Feynman’s Philosophy

A good video that nicely summarises the philosophy of Richard Feynman, narrated by Feynman himself.

A key section:

“You see, one thing is I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different thing but I’m not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don’t know anything about, but I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn’t frighten me.

And so altogether I can’t believe the special stories that have been made up about our relationship to the universe at large, because they seem to be too simple, too connected, too local, too provincial…”

Amen to that.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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4 Responses to Feynman’s Philosophy

  1. Al Feersum says:

    Hi Geoff,

    I think you might appreciate Pratchett, Cohen and Stewart’s new SoD: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Science-Discworld-Judgement-ebook/dp/B00BFTSZUC/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1

    Gives plenty of ammunition against the requirement for faith and belief in favour of hard facts (i.e. science), and the fact that we know we don’t know stuff, and that we don’t know what we don’t know, but this is cool, because it gives us the impetus to find out….

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      Hi Al, thanks for the tip, I’ll add it to the reading list. I’m an occasional Pratchett reader (I think he’s very good), but I haven’t yet picked up any of the new jointly authored books.

      • Al Feersum says:

        Hah! You’re missing out. All the SoD books are damned good – if you’ve ever read any of Stewart and Cohen’s work, then this is more of the same – incredibly accessible science. Pratchett’s addition gives useful reference points.

        And if you haven’t read The Long Earth, what the hell have you been doing?

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