Book Review: Sam Harris, “Free Will”


What if free will is just an illusion?

According to neuroscientist, Sam Harris, it most certainly is. In his most recent book, Free Will, Harris explores the topic of free will from a neurological and psychological perspective and presents a strong argument that could change the way we see the world and ourselves.

I personally found this book to be overall fascinating and at the same time very challenging. The challenging part for me is the fact that Harris’ argument is so simple that it’s almost too hard to wrap my mind around it. The main question I had before reading this book, which I feel Sam Harris answers sufficiently is: So what? So what if free will is an illusion. Does it really change anything? Does it matter?

Well, it most definitely does. If free will is just an illusion, and we all accept that it is, we will all have to rethink (of course against our will) how this newfound knowledge affects our views on law, politics, religion, relationships, public policies and morality.

Is it truly a psychopath’s fault that he or she’s a psychopath? Do I really have control on the next word I type? Pickles. Are we really in control of our thoughts and actions or are we just witnesses to our consciousness? Did Neo from the Matrix really have a choice to choose between a blue pill and a red one?

I put this book on the must read list and highly recommend this book to anyone that is interested in the study of the mind and consciousness. But then again, do you really have a choice either way?

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