Single Idea 15970

[catalogued under 1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 7. Despair over Philosophy]

Full Idea

The topic of the laws of nature has a tendency to become too philosophical because it becomes too general, and a person talks in such generalities, that everybody can understand him. It is then considered to be some deep philosophy.

Gist of Idea

People generalise because it is easier to understand, and that is mistaken for deep philosophy


Richard P. Feynman (The Character of Physical Law [1965], 1)

Book Reference

Feynman,Richard: 'The Character of Physical Law' [Penguin 1992], p.13

A Reaction

Feynman was famously anti-philosophical, but this is a good challenge. I like philosophy because I want to know broad general truths about my world, but I may just be gravitating towards what is easier. The challenge is to get true generalities.

Related Ideas

Idea 12126 People love (unfortunately) extreme generality, rather than particular knowledge [Bacon]

Idea 21569 It is good to generalise truths as much as possible [Russell]