The Moral Landscape

The Moral Landscape

Hardback

By (author) Sam Harris

List price $31.24

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Paperback $12.65
  • Publisher: BANTAM PRESS
  • Format: Hardback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 161mm x 240mm x 29mm | 585g
  • Publication date: 7 April 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0593064860
  • ISBN 13: 9780593064863
  • Sales rank: 264,775

Product description

Sam Harris has discovered that most people, from secular scientists to religious fundamentalists, agree on one point: science has nothing to say on the subject of human values. Indeed, science's failure to address questions of meaning and morality has become the primary justification for religious faith. The underlying claim is that while science is the best authority on the workings of the physical universe, religion is the best authority on meaning, values, morality, and leading a good life. Sam Harris shows us that this is not only untrue; it cannot possibly be true. Bringing a fresh, secular perspective to age-old questions of right and wrong, and good and evil, Harris shows that we know enough about the human brain and how it reacts to events in the world to say that there are right and wrong answers to the most pressing questions of human life. Because such answers exist, moral relativism is simply false - and comes at increasing cost to humanity. Using his expertise in philosophy and neuroscience, along with his experience on the front lines of the cultural war between science and religion, in "The Moral Landscape" Harris delivers an explosive argument about the future of science, and about the real basis of human relationships.

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Author information

Sam Harris is a neuroscientist and the author of the New York Times bestsellers The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation. His writing has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Times, Nature and in many other journals. He holds a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA. He is a co-founder and chairman of Project Reason.

Review quote

"Reading Sam Harris is like drinking water from a cool stream on a hot day. He has the rare ability to frame arguments that are not only stimulating, they are downright nourishing, even if you don't always agree with him! In this new book he argues from a philosophical and a neurobiological perspective that science can and should determine morality. His discussions will provoke secular liberals and religious conservatives alike, who jointly argue from different perspectives that there always will be an unbridgeable chasm between merely knowing what is and discerning what should be. As was the case with Harris' previous books, readers are bound to come away with previously firm convictions about the world challenged, and a vital new awareness about the nature and value of science and reason in our lives.""--"Lawrence M. Krauss, Foundation Professor and Director of the ASU Origins Project at Arizona State University", "author of" The Physics of Star Trek, " and", Quantum Man: Richard

Flap copy

Most people—from religious fundamentalists to nonbelieving scientists—agree on one point: science has nothing to say on the subject of human values. Indeed, our failure to address questions of meaning and morality through science has now become the most common justification for religious faith. In this explosive new book, Sam Harris tears down the wall between scientific facts and human values, arguing that most people are simply mistaken about the relationship between morality and the rest of human knowledge. Harris urges us to think about morality in terms of human and animal well-being, viewing the experiences of conscious creatures as peaks and valleys on a ‘moral landscape.’ Harris foresees a time when science will no longer limit itself to merely describing what people do in the name of ‘morality’; in principle, science should be able to tell us what we ought to do to live the best lives possible. Bringing a fresh perspective to age-old questions of right and wrong, and good and evil, Harris demonstrates that we already know enough about the human brain and its relationship to events in the world to say that there are right and wrong answers to the most pressing questions of human life. The intrusions of religion into the sphere of human values can be finally repelled: for just as there is no such thing as Christian physics or Muslim algebra, there can be no Christian or Muslim morality. Using his expertise in philosophy and neuroscience, along with his experience on the front lines of our ‘culture wars,’ Harris delivers a game-changing book about the future of science and about the real basis of human cooperation.