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Conference

Philosophy of Science

Illinois Wesleyan University

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Science, Mental Illness, And Ethics In Friedrich Dürrenmatt’S The Physicists, Niyant Vora Apr 2018

Science, Mental Illness, And Ethics In Friedrich Dürrenmatt’S The Physicists, Niyant Vora

John Wesley Powell Student Research Conference

In 1962, as Cold War tensions approached their peak, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, a Swiss playwright, published his play The Physicists. Two of the most important topics in The Physicists are mental illness and ethical responsibility of scientists. Dürrenmatt’s three main characters: Möbius (a genius), Einstein (a Russian spy), and Newton (an American spy) are all physicists who appropriate the status of mentally ill in order to hide from society inside the Les Cerisiers Sanatorium. Their status as mentally ill acts as a cover up that reveals their different reasons for adapting that status–from Möbius attempt to escape the politics ...