weirdness. Learn more | See similar books

Book Description

A BELIEF IN FREE WILL touches nearly everything that human beings value. It is difficult to think about law, politics, religion, public policy, intimate relationships, morality—as well as feelings of remorse or personal achievement—without first imagining that every person is the true source of his or her thoughts and actions. And yet the facts tell us that free will is an illusion.

In this enlightening book, Sam Harris argues that this truth about the human mind does not undermine morality or diminish the importance of social and political freedom, but it can and should change the way we think about some of the most important questions in life.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"In this elegant and provocative book, Sam Harris demonstrates—with great intellectual ferocity and panache—that free will is an inherently flawed and incoherent concept, even in subjective terms. If he is right, the book will radically change the way we view ourselves as human beings."
—V. S. Ramachandran, Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, UCSD, and author of The Tell-Tale Brain

"Brilliant and witty—and never less than incisive—Free Will shows that Sam Harris can say more in 13,000 words than most people do in 100,000."
—Oliver Sacks

"Free will is an illusion so convincing that people simply refuse to believe that we don’t have it. In Free Will, Sam Harris combines neuroscience and psychology to lay this illusion to rest at last. Like all of Harris’s books, this one will not only unsettle you but make you think deeply. Read it: you have no choice."—Jerry A. Coyne, Professor of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, and author of Why Evolution Is True

"Many say that believing that there is no free will is impossible—or, if possible, will cause nihilism and despair. In this feisty and personal essay, Harris offers himself as an example of a heart made less self-absorbed, and more morally sensitive and creative, because this particular wicked witch is dead."
—Owen Flanagan, Professor of Philosophy, Duke University, and author of The Really Hard Problem

"If you believe in free will, or know someone who does, here is the perfect antidote. In this smart, engaging, and extremely readable little book, Sam Harris argues that free will doesn’t exist, that we’re better off knowing that it doesn’t exist, and that—once we think about it in the right way—we can appreciate from our own experience that it doesn’t exist. This is a delightful discussion by one of the sharpest scholars around.”
—Paul Bloom, Professor of Psychology, Yale University, and author of How Pleasure Works

About the Author

Sam Harris is the author of the bestselling books The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, Free Will, and Lying. The End of Faith won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction. His writing has been published in over fifteen languages. Dr. Harris is cofounder and CEO of Project Reason, a nonprofit foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. He received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA. Please visit his website at SamHarris.org.

Product Details


Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
(473)
3.7 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
267 of 315 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brief, cogent, provocative and convincing. March 6, 2012
Format:Paperback
It was a Reformed theologian who disabused me of the concept of free will several years ago, and I've found it a fascinating topic ever since. Sam Harris has produced a brief monograph on the issue that manages to distill the key issues without creating an impenetrable density for the reader to slog through.

For those who think value is found in a dollars-to-words ratio, the thinness and focus of this volume might not seem like a bargain, but I loved having a book with something important to say that I actually READ. I'm not saying that all subject matter must be reduced to tweets, but I know that, for example, as fascinated as I am by the topic of moral improvement that Stephen Pinker covers in The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, I am never going to read more than 600 pages just on that subject. There are simply too many other things I also care about. So Harris has done people like me a real favor by thinking about free will and pulling together the relevant evidence for his position, and expressing his ideas with his trademark wit and clarity in a work that can be digested in an hour or less.

For those who read about free will in other books and publications, there's nothing very new here. In fact, given the choice between recommending this book and something else, depending on the person I was talking with, I might instead suggest Cris Evatt's The Myth of Free Will, Revised & Expanded Edition.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
101 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!! March 6, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Free Will by Sam Harris

"Free Will" is the persuasive essay that makes the compelling case that free will is an illusion. Free will is intuitively understood but a difficult concept to master. Dr. Harris systematically, and with few precise words destroys the notion of the concept of free will. With a degree in philosophy and a doctorate degree in neuroscience and the innate ability to convey difficult concepts to the layperson, Dr. Harris is best suited to enlighten us on such a challenging topic. This 96-page book is composed of the following eight chapters: 1. The Unconscious Origins of the Will, 2. Changing the Subject, 3. Cause and Effect, 4. Choices, Efforts, Intentions, 5. Might the Truth Be Bad for Us?, 6. Moral Responsibility, 7. Politics, and 8. Conclusion.

