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Summary

In this collection of lectures that Richard Feynman originally gave in 1963, unpublished during his lifetime, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist discusses several of the ultimate questions of science. What is the nature of the tension between science and religious faith? Why does uncertainty play such a crucial role in the scientific imagination? Is this really a scientific age?

Marked by Feynman's characteristic combination of rationality and humor, these lectures provide an intimate glimpse at the man behind the legend. He says at the start of his final lecture, "I dedicate this lecture to showing what ridiculous conclusions and rare statements such a man as myself can make." Rare, perhaps, and irreverent, sure. But ridiculous? Not even close.

©1998 Michelle Feynman and Carl Feynman (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What listeners say about The Meaning of it All

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Inspired, but demanding

The lecture covers a wide range of thoughts on finding meaning in life and in what we do. The depth of thought is thoroughly exploring most aspects of every day interest and although he comes clearly from a scientist's point of view, this is a philosophical exploration of meaning for all aspects of human existence in a form that is accessible for everybody. No prior knowledge is required.
The only criticism I have is that occasionally the listener has to pay close attention of context, as Feynman is quick in assuming you know what he means with "so on and so on" or similarly referential shortcuts.
If you want to learn more about how/where to find meaning and you find that you dislike grande ideologies, like me when I chose this audiobook, this book will provide great inspiration.

1 person found this helpful

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You gotta love Feynman!

A great physicist, a great man, and above all, a great story teller!
He is really good and engaging. Really enjoyed this lectures

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Very enjoyable

Sound arguments in an enjoyable manner. A very good book by an undervalued genius. It is also a good book to start with if you are not familiar with Feynman.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Good lectures

This is an audiobook of some lectures given by Feynman on methodology in science and on politics. The narrator reads it clearly. If you want to know what Feynman thought about these subjects you should listen to it.

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  • Brain
  • 15-10-17

Meh....

Mostly highlights of "Surely you're joking, Mr Feynman." From the onset, he admits to getting out of his depth with non-scientific statements, and accordingly, I found many of his philosophies to be straightforwardder, but shallow, opinions. Clearly a very nice man, engaged with his world and his time. Lovingly self-deprecating understanding the limits of his knowledge. My only criticism is that I thought at first this was a book he had written and thus had given time to think things through. However this is really a post-mortem compilation of lectures, speeches, and anecdotes, some of which comes off as random thoughts blurted out that were simply inaccurate. Lastly, the title conveys to the reader an expectation of learning some insight on Dr Feynman's personal philosophy of life. Instead we get the idea from the text, quite wrongly I assume, that he never gave "the meaning of it all" much thought. In place of searching for meaning, mechanisms, or truth, this book leads one to believe Dr Feynman never sought such questions. This I doubt. The meaning of it all?......."just because"......

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Asher
  • 22-09-07

Insightful

Feynman does not dissapoint in this series of three lectures. In other Feynman titles, Feynman will veil some of his views, in these lectures he lets it all out. Great book.

8 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • L. Vãin
  • 25-12-08

Was hoping for better

I was hoping for a lot better. While there were insights and interesting thoughts in the book, they were connected loosely without leading to anywhere of significance. A great part of the disappointment came from the narrator - the life of Feynman's original lectures was simply not there.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 18-12-20

bit reader?

even tho these lectures were given in the late '60s us lay folk could never have known. A great mind opening up how he uses that intellect to view the world of man. Wonderful.

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  • Jeramie J Curtice
  • 05-11-20

Word after word of common sense

This was my first listen of Richard Feynman's books and he makes a lot of sense in a lot of ways. As with all philosophy, take it as it was written from the authors perspective, not as 'biblical truth'. With that said, enjoy this man's perspective.

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  • XeDr
  • 21-10-20

old codger discussing bothersome issues

not without interesting insights, but feels like there isn't enough to make the struggle worthwhile

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  • CB
  • 18-10-20

Not very satisfying

I only listened to about half of this. He is engaging and tries to communicate directly about how science works. But it felt simplistic and also outdated. I am a social scientist by trade, so I understand the scientific method. If you don't know about how empirical research works, then this could be useful. But the language and examples were so dated! Yes, I had not checked but this dates to 1963. And it shows.

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  • Michael
  • 13-09-20

Feynman

A bit too 'common sense-y' to be much help, but otherwise ok. The narrator was clear and easy to listen to.

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  • Frank's "Library"
  • 31-08-20

Strange thoughts for a Scientiest ...

There was no solid ideas for which to hang your hat (thinking). It is of some comfort that one so well respected seems so rudderless a lot of the time. It is rather long (it seemed so- near 3 hours) I would have thought he could condense his thinking better. It was all over different lines of thoughts. Nothing seemed to stand out to me. Just his thoughts on this and that.

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  • Yoav Matia
  • 04-05-20

very insightfull

I found this book to be very insightful. As a theoretician in robotics, this book gave me a new perspective of the scientific method.