Sam Harris’ Next Essay: Free Will December 9, 2011

Sam Harris’ Next Essay: Free Will

Sam Harris has just announced that February 28th will be the release date of his next long-form essay, Free Will:

Free Will follows his previous venture into e-publishing, Lying. That one turned out to be a quick yet provocative read — I hope this essay raises as many questions and thought experiments as the previous one did.

In case you want a sneak preview, my guess is that much of the book will be culled from his previous writing on the topic here, here, and here.

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  • Spencer

    Gee, I wonder what position he’ll take in this essay.

  • Has Sam Harris previously stated a position on free will?  I can’t remember…

  • Varun Shankar

    He thinks it doesn’t exist.

  • Anonymous

    He only thinks that because he has to.

  • poor Sam forced to follow the evidence where it leads!

  • “Lying” can be summed up thus: Yes, you should tell your wife those slacks make her look fat. Yeah, the book only cost a buck or whatever, but I can get advice that bad for free.

  • The problem with “Free Will” debates is that people mean quite different things by that term. 

    In “The Moral Landscape”, Harris picked out one thing that people mean by “morality” without much justification for why he picked that definition over other popular ones. (This is what annoyed philosophers so much.) Is he going to do a similar thing with the new essay?

    I think we need new vocabulary that clarifies rather than confuses.

  • Anonymous

    I like the graphic.

  • Bob Becker

    I’m not trying to be a contrarian here [though sometimes that can be fun too], but gotta tell ya I read Sam Harris’ “Letter to a Christian Nation” and was… well, let’s just say underwhelmed.  Found it plodding, preachy, and just all around neither challenging nor entertaining [as compared, for example, to “The God Delusion” or “God is Not Great”].   Dipped into “The End of Faith” briefly [sampling in a bookstore] and pretty much had the same reaction.   So I’m just  a little puzzled by the what seems to me to be excessive enthusiasm for Harris’ writing. 

    Just one atheist’s opinion. 

  • EJC

    Once again, I am just stunned by what I read. I am an atheist, and an author. However, when I read comments (and the comments here are WAY tamer than at Pharyngula) I am still amazed.

    I put this out to all the poo-pooers to Harris. How many of you have written a book? Not many. Didn’t think so. So all this arm-chair authoring is akin to Monday morning quarterbacking….a lot of hot air, only with less molesting of ball boys.

  • EJC

    Your mother tried to call the bluff on all those cigarette package warnings, didn’t she?

  • Erik Cameron

    Okay, I actually can’t tell which comments mean what because I’m not sure who is being sarcastic.

  • But how does he argue it?  Does he do something silly like ignore compatibilism?

  • Jeremy

    I’m pretty sure this isn’t another essay, but an actual book; Amazon’s pre-order price is $9.99.

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