Neuroscientist Sam Harris’ recommended reading

  1. The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness by Erich Fromm
  2. The Archaic Revival: Speculations on Psychedelic Mushrooms, the Amazon, Virtual Reality, UFOs, Evolution, Shamanism, the Rebirth of the Goddess, and the End of History by Terence McKenna
  3. The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul by Francis Crick
  4. The Atomic Bazaar: Dispatches from the Underground World of Nuclear Trafficking by William Langewiesche
  5. Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors by Nicholas Wade
  6. Black Holes and Time Warps by Kip S. Thorne
  7. Blasphemy: How the Religious Right is Hijacking by Alan Dershowitz
  8. The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design by Richard Dawkins
  9. The Bodhisattva’s Brain: Buddhism Naturalized by Owen Flanagan
  10. Brain Bugs: How the Brain’s Flaws Shape Our Lives by Dean Buonomano
  11. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  12. The Case for Israel by Alan Dershowitz
  13. A Century of Violence in Soviet Russia by Alexander N. Yakovlev
  14. Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud
  15. The Complete Works by Michel de Montaigne
  16. The Concept of Mind by Gilbert Ryle
  17. The Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
  18. Consciousness Explained by Daniel Dennett
  19. Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews, A History by James Carroll
  20. Cortex and Mind: Unifying Cognition by Joaquin Fuster
  21. Deadly Feasts: The “Prion” Controversy and the Public’s Health by Richard Rhodes
  22. Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama by Daniel Goleman
  23. DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor’s Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences by Rick Strassman
  24. The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA by James Watson
  25. The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory by Brian Greene
  26. The End of the World: The Science and Ethics of Human Extinction by John Leslie
  27. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume
  28. Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong by JL Mackie
  29. Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy by Bernard Williams
  30. On the Eve of the Millenium: The Future of Democracy Through an Age of Unreason by Conor Cruise O’Brien
  31. The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes and Its Implications by David Deutsch
  32. The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness by Antonio Damasio
  33. The First Crusade: A New History: The Roots of Conflict between Christianity and Islam by Thomas Asbridge
  34. Freedom from the Unknown by Jiddu Krishnamurti
  35. Freedom and Neurobiology: Reflections on Free Will, Language, and Political Power by John Searle
  36. God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens
  37. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond
  38. On Having No Head: Zen and the Rediscovery of the Obvious by Douglas E. Harding
  39. The Histories by Herodotus
  40. A History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell
  41. Holy Madness: The Shock Tactics and Radical Teachings of Crazy-Wise Adepts, Holy Fools and Rascal Gurus by Georg Feuerstein
  42. Human: The Science Behind What Makes Your Brain Unique by Michael Gazzaniga
  43. Hyperspace by Michio Kaku
  44. I Am That by Nisargadatta Maharaj
  45. The Illusion of Conscious Will by Daniel Wegner
  46. The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood by James Gleick
  47. Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation by Donald Davidson
  48. Inquisition by Edward Peters
  49. Interaction Ritual — Essays on Face-to-Face Behavior by Erving Goffman
  50. Into That Darkness: An Examination of Conscience by Gitta Sereny
  51. Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don’t Add Up by John Allen Paulos
  52. Islam in the World by Malise Ruthven
  53. The Journalist and the Murderer by Janet Malcolm
  54. Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield
  55. Life at the Bottom by Theodore Dalyrmple
  56. The Logic of Scientific Discovery by Karl Popper
  57. The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright
  58. Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak by Jean Hatzfeld
  59. The Malleus Maleficarum of Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger by Heinrich Kramer
  60. The Meaning Of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist by Richard Feynman
  61. Meditations on First Philosophy by Rene Descartes
  62. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  63. The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America by Louis Menand
  64. The Mind’s Past by Michael Gazzaniga
  65. Essays by Michel de Montaigne
  66. Mortal Questions by Thomas Nagel
  67. Mortality by Christopher Hitchens
  68. The Mystery of Consciousness by John Searle
  69. Mythologies by Roland Barthes
  70. The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason by Victor Stenger
  71. Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Philosophical Papers by Richard Rorty
  72. The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
  73. The Phenomenology of the Mind by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
  74. Philosophical Explanations by Robert Nozick
  75. Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein
  76. The Physiology of Truth: Neuroscience and Human Knowledge by JP Changeux
  77. The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever by Christopher Hitchens
  78. Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved by Frans de Waal
  79. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
  80. The Principles of Psychology, Vol. 1 by William James
  81. Probability 1 by Amir Aczel
  82. The Problem Of The Soul: Two Visions Of Mind And How To Reconcile Them by Owen Flanagan
  83. The Al Qaeda Reader: The Essential Texts of Osama Bin Laden’s Terrorist Organization by Raymond Ibrahim
