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Uncommon Sense

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Access-restricted-item true Addeddate 2013-06-13 16:07:04 Bookplateleaf 0010 Boxid IA1129306 Camera Canon EOS 5D Mark II City Cambridge, Mass. Donor I think of the fact that we have not come at all to grips with the humanization of work in a technical and automated society.” (1964) For all of Oppenheimer’s focus on the tensions in a nuclear age between the USA and USSR, this statement shows the depth and breadth of his thinking. And we still haven’t come to grips with this; it seems to have gotten worse over time rather than improving. You put a hard question on the virtue of discipline. What you say is true: I do value it—and I think that you do too—more than for its earthly fruit, proficiency. I think that one can give only a metaphysical ground for this evaluation; but the variety of metaphysics which gave an answer to your question has been very great, the metaphysics themselves very disparate: the bhagavad gita, Ecclesiastes, the Stoa, the beginning of the Laws, Hugo of St Victor, St Thomas, John of the Cross, Spinoza. This very great disparity suggests that the fact that discipline is good for the soul is more fundamental than any of the grounds given for its goodness. I believe that through discipline, though not through discipline alone, we can achieve serenity, and a certain small but precious measure of freedom from the accidents of incarnation, and charity, and that detachment which preserves the world which it renounces. I believe that through discipline we can learn to preserve what is essential to our happiness in more and more adverse circumstances, and to abandon with simplicity what would else have seemed to us indispensable; that we come a little to see the world without the gross distortion of personal desire, and in seeing it so, accept more easily our earthly privation and its earthly horror—But because I believe that the reward of discipline is greater than its immediate objective, I would not have you think that discipline without objective is possible: in its nature discipline involves the subjection of the soul to some perhaps minor end; and that end must be real, if the discipline is not to be factitious. Therefore I think that all things which evoke discipline: study, and our duties to men and to the commonwealth, war, and personal hardship, and even the need for subsistence, ought to be greeted by us with profound gratitude, for only through them can we attain to the least detachment; and only so can we know peace.” An iconic 20th-century scientific intellectual, theoretical physicist J. (Julius) Robert Oppenheimer was the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory in the remote New Mexico desert where the atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki were designed and assembled in World War II. Biographical studies have placed his life at the crucial point of intersection in modern scientific and American history between managerialist science, technocratic authority, and military power. Scholars, writers, and journalists of science studies have variously interpreted Oppenheimer as embodying core ideas about the modern representation of science and technology, ideas including the role of the scientific statesman, the function of the scientific intellectual, the political authority of science, the morality of science, tensions between science and humanism, and the conflict between a scientist's individual conscience and the national interest. This collection of essays and speeches, only a few of which have been previously published, presents an extraordinary thinker and scientist as well as a compassionate human being. No issue is too small or too large if it is in some way connected to the emergence of a weapon as terrible and powerful as the atom bomb. Oppenheimer discusses the shift in scientific awareness and its impact on education, the question of openness in a society forced to keep secrets, the conflict between individual concerns and public and political necessity, the future of science and its effects on future politics---in short, the common and uncommon sense we find in our modern day reality.

We may discern the essential harmony, in a world where science has extended and deepened our understanding of the common sources of power for evil and power for good, of restraining the one and of fostering the other. This is the seed we take with us, traveling to a land we cannot see, to plant in new soil.” The book also showcases Oppenheimer's keen observations on the human condition. His insights into the interconnectedness of scientific progress and the broader cultural and political landscape are striking. The essays provoke contemplation on the intersection of science and society, urging readers to consider the ethical dimensions of technological advancements. While "Uncommon Sense" delves into weighty subjects, Oppenheimer's writing maintains a certain grace and elegance. His eloquence is not only in the clarity of his ideas but also in the profound beauty of his language. Reading his essays is like engaging in a conversation with a brilliant mind—one that challenges preconceptions and encourages a deeper understanding of the world.In 1929, he was appointed to academic positions at the University of California, Berkeley, and the California Institute of Technology. An exceptional and productive theorist in the 1930s, his brilliant teaching and research abilities, coupled with the devotion he inspired in students, accounted for the creation of the American school of theoretical physics.

