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Join neuroscientist, philosopher, and best-selling author Sam Harris as he explores important and controversial questions about the human mind, society, and current events. The Making Sense podcast was selected by Apple as one of iTunes Best of 2015.

Harris is the author of the best-selling books The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, Free WillLying, and Waking Up—along with Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue (with Maajid Nawaz). 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.

Harris’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 journals. He has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Economist, The Times (London), The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The Annals of Neurology, and elsewhere.

Sam Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.

Sam Harris's blog and podcast, and much more, can be found at


Dec 15, 2022

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.