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Publisher's 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In this collection of lectures that Richard Feynman originally gave in 1963, unpublished during his lifetime, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist discusses several of the ultimate questions of science.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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  • Brain
  • 2017-10-15

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"......

13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Asher
  • 2007-09-22

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.

9 people found this helpful

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  • shaikha
  • 2021-04-09

Enjoyable

It’s worth reading. Concise, precise ant to the point. Easy to follow. Beautiful description of science.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Melinda Callender
  • 2021-06-26

Must Listen/Read For All

This book is truly insightful. I’m not a physicist, nor have I ever been interested in any form of philosophical readings, but The Meaning of it All is an incredible read for everyone, regardless of their occupation or specialty. Feynman does an excellent job of explaining humanity, ethics, morality, religion, government, etc and, while remaining neutral on all these topics, he is able to show how science is NOT at odds with or disproving of any of these ideas. I specifically enjoyed his discussion on morality and religion because he clearly emphasizes that these beliefs can coexist with scientific theories. I highly recommend!

1 person found this helpful

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  • ane hem
  • 2021-06-16

Great!

I love these lectures! Fun, insightful, and they aged well. These are still very relevant.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Matt
  • 2021-05-29

Teach in schools

I think if this book was taught in school, we would have a lot more critical thinkers and a much larger love of learning. Also, a lot less flat earthers! Definitely worth the listen!

1 person found this helpful

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  • L. Vãin
  • 2008-12-25

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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  • Juan Wick
  • 2021-12-01

Cowardly work

Dude can’t answer the question he ventured to answer because he can’t know anything. He knows horoscopes are nonsense (how he knows that is a mystery, presumably by revelation?) but he has no idea if capitalism is better than socialism??

This is skepticism run amok. The author explicitly calls this fence sitting and considers it a virtue. Do not recommend.

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  • Mark E Biggs
  • 2021-10-09

Deep thoughts of a scientist

I normally read/listen to fiction but my son recommended the lectures of Feynman. I enjoyed listening, learning and considering his perspectives. IMHO he overused the phrase ‘and so on’ but I realize that he could have intelligently expanded infinitely, this phrase completing his thoughts on the topic.

Great listening experience; add to your library when you are prepared to THINK.

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  • mike s.
  • 2021-08-08

The Best!

One of the best biographies I’ve read. We lost a great mind when he passed in 1988, but also a good man and scientist. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Listen now! Talented voice artist.