1. ファインマンの哲学者嫌い




ちなみに、この部分は、原文(Richard Feynman, "The Character of Physical Law" THE M.I.T. PRESS (March, 1967))では以下のようになっております。

C. P. Snow talked about two cultures. I really think that those two cultures separate people who have and people who have not had this experience of understanding mathematics well enough to appreciate nature once.
All the intellectual arguments that you can make will not communicate to deaf ears what the experience of music really is. In the same way all the intellectual arguments in the world will not convey an understanding of nature to those of 'the other culture'. Philosophers may try to teach you by telling you qualitatively about nature. I am trying to describe her. But it is not getting across because it is impossible. Perhaps it is because their horizons are limited in this way that some people are able to imagine that the center of the universe is man.

2. 還元主義


宇宙の諸現象は、いろんな階級、あるいは階層に分けて考えることができます。……一方の極限には物理の基礎法則があります。そのつぎに私どもは近似的な概念をいろいろ取り出して名前をつけます。これらは最終的には基礎法則によって説明されるべきものです。たとえば「熱」。この熱というものは不規則運動だと考えられる。もうひとつ階段を上がりますと別の階層があります。物の性質に関する諸概念がくる。……階層をもっと上にまいります。水には波がたちます。嵐というものもある。 …… この複雑さの階段をもっと上にのぼりますと、筋肉の収縮とか神経を伝わる電気信号とかに出会うでしょう。


We have a way of discussing the world, when we talk of it at various hierarchies, or levels. Now I do not mean to be very precise, dividing the world into definite levels, but I will indicate, by describing a set of ideas, what I mean by hierarchies of ideas. For example, at one end we have the fundamental laws of physics. Then we invent other terms for concepts which are approximate, which have, we believe, their ultimate explanation in terms of the fundamental laws. For instance, 'heat'. Heat is supposed to be jiggling, and the word for a hot thing is just the word for a mass of atoms which are jiggling. But for a while, if we are talking about heat, we sometimes forget about the atoms jiggling -- just as when we talk about the glacier we do not always think of the hexagonal ice and the snowflakes which originally fell. Another example of the same thing is a salt crystal. Looked at fundamentally it is a lot of protons, neutrons, and electrons; but we have this concept 'salt crystal', which carries a whole pattern already of fundamental interactions. An idea like pressure is the same.

Now if we go higher up from this, in another level we have properties of substances -- like 'refractive index', how light is bent when it goes through something; or 'surface tension', the fact that water tends to pull itself together, both of which are described by numbers. I remind you that we have to go through several laws down to find out that it is the pull of the atoms, and so on. But we still say 'surface tension', and do not always worry, when discussing surface tension, about the inner workings.

On, up in the hierarchy. With the water we have waves, and we have a thing like a storm, the word 'storm' which represents an enormous mass of phenomena, or a 'sun spot', or 'star', which is an accumulation of things. And it is not worth while always to think of it way back. In fact we cannot, because the higher up we go the more steps we have in between, each one of which is a little weak. We have not thought them all through yet.

As we go up in this hierarchy of complexity, we get to things like muscle twitch, or nerve impulse, which is an enorn10usly complicated thing in the physical world, involving an organization of matter in a very elaborate complexity.


The great mass of workers in between, connecting one step to another, are improving all the time our understanding of the world, both from working at the ends and working in the middle, and in that way we are gradually understanding this tremendous world of interconnecting hierarchies.



3. 生物機械論




I can give you another example, even more interesting and important. Probably the most powerful single assumption that contributes most to the progress of biology is the assumption that everything animals do the atoms can do, that the things that are seen in the biological world are the results of the behaviour of physical and chemical phenomena, with no 'extra something'. You could always say, 'When you come to living things, anything can happen'. If you accept that you will never understand living things. It is very hard to believe that the wiggling of the tentacle of the octopus is nothing but some fooling around of atoms according to the known physical laws. But when it is investigated with this hypothesis one is able to make guesses quite accurately about how it works. In this way one makes great progress in understanding. So far the tentacle has not been cut off - it has not been found that this idea is wrong.


4. 量子力学と自由な精神




It must then be impossible to have any information ahead of time about which hole the electron is going to go through, whether the light is on or off, in any circumstance when the experiment is set up so that it can produce the interference with the light off. It is not our ignorance of the internal gears, of the internal complications, that makes nature appear to have probability in it. It seems to be somehow intrinsic. Someone has said it this way - 'Nature herself does not even know which way the electron is going to go'.
What is necessary 'for the very existence of science', and what the characteristics of nature are, are not to be determined by ponlpous preconditions, they are determined always by the material with which we work, by nature herself.
In fact it is necessary for the very existence of science that minds exist which do not allow that nature must satisfy some preconceived conditions, like those of our philosopher.