Little Canada Book Club - "Free Will" (Harris) & "Who's in Charge" (Gazzaniga)

For our October meeting we will be discussing two books: Free Will by Sam Harris & Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain by Michael S. Gazzaniga.

Free Will (Amazon product description):

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.

Who’s In Charge? (From back cover):

There is no "you" consciously making decisions. So how do we make decisions? How can we have free will if we don't pull the levers on our own behavior? What moral and legal implications follow if we don't have free will? Who's in Charge? is a primer for a new era in the understanding of human behavior that ranges across neuroscience, psychology, ethics, and the law with a light touch but profound implications.

Our future reading list is:

November:  Rock, Paper, Scissors by Len Fisher

December:  Long for This World by Jonathan Weiner

January:  The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan

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  • William Tanberg

    Sorry a small emergency has come up and I am not going to be able to make it today.

    October 13

  • Nancy

    5 Sundays in September means this is a good day for me to attend!

    September 9

  • Doug

    Regarding the other book that was discussed as a possibility to add to the list, Guilty Robots and Happy Dogs by David McFarland; there are currently over 20 used copies available at Amazon that, with shipping, are around $10 or less. (hardcover or paperback)

    This should eliminate the concern regarding the cost and availability of this book.

    I second Jack’s nomination to add this book to the list.

    September 8

    • Patricia M.

      As long as people are willing to buy it used ( has plenty of copies as well), I'm fine with that. Unless I hear some objections I'll add it to the list. It sounds interesting!

      September 8

  • August Berkshire

    I'd love to attend this as lately I've been giving presentations on the illusion of free will. However, we're having a Minnesota Atheists goals-setting meeting at 2 pm that takes precedence.

    September 8

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