Show list of the lessons


2.27 Heisenberg

Werner Heisenberg (Würzburg 1901 – Munich 1976) was a physicist and demonstrated that in science it is impossible to observe any phenomenon without at the same time modifying it. We could take the example of a photographic film: it is impossible to see what it looks like, what color it has before it “burns” once it is exposed to light, because in order to see it we must necessarily expose it to light and then “burn it”. Things can become more dramatic if we extend this Heisenberg uncertainty principle also to ideas and everything else: it is impossible to think of any idea with our brain without automatically changing it through our own brain: it follows that for each of us it is impossible to know how any idea is before it is altered by our brain. This question can be traced back to relativity, in the sense of relativism: there are no ideas that are not conditioned by the relation with the person who thinks or thought about them. In other words, it is not possible to talk about objective ideas or facts, to say “this thing is this way”: we can only say “this thing is this way for me”, or for you or for others, but not “it is this way in itself, by itself”: everything is relative, subjective. From this it also follows that it is not possible to talk about determinism, that is about a world that functions mechanically, like a clock, with every phenomenon reduced to being the pure result of the factors that preceded it and therefore caused, determined, provoked it: we cannot talk about this because this conception is part of a claim to speak objectively, that is to say: the world itself is like this, it works like this. Instead, it is not that it works like this, but it is our brain that at a certain point believes that it can frame its course within this conception; but this conception is nothing but a pure instrument invented by our brain for its needs for understanding, not a description of reality that could claim to be objective. In other words, it is as if a farmer said that cows exist to be milked and drink milk: it is an idea of convenience; in the same way, all our ideas are always ideas of convenience, created by our brain for its advantage, for its convenience. From this, however, the opposite cannot be deduced, namely that freedom, creation exists: even the idea of freedom can be accused of having been invented by our brain for its needs to be able to successfully navigate in the midst of events of the world. In conclusion: we cannot expect to know reality, things as they are, the “being”; we can only move in the midst of this world, but without ever claiming to have understood anything definitively.
At this point, it becomes necessary to distinguish between contexts of analytical, technical and precise ideas and contexts of generic, synthetic and humanistic ideas. In an analytical context, of in-depth study, we say that everything is questionable; but in a context of daily life, or of art, or of literature, this kind of ideas is not useful, they would be capable of being only negative, destructive, paralyzing criticism, they would have the sole function of hindering, blocking life, existence. Moreover, there are conceptions, thoughts, ideas, experiences, which are completely unattainable starting from a type of analytical thought, or at least they come out infinitely impoverished or voided, whereas instead, if considered from a humanistic point of view, they become more easily understandable, enjoyable, place of creativity, in their richness of various aspects. Humanistic thinking obviously has the opposite limits: it risks being instinctive, emotional, not very critical, unaware of the many mechanisms that condition it. In life it is necessary to manage these two types of thought contexts: the context of in-depth, analytical, technical, critical investigations, which protects us from illusions and fanaticisms, and the context of humanistic, synthetic, literary, or everyday life, which allows us to free the best of ourselves without having to wait to have understood its functioning before.

Leave A Comment