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On David Bohm

By January 12, 2023No Comments

The merging of science and art…

Someday, science and art will merge, Bohm predicted. “This division of art and science is temporary,” he observed. “It didn’t exist in the past, and there’s no reason why it should go on in the future.” Just as art consists not simply of works of art but of an “attitude, the artistic spirit,” so does science consist not in the accumulation of knowledge but in the creation of fresh modes of perception. “The ability to perceive or think differently is more important than the knowledge gained,” Bohm explained.

The limits of knowledge…

“But then when we look deeper at these essential things they turn out to have some feature of appearances. We’re not ever going to get a final essence which isn’t also the appearance of something.”

Of course, one could never truly plumb one’s own mind, Bohm said. Any attempt to examine one’s own thought changes it–just as the measurement of an electron alters its course. We cannot achieve final self-knowledge, Bohm seemed to imply, any more we can achieve a final theory of physics.

On infinity..

“Anything known has to be determined by its limits. And that’s not just quantitative but qualitative. The theory is this and not that. Now it’s consistent to propose that there is the unlimited. You have to notice that if you say there is the unlimited, it cannot be different, because then the unlimited will limit the limited, by saying that the limited is not the unlimited, right? The unlimited must include the limited. We have to say, from the unlimited the limited arises, in a creative process. That’s consistent. Therefore we say that no matter how far we go there is the unlimited. It seems that no matter how far you go, somebody will come up with another point you have to answer. And I don’t see how you could ever settle that.”

From Scientific American

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