  84. Reasons and Persons by Derek Parfit
  85. Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market by Eric Schlosser
  86. Reflections on the Revolution In Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West by Christopher Caldwell
  87. The Remembered Present: A Biological Theory of Consciousness by Gerald Edelman
  88. The Return of History and the End of Dreams by Robert Kagan
  89. Collected Maxims and Other Reflections by La Rochefoucauld
  90. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari
  91. The Secular Conscience: Why Belief Belongs in Public Life by Austin Dacey
  92. The Self and Its Brain: An Argument for Interactionism by Karl Popper
  93. The Seventh Decade: The New Shape of Nuclear Danger by Jonathan Schell
  94. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors by Carl Sagan
  95. Sick Societies: Challenging the Myth of Primitive Harmony by Robert Edgerton
  96. The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil
  97. Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher by Richard Feynman
  98. Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment by Phil Zuckerman
  99. Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche
  100. Zen War Stories by Brian Victoria
  101. The Story of Art by Ernst Gombrich
  102. Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom
  103. Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi by Sri Munagala Venkataramiah
  104. Terrorist Hunter: The Extraordinary Story of a Woman Who Went Undercover to Infiltrate the Radical Islamic Groups Operating in America by Rita Katz
  105. The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith
  106. The Trial of Socrates by IF Stone
  107. On Truth by Harry Frankfurt
  108. A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing by Lawrence Krauss
  109. The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God by Carl Sagan
  110. The View from Nowhere by Thomas Nagel
  111. Voodoo Histories by David Aaronovitch
  112. What Went Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East by Bernard Lewis
  113. Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier
  114. Wider than the Sky: The Phenomenal Gift of Consciousness by Gerald Edelman
  115. Wild Minds: What Animals Really Think by Marc Hauser
  116. Witches and Neighbors: The Social and Cultural Context of European Witchcraft by Robin Briggs
  117. A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance: Portrait of an Age by William Manchester
  118. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki
  119. The Age of Spiritual Machines by Ray Kurzweil
  120. Among the Thugs by Bill Buford
  121. Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre
  122. The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker
  123. Tracing Back the Radiance: Chinul’s Korean Way of Zen by Chinul
  124. The Caged Virgin by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  125. Confession of a Buddhist Atheist by Stephen Batchelor
  126. The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory by DJ Chalmers
  127. Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge by EO Wilson
  128. Crowds and Power by Elias Canetti
  129. Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life by Daniel Dennett
  130. A Delusion of Satan by Frances Hill
  131. The Drunkard’s Walk by Leonard Mlodinow
  132. The Emperor’s New Mind by Roger Penrose
  133. The Ends of the Earth by Robert Kaplan
  134. The Enemy by Christopher Hitchens
  135. The Fate of the Earth and The Abolition by Jonathan Schell
  136. Food for the Heart: The Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah by Ajahn Chah
  137. Going Clear by Lawrence Wright
  138. The Golden Bough by James Frazer
  139. Natural Ethical Facts: Evolution, Connectionism, and Moral Cognition by William Casebeer
  140. The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy by William James
  141. The Great Big Book of Horrible Things: The Definitive Chronicle of History’s 100 Worst Atrocities by Matthew White
  142. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
  143. A History of the Mind by Nicholas Humphrey
  144. Hitler’s Willing Executioners by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen
  145. The Illustrated Jesus Through the Centuries by Jaroslav Pelikan
  146. Judgment Under Uncertainty by Daniel Kahneman
  147. The Legacy of Jihad by Andrew Bostom
  148. From a Logical Point of View by Willard Van Orman Quine
  149. Gandhi An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments With Truth by Mahatma Gandhi
  150. My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor
  151. Nagarjuna’s Seventy Stanzas: A Buddhist Psychology of Emptiness by David Komito
  152. The Nature of the Physical World by AS Eddington
  153. On the Nature of the Universe by Lucretius
  154. Nature Via Nurture: Genes, Experience, and What Makes Us Human by Matt Ridley
  155. The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz
  156. The Perennial Philosophy by Aldous Huxley
  157. Philosophical Dictionary by Francois Voltaire
  158. Philosophical Grammar by Ludwig Wittgenstein
  159. Praise of Folly by Erasmus
  160. Prisoner’s Dilemma by William Poundstone
  161. The Psychopath: Emotion and the Brain by James Blair
  162. The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
  163. The Really Hard Problem: Meaning in a Material World by Owen Flanagan
  164. The Second Machine Age by Erik Brynjolfsson
  165. Shadows of the Mind by Roger Penrose
  166. Six Not-So-Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman
  167. Slouching Toward Bethlehem by Joan Didion
  168. A Universe Of Consciousness How Matter Becomes Imagination by Gerald Edelman
  169. Walden, or Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau
  170. Why Evolution Is True by Jerry Coyne
  171. Without Sanctuary by James Allen

Categories: Literature & Fiction

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