Thinking Without Limits

Is human comprehension limitless?

Simon Saunders is currently Professor of Philosophy of Physics at the University of Oxford, and Fellow of Linacre College. He is noted for his work on quantum mechanics (particularly the many-worlds interpretation), on identity and indiscernibility in physics, and on structural realism.


What do you think the idea of thinking the unthinkable actually amounts to? When we discuss “thought”, what do we actually mean?

I think it’s about limits to thought vis-a-vis something like states of affairs. To set it up, one might ask, “are there extraordinary facts about the universe that somehow are going to be forever beyond our comprehension?”

So the important question is whether or not we can have knowledge of every state of affairs? 

Right. I think there are other aspects to the question which are also interesting – issues of experiential knowledge etc. It comes up in the philosophy of mind: for example, qualitat

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