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Richard Feynman: The Meaning of It All

17 June 2004 2 Comments

Currently reading Richard Feynman: The Meaning of It All. Mr Feynman won the nobel prize in 1965 for Physics. This book contains 3 “cross-over” lectures given in 1963. The sub-title of the book is “Thoughts of a citizen scientist” and indeed the ideas presented whilst thought-provoking are startling in their simplicity.
I have only read the first lecture but thus far but I’m already excited about this author and his writings. These lectures address science, philosophy, religeon, politics, curiosity, imagination and tie all these ideas together well.

In lecture one, Feynman lays the foundation for knowing, or rather not knowing. He describes how science is misconstrued as a collection of facts and rules when in truth science is built on uncertainty. He highlights the value of doubt.

So what is the meaning of it all? As Feynman will tell you: “I don’t know” and this is perhaps more exciting than knowing.


  • Dan said:

    Feynman was the best scientific author, IMHO. He makes the complex seem simple, and brings untempered passion.

    His less scientific works (“Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman” being the epitome) are a joy to read.

    I was introduced 12 years ago, and have loved reading his stuff ever since.

    I forget its name, but the one describing his experience on the Challenger investigation committee is also a good read.


  • Francis said:

    Agreed. Feynman was the man and still is despite being six feet under. Great wikipedia entry on him here:


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