A physicist flirts with philosophy

James Lloyd 


Søren Kierkegaard

Five years ago, I wouldn’t touch philosophy with a barge pole. I was nearing the end of my physics degree, and this had provided me with an adequate enough explanation of the workings of the cosmos.

Philosophy, in my view, was obsolete – important to the Ancient Greeks, but of about as much use today as an inflatable dartboard. Who could need frustratingly unprovable ruminations on the nature of life when physics provides handy, bitesize equations with which to describe the universe?

Metaphysics? Schmetaphysics.

But philosophy has since come back to bite me on the backside.

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Duck-Rabbit Illusion. Thomas Kuhn used this duck-rabbit optical illusion when discussing how a scientific revolution, or ‘paradigm shift’, can result in the same information being seen in a completely new way.

Werner Heisenberg​, German theoretical physicist.

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