“Free Will” – Sam Harris Book Review
Harris’ book, though only 70 pages long, is a concise look into some of the elements of “free will”, our insistence upon its existence, some of the aspects of free will that impact upon our view of the world, and why, in the end, there is no such thing as free will. I’ve written a bit about this in the past, based on the excerpt from this book which Harris posted on his blog.
While this is only slightly longer than an extended essay, Harris manages to pack in enough food for thought to not only make it informative and engaging, but also thought-provoking. In this e has a way of bringing the relevant ideas to the fore and then exploring them just enough to illuminate the topic at hand, but not so much that it becomes a long-winded exploration into each topic at length.
Without giving too much away, he covers off what are the deep ramifications and implications of what it means if we, indeed, have no free will, from a societal, judicial, correctional and religious perspective, and some of the reasons we need not despair about this. Given that we are at the behest of past events, and that our thoughts seem to arise well independently of any intentionality well before we are aware of them, Harris gives us a compelling look into what the future discoveries about ourselves might look like, what our concerns will be, and how we might deal with the sometimes uncomfortable findings we may be faced with.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and managed to polish it off in a single early morning transit to work on public transport.
You can purchase this book from my online store.