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Fritjof Capra
Born February 1, 1939 (1939-02-01) (age 70)
Citizenship Austria
Fields physicist, systems theorist

Fritjof Capra (born February 1, 1939) is an Austrian-born American physicist, systems theorist, and author of the international bestsellers, such as The Tao of Physics (1975) and The Turning Point (1982).[1]

Contents

Life and work

Born in Vienna, Austria, Capra earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Vienna in 1966. He has done research on particle physics and systems theory, and has written popular books on the implications of science, notably The Tao of Physics, subtitled An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism. The Tao of Physics makes an assertion that physics and metaphysics are both inexorably leading to the same knowledge. He is fluent in German, English, French, and Italian.

After touring Germany in the early 1980s, Capra co-wrote a book on Green Politics with ecofeminist author Charlene Spretnak called Green Politics, in 1984.

Capra contributed to the screenplay for the 1990 movie Mindwalk, starring Liv Ullman, Sam Waterston, and John Heard, which was loosely based on his book, The Turning Point.

In 1991 Capra coauthored Belonging to the Universe with David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk and a man who has been called a contemporary Thomas Merton. Using Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions as a stepping stone, their book explores the parallels between new paradigm thinking in science and religion that together offer what the authors consider remarkably compatible view of the universe.

Capra pushes for western society to abandon conventional linear thought and the mechanistic views of Descartes. Critiquing the reductionistic Cartesian view that everything can be studied in parts to understand the whole, Capra encourages his readers to take a holistic approach. In The Web of Life, Capra focuses on the systemic information generated by the relationships among all the parts as a significant additional factor in the character of the whole, emphasizing the web-like structure of all systems and thus the interconnectedness of all parts.

Capra is purportedly setting the grounds for change in many new theories, one of which is the living systems theory, a theoretical framework for ecology. This theory is only now fully emerging but it has its roots in several scientific fields that were developed during the first half of the twentieth century — organismic biology, gestalt psychology, ecology, general systems theory, and cybernetics.

Fritjof Capra is a founding director of the Center for Ecoliteracy located in Berkeley, California, which promotes ecology and systems thinking in primary and secondary education.

Bibliography

Capra has written several books and articles. A selection of his books:

  • 1975, The Tao of Physics.
  • 1982, The Turning Point: Science, Society, and the Rising Culture
  • 1984, Green Politics, with Charlene Spretnak.
  • 1988, Uncommon Wisdom
  • 1991, Belonging to the Universe: Explorations on the Frontiers of Science and Spirituality, coauthored with David Steindl-Rast and Thomas Matus.
  • 1997, The Web of Life
  • 2002, The Hidden Connections: A Science for Sustainable Living
  • 2007, The Science of Leonardo: Inside the Mind of the Great Genius of the Renaissance

See also

References

  1. ^ Fritjof Capra homepage. retrieved July 14, 2009.

External links

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Dr. Fritjof Capra, Ph.D. (born February 1, 1939) is an Austrian-born American physicist.

Sourced

The Tao of Physics (1975)

Page numbers refer to the first paperback edition: Shambhala Publications, 1975, ISBN 0-87773-078-4
  • The influence of modern physics goes beyond technology. It extends to the realm of thought and culture where it has led to a deep revision in man's conception of the universe and his relation to it.
    • Ch. 1, Modern Physics, p. 17
  • If physics leads us today to a world view which is essentially mystical, it returns, in a way, to its beginning, 2,500 years ago. [...] This time, however, it is not only based on intuition, but also on experiments of great precision and sophistication, and on a rigorous and consistent mathematical formalism.
    • Ch. 1, Modern Physics, p. 19
  • A page from a journal of modern experimental physics will be as mysterious to the uninitiated as a Tibetan mandala. Both are records of enquiries into the nature of the universe.
    • Ch. 2, Knowing and Seeing, p. 36
  • Both the physicist and the mystic want to communicate their knowledge, and when they do so with words their statements are paradoxical and full of logical contradictions.
    • Ch. 3, Beyond Language, p. 46
  • Whenever the essential nature of things is analysed by the intellect, it must seem absurd or paradoxical. This has always been recognized by the mystics, but has become a problem in science only very recently.
    • Ch. 3, Beyond Language, p. 50
  • The mystic and the physicist arrive at the same conclusion; one starting from the inner realm, the other from the outer world. The harmony between their views confirms the ancient Indian wisdom that Brahman, the ultimate reality without, is identical to Atman, the reality within.
    • Epilogue, p. 305
  • Mystics understand the roots of the Tao but not its branches; scientists understand its branches but not its roots. Science does not need mysticism and mysticism does not need science; but man needs both.
    • Epilogue, p. 306

External links

Wikipedia
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Simple English

Fritjof Capra (born February 1, 1939) is an Austrian-born American physicist.

Born in Vienna, Austria, Capra earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Vienna in 1966. He has done research on particle physics and systems theory, and has written popular books on the implications of science with ethycs, metaphysics and society. In particular in The Tao of Physics he makes the assertion that physics and metaphysics are both inexorably leading to the same knowledge. His works all share a similar subtext: that "there are hidden connections between everything". Capra is both a Buddhist and a Catholic Christian.

After touring Germany in the early 1980s, Capra co-wrote a book on Green Politics with ecofeminist author Charlene Spretnak called Green Politics, in 1984.

Capra pushes for western society to abandon conventional linear thought and the mechanistic views of Descartes. Critiquing Descartes' reductionistic view that everything can be studied in parts to understand the whole, he allows his readers to take an objective and fresh mind, encouraging them to see the world through complexity theory.

Capra is purportedly setting the grounds for change in many new theories, one of which is the theory of living systems, a theoretical framework for ecology. This theory is only now fully emerging but it has its roots in several scientific fields that were developed during the first half of the twentieth century — organismic biology, gestalt psychology, ecology, general systems theory, and cybernetics.

Bibliography

  • The Tao of Physics (1975)
  • Green Politics with (Charlene Spretnak)
  • The Turning Point: Science, Society, and the Rising Culture (1982)
  • Uncommon Wisdom (1988)
  • Belonging to the Universe: Explorations on the Frontiers of Science and Spirituality (1991) (coauthored with David Steindl-Rast and Thomas Matus)
  • The Web of Life (1997)
  • The Hidden Connections: A Science for Sustainable Living (2002)

Other websites

Other pages

  • The da Vinci Medallion

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