Julius Robert Oppenheimer (April 22, 1904 – February 18, 1967) was an American theoretical physicist and professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is often called the "father of the atomic bomb" for his role in the Manhattan Project, the World War II project that developed the first nuclear weapons. The first atomic bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945 in the Trinity test in New Mexico; Oppenheimer remarked later that it brought to mind words from the Bhagavad Gita: "Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."Oppenheimer, haunted by his leading role in the first use of atomic weapons, understood only one aspect of prudence. His longing not to do evil himself blinded him to the need to ward off the evil of others. This painfully knotted man hoped with one swipe of his moral sword to rid himself of the impossible tangle and to be clear and simple for once in his life. But being Oppenheimer could never be as easy as that. When we look at the world today we see what profound, deep, far-reaching changes science has made. Some of these changes are in the conditions of man’s life; many of them are in the alteration of the way In which moral problems come to the individual, come to the community of individuals banded together in government. As a trivial example of this, slavery and poverty did not appear to Greek civilization as the same kind of moral problem that they appear to us. They did not appear as evils because it was not clear it lay within the power of man to abate them without a sacrifice of everything else.” I think that we will not be very successful in discouraging other power from this course [of a nuclear military program] unless we show, by our own example and conviction, that we regard nuclear armament as a transitory, dangerous, and degrading phase of the world’s history..." For Oppenheimer embodied two of the highest human types, the theoretical man described by Aristotle as god-like for living in the mind, among changeless truths, and the paragon of Machiavellian virtue, god-like in commanding the power of life and death over other men. No theoretical man before Oppenheimer had known such lordly power. In certain high moments he approached that Aristotelian theoretical purity which lives for the joys of knowing the world, whatever it might prove to be; in another light he thrilled at that Machiavellian power and its attendant renown; in contrary moods he reviled himself for the suffering he brought into the world, and ached to renounce his distinction and to be merely another man among men. Perhaps no theoretical man can be equal to such a burden: to feel knowledge as power when one’s mind reshapes the world irrevocably, to see the light of truth as the agent of some dark majesty, is not grace but ordeal. Oppenheimer’s agony tore him open from top to bottom.” One of the highlights of "Uncommon Sense" is Oppenheimer's exploration of the moral implications of scientific advancements. He grapples with the responsibility scientists bear for the consequences of their discoveries, particularly in the realm of nuclear physics. The reflections on the development and use of the atomic bomb during World War II are poignant and reveal Oppenheimer's deep introspection on the role of science in society.

An early account of the development of the atomic bomb, Robert Jungk's Brighter Than a Thousand Suns (1958) portrayed Oppenheimer as a classic tragic figure, a theme that has recurred in subsequent biographies, historical studies, novels, plays, and films. Sociologist Charles Thorpe in his book Oppenheimer: The Tragic Intellect (2006) argued that his subject represented science for the nuclear and mass media age, embodying science for radio, television, and Time and Look magazines. From “An Inward Look” (1958): “Some of these lie in the relatively low esteem in which learning is held in this country, and, above all, in our indifference to the profession of teaching, a low esteem that is both manifested and caused by the fact that we pay our teachers poorly and our scientists not too well.” Things haven’t changed much since 1958. urn:lcp:uncommonsense00jrob_0:epub:fc994723-f1c1-4dfc-a630-622a80ced14f Extramarc Columbia University Libraries Foldoutcount 0 Identifier uncommonsense00jrob_0 Identifier-ark ark:/13960/t8rc0993t Invoice 11 Isbn 0817631658 Lccn 84000439 Ocr_converted abbyy-to-hocr 1.1.20 Ocr_module_version 0.0.17 Openlibrary OL2838668M Openlibrary_edition Oppenheimer was born on April 22, 1904, in New York, to a wealthy German-Jewish immigrant family. He attended the Ethical Culture School in New York, graduated from Harvard in 1925, and studied at physicist Ernest Rutherford's celebrated Cavendish laboratory at Cambridge University, England. In 1927, he obtained his PhD in Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, Germany. In Europe, he worked with several leading physicists of the time, including Max Born, Paul Ehrenfest, and Wolfgang Pauli, making important contributions to the then-emerging quantum theory.urn:oclc:870900399 Republisher_date 20150214021802 Republisher_operator [email protected] Scandate 20150131093709 Scanner scribe11.shenzhen.archive.org Scanningcenter shenzhen Worldcat (source edition)

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