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Academic & Professional Books  History & Other Humanities  Philosophy, Ethics & Religion

What is Life? With 'Mind and Matter' and Autobiographical Sketches

By: Erwin Schrödinger(Author), Roger Penrose(Foreword By)
184 pages, b/w illustrations
What is Life?
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  • What is Life? ISBN: 9781107604667 Paperback Mar 2012 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
  • What is Life? ISBN: 9780521427081 Paperback May 1992 Out of Print #17584
Selected version: £15.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Related titles

About this book

Nobel laureate Erwin Schrödinger's What is Life? is one of the great science classics of the twentieth century. It was written for the layman, but proved to be one of the spurs to the birth of molecular biology and the subsequent discovery of DNA.

What is Life? appears here together with Mind and Matter, his essay investigating a relationship which has eluded and puzzled philosophers since the earliest times. Brought together with these two classics are Schrödinger's autobiographical sketches, which offer a fascinating account of his life as a background to his scientific writings.


1. The classical physicist's approach to the subject
2. The hereditary mechanism
3. Mutations
4. The quantum-mechanical evidence
5. Delbruck's model discussed and tested
6. Order, disorder and entropy
7. Is life based on the laws of physics?
Epilogue: on determinism and free will

Mind and Matter:
1. The physical basis of consciousness
2. The future of understanding
3. The principle of objectivation
4. The arithmetical paradox: the oneness of mind
5. Science and religion
6. The mystery of the sensual qualities
Autobiographical sketches (translated from the German by Schrödinger's granddaughter Verena).

Customer Reviews

By: Erwin Schrödinger(Author), Roger Penrose(Foreword By)
184 pages, b/w illustrations
Media reviews

"This book is a gem with many facets [...] one can read it in a few hours; one will not forget it in a lifetime."
– Scientific American

"Erwin Schrödinger, iconoclastic physicist, stood at the pivotal point of history when physics was the midwife of the new science of molecular biology. In these little books he set down, clearly and concisely, most of the great conceptual issues that confront the scientist who would attempt to unravel the mysteries of life. This combined volume should be compulsory reading for all students who are seriously concerned with truly deep issues of science."
– Paul Davies

"[...] this remains a classic, written with great insight and modesty [...]"
– Human Nature Review

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