My friend read somewhere that the experience of death makes people think in philosophical terms. He might have thought of religion rather than philosophy, I replied. We agreed, and wandered off talking about our crypto-religious experiences in good old secular Europe. On my way back home, however, I wondered: what then makes people think in scientific terms? If it’s true that science can meet similar needs as religion does – for how else could some perceive a conflict between the two – one might ask: does the experience of death trigger an interest in science?
During my recent preparations for my history of economics class, I indeed stumbled over several people that entered the annals of economics and had rather difficult personal lives: Read more