Richard Feynman quote: dealing with uncertainty


“You see, one thing is, I can live with doubt, and uncertainty, and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things. But I’m not absolutely sure of anything, and there are many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here, and what the question might mean. I might think about it a little bit; if I can’t figure it out, then I go onto something else. But I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell — possibly. It doesn’t frighten me.”

– Richard Feynman

Black and white photograph of Richard Feynman with wavy hair, standing outdoors among trees. He is wearing a casual shirt with rolled-up sleeves and jeans, smiling gently as he holds up a camera to take a picture.
Richard Feynman, 1984


  • Richard was an American theoretical physicist and winner of the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics.
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Richard Feynman quote: dealing with uncertainty sources: “Photo of Richard Feynman, taken in 1984 in the woods of the Robert Treat Paine Estate in Waltham, MA, while he and the photographer worked at Thinking Machines Corporation on the design of the Connection Machine CM-1/CM-2 supercomputer,” Copyright Tamiko Thiel 1984 (no changes made) – “RichardFeynman-PaineMansionWoods1984 copyrightTamikoThiel bw.” Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia Foundation,