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About Sam Harris
Sam Harris is the author of five New York Times best sellers. 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 Four Horseman (with Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens), and Making Sense. 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.
Sam’s work has been published in more than 20 languages and has been discussed in The New York Times, Time, Scientific American, Nature, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Economist, The Times (London), The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, and The Annals of Neurology, among others. He also hosts the Making Sense Podcast, which was selected by Apple as one of the “iTunes Best” and has won a Webby Award for best podcast in the Science & Education category.
Sam received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA. He has also practiced meditation for more than 30 years and has studied with many Tibetan, Indian, Burmese, and Western meditation teachers, both in the United States and abroad. Sam has created the Waking Up Course for anyone who wants to learn to meditate in a modern, scientific context.
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From Sam Harris, neuroscientist and author of numerous New York Times bestselling books, Waking Up is for the twenty percent of Americans who follow no religion but who suspect that important truths can be found in the experiences of such figures as Jesus, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Rumi, and the other saints and sages of history. Throughout this book, Harris argues that there is more to understanding reality than science and secular culture generally allow, and that how we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the quality of our lives.
Waking Up is part memoir and part exploration of the scientific underpinnings of spirituality. No other book marries contemplative wisdom and modern science in this way, and no author other than Sam Harris—a scientist, philosopher, and famous skeptic—could write it.
In Lying, best-selling author and neuroscientist Sam Harris argues that we can radically simplify our lives and improve society by merely telling the truth in situations where others often lie. He focuses on "white" liesthose lies we tell for the purpose of sparing people discomfortfor these are the lies that most often tempt us. And they tend to be the only lies that good people tell while imagining that they are being good in the process.
"The End of Faith articulates the dangers and absurdities of organized religion so fiercely and so fearlessly that I felt relieved as I read it, vindicated....Harris writes what a sizable number of us think, but few are willing to say."—Natalie Angier, New York Times
In The End of Faith, Sam Harris delivers a startling analysis of the clash between reason and religion in the modern world. He offers a vivid, historical tour of our willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs—even when these beliefs inspire the worst human atrocities. While warning against the encroachment of organized religion into world politics, Harris draws on insights from neuroscience, philosophy, and Eastern mysticism to deliver a call for a truly modern foundation for ethics and spirituality that is both secular and humanistic. Winner of the 2005 PEN/Martha Albrand Award for Nonfiction.
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.
From the new afterword by the author:
Humanity has had a long fascination with blood sacrifice. In fact, it has been by no means uncommon for a child to be born into this world only to be patiently and lovingly reared by religious maniacs, who believe that the best way to keep the sun on its course or to ensure a rich harvest is to lead him by tender hand into a field or to a mountaintop and bury, butcher, or burn him alive as offering to an invisible God. The notion that Jesus Christ died for our sins and that his death constitutes a successful propitiation of a “loving” God is a direct and undisguised inheritance of the superstitious bloodletting that has plagued bewildered people throughout history. . .
At the dawn of the new atheist movement, the thinkers who became known as “the four horsemen,” the heralds of religion's unraveling—Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett—sat down together over cocktails. What followed was a rigorous, pathbreaking, and enthralling exchange, which has been viewed millions of times since it was first posted on YouTube. This is intellectual inquiry at its best: exhilarating, funny, and unpredictable, sincere and probing, reminding us just how varied and colorful the threads of modern atheism are.
Here is the transcript of that conversation, in print for the first time, augmented by material from the living participants: Dawkins, Harris, and Dennett. These new essays, introduced by Stephen Fry, mark the evolution of their thinking and highlight particularly resonant aspects of this epic exchange. Each man contends with the most fundamental questions of human existence while challenging the others to articulate their own stance on God and religion, cultural criticism, spirituality, debate with people of faith, and the components of a truly ethical life.
Praise for The Four Horsemen
“This bracing exchange of ideas crackles with energy. It’s fascinating to watch four first-class minds explore a rugged intellectual terrain. . . . The text affords a different, more reflective way of processing the truly vital exchange of ideas. . . . I commend the book to those seeking an honest reckoning with their religion—and those curious about how the world looks from a rigorously naturalistic and atheistic point of view.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“The full, electrifying transcript of the one and only conversation between the quartet of luminaries dubbed the ‘four horsemen’ of the New Atheism, which took place in Washington, D.C., in 2007. Among the vast range of ideas and questions they discuss: Is it ever possible to win a war of ideas? Is spirituality the preserve of the religious? And, are there any truths you would rather not know?”—The Bookseller (UK) (starred review)
A New York Times New and Noteworthy Book
From the bestselling author of Waking Up and The End of Faith, an adaptation of his wildly popular, often controversial podcast
“Civilization rests on a series of successful conversations.” —Sam Harris
Sam Harris—neuroscientist, philosopher, and bestselling author—has been exploring some of the most important questions about the human mind, society, and current events on his podcast, Making Sense. With over one million downloads per episode, these discussions have clearly hit a nerve, frequently walking a tightrope where either host or guest—and sometimes both—lose their footing, but always in search of a greater understanding of the world in which we live. For Harris, honest conversation, no matter how difficult or controversial, represents the only path to moral and intellectual progress.
