My View of the World

Author: Erwin Schrodinger

Genre: Metaphysics

Year: 1961

Rating: 6.5 of 10

I was somewhat surprised when I found this book because it isn’t about quantum physics but rather metaphysics. I was only familiar with Schrodinger as a physicist and most famously for his thought experiment where cats may be alive and dead simultaneously. But perhaps I should not have been surprised because when one studies quantum physics many philosophical questions arise. I guess the reason it was shocking to me is that I find it difficult to imagine how his peers in science would respond to such philosophical speculations. He addresses this fact in several passages in the book and is usually dismissive of such criticism. Most of the book is what I would have expected from a metaphysical text, long winded sentences that circle back on themselves without ever reaching a concrete point but rather just giving rise to more questions. However, despite my jaded attitude to such meanderings there was a passage that I found life changing and a few other ideas that I found particularly compelling. I am still digesting this as it becomes part pf my worldview, “consciousness is bound up with learning in organic substance; organic competence is unconscious.” This is a particularly profound statement because it makes the subconscious a decision instead of something that one has no control over throughout life. That once a behavior is learned it enters the subconscious and becomes automatic (think driving home but not remembering the drive). It makes me think that we have the opportunity to make all of our behaviors learning behaviors and be consciously aware at all times, since automatic functions are a means to conserve energy and we are no longer faced with this problem thanks to agriculture. The book also had some really interesting things to say about the origins of language. All in all this book wasn’t a terribly entertaining read but nevertheless worthwhile.

Purchase: Buy!


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