|—||Richard Feynman (via ausweichend)|
Well, now I was in trouble. I admitted that I hadn’t read the book, so I had no idea of what Whitehead meant by the phrase; I had only come to watch. “But,” I said, “I’ll try to answer the professor’s question if you will first answer a question from me, so I can have a better idea of what ‘essential object’ means. Is a brick an essential object?”
What I had intended to do was to find out whether they thought theoretical constructs were essential objects. The electron is a theory that we use; it is so useful in understanding the way nature works that we can almost call it real. I wanted to make the idea of a theory clear by analogy. In the case of the brick, my next question was going to be, “What about the inside of the brick?”—and I would then point out that no one has ever seen the inside of a brick. Every time you break the brick, you only see the surface. That the brick has an inside is a simple theory which helps us understand things better. The theory of electrons is analogous. So I began by asking, “Is a brick an essential object?
-Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman
I WILL NEVER LOOK AT A BRICK THE SAME WAY AGAIN
“I don’t know what’s the matter with people: they don’t learn by understanding; they learn by some other way - by rote, or something. Their knowledge is so fragile.” ~ Richard Feynman
Hat Tip to Chris Gemignani