This book includes a dozen of the best conversations from Making Sense, including talks with Daniel Kahneman, Timothy Snyder, Nick Bostrom, and Glenn Loury, on topics that range from the nature of consciousness and free will, to politics and extremism, to living ethically. Together they shine a light on what it means to “make sense” in the modern world.
In this highly controversial book, Sam Harris seeks to link morality to the rest of human knowledge. Defining morality in terms of human and animal well-being, Harris argues that science can do more than tell how we are; it can, in principle, tell us how we ought to be. In his view, moral relativism is simply false—and comes at an increasing cost to humanity. And the intrusions of religion into the sphere of human values can be finally repelled: for just as there is no such thing as Christian physics or Muslim algebra, there can be no Christian or Muslim morality. Using his expertise in philosophy and neuroscience, along with his experience on the front lines of our “culture wars,” Harris delivers a game-changing book about the future of science and about the real basis of human cooperation.
En la vida sucede lo que sucedía en Ana Karenina, Madame Bovary u Otelo. La mayoría de las formas de malicia privada o maldad pública se desencadenan por mentiras o se sustentan en ellas. Los actos de adulterio y otras formas de deslealtad personal, los fraudes económicos, la corrupción en la administración y hasta el asesinato o el genocidio requieren un defecto moral adicional: la voluntad de mentir.
En Mentir, el reputado autor y neurocientífico Sam Harris sostiene que podemos simplificar radicalmente nuestra vida y mejorar la sociedad simplemente diciendo la verdad en las situaciones donde otros suelen mentir. Dedica especial atención a las mentiras "piadosas", aquellas que contamos con el fin de no hacer sufrir a otros, porque son las mentiras que con mayor frecuencia nos hacen caer en la tentación de mentir. Y suelen ser las únicas que la gente de bien cuenta creyendo que hace bien contándolas.
Un ensayo brillante. (Esperaba que lo fuera, para no tener que mentir.) Sinceramente, me encantó de principio a fin. Mentir es la lectura más estimulante del año.
Los seres humanos han evolucionado bien para mentir, y seguro que todos hemos visto cómo opera este lubricante social. En muchos casos, tal vez no pensáramos que se trata de una auténtica "mentira": quizá fuera una "mentira piadosa" de vez en cuando, o la omisión de un detalle relevante aquí o allá, o la expresión de un apoyo falso a alguien cuando no encontrábamos ninguna ventaja en truncar las esperanzas de un tercero... y la lista podría ser más larga. En Mentir, Sam Harris expone cómo aprovecharse de ser descarnada, pero pragmáticamente, honesto. Se trata de un librito absorbente y de gran impacto.
En esta obra breve e iluminadora, Sam Harris aplica sus estrategias argumentales típicamente sosegadas y juiciosas a un tema que nos afecta a todos: la capacidad humana para mentir. Y, al final del libro, Harris nos obliga a llevar una vida mejor porque las ventajas de decir la verdad superan con creces los costes de las mentiras que contamos: a nosotros mismos, a los demás y a la sociedad.
--Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrofísico del Museo de Historia Natural de Estados Unidos
Além de filósofo da moral e célebre ateísta, Sam Harris é um praticante entusiasmado de meditação, tendo viajado o mundo para estudar com diversos gurus. Neste livro, ele concilia os dois aspectos de sua vida e comprova como a meditação e a prática contemplativa não têm como pré-requisito qualquer tipo de crença "mística" ou "espiritual"; pelo contrário, para ele a meditação provaria que esses conceitos não existem. Harris se vale de seu próprio envolvimento com a prática e de aspectos da neurociência e da filosofia para provar seu argumento. Em suma, um olhar detido sobre como funciona a meditação e como ela pode aliviar o stress, aproximar as pessoas e nos ajudar em batalhas cotidianas.