Waking Up with Sam Harris #39 – Free Will Revisited (with Daniel Dennett)

Waking Up with Sam Harris #39 - Free Will Revisited (with Daniel Dennett)

In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with philosopher Daniel Dennett about free will.

Essays mentioned in this podcast:

Reflections on “Free Will”
by Daniel C. Dennett

The Marionette’s Lament
by Sam Harris

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  • Finndividualist

    Wow, what a disappointing conversation. Never would have guessed on the basis of speakers.

  • Jazz Lander

    yher I think danial lost

  • B

    seems to me that the definition "free will" have to be defined just as "objectivity" defined as agreement of sensible phenomena. in this debate "free well" is fairly not clear

  • Joshua Merrill

    Daniel Dennet reminds of maester Pycell

  • Robert Nunez

    I like Dennett but I don't understand his "compatiblism" argument. 1 + 1 = 2. It doesn't just equal 3 whenever we confront truths that are hard to accept. Doing this would have terrible repercussions. This is not unlike the argument that the moderate religious spout off whenever they are challenged with the extremes of their belief systems. I think we can all agree this will just take us down a path we shouldn't go. Nevertheless, this feels like a "Universe from Nothing" 2.0 discussion. Lawrence Krauss (A clearly capable and highly regarded scientist) stumbled around his use of the word, "nothing". By nothing he actually meant something and he basically chastised us for not understanding the difference. It made no sense then and it doesn't make sense now. I think Dennett is having the same kind of brain freeze and is too proud to back down. At least he's in good company.

  • Themistoclea D

    What's your position on the philosophy of time, Sam? Eternalism, Presentism, …?

  • Christopher Padilla

    Dennett has a great point we cannot choose the factors ie; our environment and his analogy of being able to control the boat but not the wind or the weather.

  • Kevin Kuehler

    Lol. Sam is so fucking polite. "Dan and I were talking past each other." Yeah… To an extent, but Dan would flat out ignore any good points that Sam brought up.

  • HJ GE

    Psychopathy+, is that like Atheism+?

  • preet kanwar

    I think it was fairly obvious that DD was missing the point. He seemed to be more concerned with the implications of the idea Sam is trying to set out , pretending as though Sam wants to shift some kind of blame onto the unconscious forces, while that is the byproduct of what Sam is saying , it wasn't the focus thus misinterpreting the whole case. i even found it a bit cringe worthy. I think what Sam is saying is very simple and it's very easily demonstrable through mere introspection

  • BartzTheMime

    Sam's analogy with Tiger Woods and the lapse in self is incredibly incisive

  • Marshal Matt Dillon 1

    What is Dan talking about? Lol. Dan, you are rambling and missing the point!

  • Ryan Biggs

    I listen to Sam just for intellectual pleasure, but i also find he's great at making me fall asleep at night. i mean no disrespect, but his voice and tone make me fall asleep so fast when not actually paying attention.

  • Sean Marren

    Great to hear from Dan Dennett and Harris again! I really enjoyed Elbow Room and it was great to hear Dan challenged by someone else who I also admire as an intellectual.

  • The True Fizz

    Dennett fails here. He can't see past the assumption that the "self" actually exists. He talks as if every person is some special thing which is essentially different to a boat or wind, whereas Harris can see that people are each just a different little chunk of the universe, but just chunks that happen to have consciousness and because of this happen to think that they are controlling their little chunk of the universe. The boat and the wind are both following the causal rules of the universe just like the person is, the key difference being that they don't have consciousness and feel as though they are in control of what they do.

  • benalvino1860

    sam was not on his level

  • Collective Consciousness

    Saying that anyone is wired wrong or right is saying that we know what is right or wrong! Something is right or wrong only in the sense that we as a collective comunity, world wide, state or federal level etc….. Assuming you don't implement that your morals come from God then you can't say anything is right or wrong only but in the eyes of the majority. This is why everything gets tricky. I'm not sure if there is a God in the sense of a deity of likeness to humans or that humans are special in some way. I do feel like there is something behind the process of everything. I couldn't begin to explain because it may only make sense to me.