RIchard Feynman is my hero

This is from a oft-quoted speech, Feynman's 1974 commencement speech at Cal Tech, but I never can get enough of it:
This long history of learning how not to fool ourselves — of having utter scientific integrity — is, I’m sorry to say, something that we haven’t specifically included in any particular course that I know of. We just hope you’ve caught on by osmosis. 
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.
I far as I can tell, everything Feynman ever wrote is worth reading, especially "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!", "What Do You Care What Other People Think?", and "Q.E.D."  The first two are reminiscences; the third is one of the best pieces of popularized science I've ever read.

H/t Maggie's Farm.


Grim said...

Feynman also has a starring role in Saul Kripke's "Naming and Necessity," one of the more famous metaphysical lectures to come out of the 20th century's interest in philosophy of language.

james said...

So is his _Lectures on Physics_ (especially volume 1), though it isn't often used as a textbook. It serves as a very good overview of the foundations, but to master the field you have to practice exercises.

Texan99 said...

I agree. The 3-volume lecture series is an absolutely first-rate text, worth reading just for pleasure. The man is lucid. I always recommend it to parents who are home-schooling their kids in physics.