What Is Life? The physical aspect of the living cell and Mind and Matter by Erwin Schrodinger PDF book

Download What Is Life? The physical aspect of the living cell  and Mind and Matter by Erwin Schrodinger PDF book 

What Is Life? The physical aspect

Excerpt:

A scientist is supposed to have complete and thorough knowledge, at first: hand, of some subjects and, therefore, is usually expected not to write on any topic of which he is not a 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 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 and throughout many centuries the universal aspect has been the only one to be given full credit. But the spread, both in 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 aim is lost forever) 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.


Author: Erwin Schrodinger 
  Publication Date:1967

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