Positives:
1. Fascinating topic in the hands of a great thinker.
2. Profound without being unintelligible. Elegant and accessible prose.
3. Does a great job of dissecting free will. The author systematically beaks down the concept of free will by attacking it from various angles.
4. More so than his previous great essay "Lying" he makes more use of his scientific background. He relays studies that support his arguments.
5. The illusion of being in control is a concept that Dr. Harris masterfully destroys.
6. The author differentiates voluntary and involuntary actions.
7. Great quotes, "Our sense of free will results from a failure to understand this: We do not know what we intend to do until the intention itself arises".
8. A discussion on the three main philosophical approaches: determinism, libertarianism, and compatibilism.
9. Great examples that help the reader comprehend the challenging concept of free will.
10.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
44 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good start, but could use some fleshing out. March 11, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's great to have Sam on board the no-free-will train, but for those of us who have been riding it for a while, the scenery may seem largely familiar. Still, the idea of not having free will is so difficult to grasp, even for those who have been struggling with it for some time, that Sam's arguments, analogies, and the recent research he presents are likely to be helpful. It's a short book for such a big topic, but its brevity and clarity may make it more accessible to some than a work of more depth might be.

On the other hand, it would have been fairly easy to give his arguments a broader perspective. For example, he says:

"People feel that they are the authors of their thoughts and actions, and this is the only reason why there seems to be a problem of free will worth talking about."(pp. 31-32, all references are to the Kindle Edition.)

In fact, people of all cultures and all times have not necessarily had this feeling. The Greeks seem to have laid the foundation for the idea, and it primarily evolved as a topic of Western thought. Seeing free will as a cultural, historical phenomenon can undermine the sense of inevitability that accompanies it in Western discourse.

Free will is part of a complex of misconceptions about how our brains work, and while Sam scratches the surface of some of these in a scattered way, these misconceptions reinforce each other, making it difficult to root one out unless all of them are exposed.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Read this book. You will gain insights. You will be enriched. You will want to read a lot more. You are not the author of your own thoughts.
Published 8 days ago by rbbmcghee
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A super perspective on "free" will!
Published 15 days ago by Reza Mohamed
3.0 out of 5 stars As much as I like Sam Harris
As much as I like Sam Harris, I was a bit disappointed with this book. Instead of having a short 100 page essay-style book, I would have really enjoyed a full 300-400 page book... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Joseph Ferguson
4.0 out of 5 stars It is very elaborate writing about why there is no ...
It is very elaborate writing about why there is no free will. Just for me it is to much philosophical in style. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tomislav
5.0 out of 5 stars Sam Harris at his very best. I ask people this all the time
Sam Harris at his very best. I ask people this all the time, "Can you prove that you COULD have done otherwise?" How can you when you didn't??
Published 1 month ago by Sean Mellor
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as intellectually satisfying as I'd hoped.
I should have known before I purchased this that it would not meet the hype. The topic is intriguing and Sam Harris might not be on the side you think he is on. Read more
Published 1 month ago by J Osorio
1.0 out of 5 stars I expect much more from this intelligent
Way too simplistic and written almost as random thoughts without any continuity between ideas. Why did he even write this? I expect much more from this intelligent author
Published 1 month ago by Michael Greene
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book!!
Published 2 months ago by Sara Keaty
5.0 out of 5 stars nice little book
Excellent read. Quick and to the point. Major paradigm shifts for me the first time I read it.
Published 2 months ago by Steven L. Bruno
3.0 out of 5 stars I like Sam Harris - but this book is flawed in ...
I like Sam Harris - but this book is flawed in many ways (the one star reviews are not far off, I am afraid)

Here is one central flaw I do not think Harris... Read more
Published 2 months ago by David H. Robinson
Search Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Sam Harris is the author of the bestselling books, The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, Free Will, Lying, and Waking Up. The End of Faith won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction.

Mr. Harris's writing has been published in more than 15 languages. His work has been discussed in The New York Times, Time, Scientific American, Nature, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and many other journals. His essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Economist, Newsweek, The Times (London), The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The Annals of Neurology, and elsewhere.

Mr. Harris is a cofounder and the CEO of Project Reason, a nonprofit foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. He received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Forums

Topic From this Discussion
Is Paul a real disciple for Jesus ?
Jesus' resurrection is a myth. His 'message' has been rewritten and translated from so many different languages by so many different authors that is is impossible to know what it ever was. That's not even mentioning the difficulty of understanding the social and historical context of that... Read More
Feb 21, 2012 by C. Lindberg |  See all 5 posts
Have something you'd like to share about this product?
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for Similar Items by Category