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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In this collection of lectures that Richard Feynman originally gave in 1963, unpublished during his lifetime, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist discusses several of the ultimate questions of science.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.

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  • Overall
  • Asher
  • Brooklyn, NY, USA
  • 09-22-07

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.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Brain
  • Cage 13, Acme Lab #107
  • 10-15-17

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"......

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  • Alan C.
  • SEATTLE, WA, United States
  • 02-25-13

richard feynman should be read

Would you listen to The Meaning of it All again? Why?

Many,many times

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

This man is a genius and even when I don't agree with him at times he always gives clear explanations for his reasoning everything like communism being unscientific and next to useless is honestly gone over ,plus the fact that science is not there to disprove God, that's not sciences job I love his explanations ,should be recommended for one side of science Stevenson the other forme for pro and con of paranormal and obviously feynman disagrees with that ,but on the politics of paranoia I defiantly recommend this book

What does Raymond Todd bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Raymond Todd dosent sound like feynman but at times he captures the flavour very closely all in all an excellent job he should be proud

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No,some books make you think, you have to.but it's easy to read ,I just think it's the kind of book to put down ,and look at the world and politics around you, and see it actually happening,rather frightining

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  • Overall
  • Marc
  • 11-14-11

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Lucia Ramos
  • 01-31-15

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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  • Elizabeth
  • 01-07-15

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.

  • Overall
  • Alan Michael Forrester
  • 04-13-13

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.