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Book Group for July 17th, "Free Will" by Sam Harris


For July 17th, the CFI book group will be discussing Sam Harris' book, "Free Will", as well as some responses to it.  I am looking for additional material to help with the discussion.

Here is the book blurb:

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.

WE WILL ALSO READ:  "Daniel Dennett's response to Sam Harris", available at  Yes, that is Sam Harris' own blog.  It is also available at's_Free_Will.pdf

AND WE WILL ALSO READ:  Something that YOU bring in to discuss, pertaining to free will.  I'm bringing in a short section by Richard Carrier, author of "Sense and Goodness without God".  Bring something that inspires or inspired your views on free will, and be prepared to discuss why your source is important to you.

Sorry for the late notice.  I've been busy, and I haven't had time to read enough of the two books I was considering  for this group to know which one to pick. Although if Harris is right, the book I will pick is probably already known.

AND THEN THERE'S THE NEXT BOOK:  I am looking at either Nonbeliever Nation by David Niose (for a change of direction), or possibly "Who's In Charge" by Gazzinaga (to continue with consciousness, free will, and the brain)

I welcome your thoughts on the subject.  Do you have a book OR ARTICLE to recommend?  Let me know.

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  • Jeremiah

    Thanks Joel. What a bummer, not only do I have to read Harris, now I have to read Dennett as well. ;) Seriously though, excited for this book group. Thanks for keeping this alive.

    July 10, 2014

  • Joel O.

    Yes, it is a very short book. That's why I wanted to add additional material to it. Please also read the response by Daniel Dennett.

    1 · July 10, 2014

  • Jeremiah

    I just downloaded the E-book. Seems small. I don't mind. But wanted to make sure I got the correct book. Pages in e-books don't equate very well to real books. But if I am guessing it is well under a 100 pages.

    July 10, 2014

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