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What is Life?: With Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches Paperback – Mar 26 2012
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"One of the great science classics of the 20th century.... This is the book that provided the inspiration that gave birth to molecular biology and the discovery of DNA." Research News and Opportunities in Science and Theology
"...delightful...Schrödinger writes in a naturally relaxed and pleasant tone that leads us through the difficulties of his subject...It is well worth the trouble. For the serious student of origin-of-life theories, it is the obvious place to start." The Boston Book Review --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Nobel laureate Erwin Schrödinger's What is Life? is one of the great science classics of the twentieth century. The philosopher Karl Popper hailed it as a 'beautiful and important book' by 'a great man to whom I owe a personal debt for many exciting discussions'.
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The volume also includes another lecture by Schrodinger, Mind and Matter, which is historically interesting in another way. In Schrodinger's day, the state of understanding had not advanced to the point where it was possible to make as useful conjectures about the structure of mind as of life, and he accordingly felt "[mind] may well be beyond human understanding."
Readers interested in Schrodinger's book will also enjoy What is Thought?, published 2004. What is Thought?Read more ›
Schrödinger is buried in Alpbach (Tirol), where he lectured and enjoyed the Alps frequently after WWII in a school organized by one of two brothers who, according to a very well-informed source, formed nearly the only Resistance in Austria during the war. On his grave is a pretty little plaque bearing the Schrödinger equation.
This review refers to the 1969 edition of 'What is Life'.
This edition of 'What is Life?' by Cambridge University Press also contains Schrodinger's essay entitled 'Mind and Matter,' along with some autobiographical notes. What is Life? is a well paced 1944 version of molecular genetics that is still valid today. Crick and Watson didn't discover the structure of DNA til 1953, so Schrodinger didn't know of replisomes and error correcting polymerase III, but this essay shows how well developed molecular biology was by this time. Crick and Watson were certainly in the right place at the right time by clearing up a minor bottleneck in the broader science of molecular genetics. Mainly what Schrodinger, the formulator of the quantum mechanical wave equation of atoms, wants to accomplish is to reconcile quantum effects with biology. What is Life? makes an excellent synthesis of quantum physics and biology. Where modern scientists like physicist Roger Penrose and chemist Graham Cairns-Smith fail at this correlation Schrodinger is eminently successful. Although this essay is somewhat dated it is stimulating and rewarding to read.
The second essay entitled 'Mind and Matter' written in 1956 is very similar to modern efforts in describing abstract neuro and cognitive science. It tackles many of the same topics as moderns Daniel Dennett, Gerald Edelman, and Antonio Damasio do. Schrodinger artfully blends the idealism of Schopenhauer with his own personal physicist's point of view and crafts a perfectly enjoyable, reflective discussion on the concept of mind. I actually enjoyed Mind and Matter more than What is Life?Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Afterwards your definition of what "life" is will have changed forever.Published 16 months ago by Georg
Your SYSTEM and PRODUCTS are a splendid experience . Your KINDLE IS A MASTERPIECE , I ordered the LATEST ADITION, CAN HARDLY WAIT TO GET IT ...
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This is a top notch book written by one the pioneers of the Quantum Theory. And this is an absolutely remarkable book by Erwin Schrodinger.Published on March 4 2013 by champinn
Strange that the only thing biologists see in this book is Schroedinger's vague prediction of DNA. I honestly can't find this anywhere in the book, and believe it's the result of... Read morePublished on March 25 2003 by Brandon E. Wolfe
This book is actually three essays in one book. The first is the essay of the title, the second a more metaphysical description called "Mind and Matter" and the last an... Read morePublished on April 11 2002 by Frank Bierbrauer
Schrodinger states early in the book that the book does not attempts to explain life, but rather touches a very small part of the explanation - he endorses the hypothesis that... Read morePublished on March 17 2002 by Alok Govil
Dr. Schrodinger has put together a book of dna (life) for absolutely anyone interested. Origins is the keel of the write but there is something here I would like to describe as the... Read morePublished on Jan. 16 2002 by Sheila Halvie
Of all the books on my bookshelf, this tiny book which can be read in just a few hours, is one of the most important. Not only to me, but to science. Read morePublished on Sept. 27 2001 by Chris McKinstry
This book shows how a real genius works and thinks, not just Physics but all dimensions of the science. Read morePublished on May 11 2001 by Muzaffer Muctehitzade
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