What Is Life - PDF - by Erwin Schrodinger

What Is Life? The physical aspect of the living cell  and Mind and Matter 

What Is Life - PDF - by Erwin Schrodinger




Preface 
A scientist is supposed to have a complete and thorough I of knowledge, at first hand, of some subjects and, therefore, is usually expected not to write on any topic of which he is not a life, master. This is regarded as a matter of noblesse oblige. For the present purpose, I beg to renounce the noblesse, if any, and to be the freed of the ensuing obligation. My excuse is as follows: We have inherited from our forefathers the keen longing for unified, all-embracing knowledge. The very name given to the highest institutions of learning reminds us, that from antiquity to and throughout many centuries the universal aspect has been the only one to be given full credit. But the spread, both in and width and depth, of the multifarious branches of knowledge during the last hundred-odd years, has confronted us with a queer dilemma. We feel clear that we are only now beginning to acquire reliable material for welding together the sum total of all that is known into a whole; but, on the other hand, it has become next to impossible for a single mind fully to command more than a small specialized portion of it. 


I can see no other escape from this dilemma (lest our true who aim to be lost for ever) than that some of us should venture to embark on a synthesis of facts and theories, albeit with second-hand and incomplete knowledge of some of them -and at the risk of making fools of ourselves. So much for my apology. The difficulties of language are not negligible. One's native speech is a closely fitting garment, and one never feels quite at ease when it is not immediately available and has to be replaced by another. My thanks are due to Dr Inkster (Trinity College, Dublin), Dr Padraig Browne (St Patrick's College, Maynooth) and, last but not least, to Mr S. C. Roberts. 

They were put to great trouble to fit the new garment on me and to even greater trouble by my occasional reluctance to give up some 'original' fashion of my own. Should some of it have survived the mitigating tendency of my friends, it is to be put at my door, not at theirs. The head-lines of the numerous sections were originally intended to be marginal summaries,


Author: Erwin Schrodinger 
  Publication Date:1967

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