What brought you to work or get interested in the Congress’ fields?
During secondary school, I read a biography of Einstein, written by one of his collaborators, Banesh Hoffman: Albert Einstein. Creator and Rebel. When I finished this book, I made a decision: I am going to do whatever it takes to understand really everything this man has created. I studied theoretical physics. I did an oral examination on the General Theory of Relativity. The first time, I failed. The next try, I succeeded quite well and felt proud.
After having given me a high grade, the Professor asked me: ‘Fred, do you now understand what gravity is?’ I responded something like ‘I understand it far better now, yes.’ The Professor, the very same who taught the course, had written the Lecture Notes, and had just examined and graded me, then said: ‘I don’t understand anything of it!’ He went on to pose various questions he did not know the answer to. I didn’t either. It felt like tumbling of a cliff. Later I found out that his questions were of a foundational philosophical nature, about which physics textbooks generally are silent. I decided to study philosophy too, in order to anwer all these questions. After various interruptions, like the idea to become a literary author and traveling through Africa, I returned to what -- with the wisdom of hindsight -- seems to be my karma: to become a philosopher-physicist.
Over the past decades, I have also developped an interest in other fields of philosophy and have published in those areas too, e.g. philosophy of mathematics, general philosophy of science, metaphysics, philosophy of language, epistemology.
What has your participation to the Congress brought you?
What most conferences bring: good talks, mediocre talks and bad talks. The aforementioned come accompanied with reading suggestions and a few new contacts. And not to forget: much rainfall …
What is your opinion about your portrait?
F.A. Muller - Universität Bielefeld