THE WORLD AS I SEE IT. Albert Einstein. PREFACE TO ORIGINAL EDITION. Only individuals have a sense of responsibility. --Nietzsche. This book does not. and pronouncements of Albert Einstein; it is a selection made with a definite . The World As I See It, in its original form, includes essays by Einstein on relativity . Editorial Reviews. Review. “Without the sense of fellowship with men of like mind, download The World As I See It: Read Books Reviews - bestthing.info
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Albert Einstein. The text of Albert Einstein's copyrighted essay, "The World As I See It," was shortened for our Web exhibit. The essay was originally published in . 1 THE WORLD AS I SEE IT Albert Einstein PREFACE TO ORIGINAL EDITION Only individuals have a sense of responsibility. --Nietzsche This book does not. The World as I See It is a book by Albert Einstein translated from the German by A . Harris and Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version.
Albert Einstein believes in humanity, in a peaceful world of mutual helpfulness, and in the high mission of science. This book is intended as a plea for this belief at a time which compels every one of us to overhaul his mental attitude and his ideas.
Gordou Garbedian relates that an American newspaper man asked the great physicist for a definition of his theory of relativity in one sentence. Einstein replied that it would take him three days to give a short definition of relativity.
He might well have added that unless his questioner had an intimate acquaintance with mathematics and physics, the definition would be incomprehensible. To the majority of people Einstein's theory is a complete mystery. Their attitude towards Einstein is like that of Mark Twain towards the writer of a work on mathematics: here was a man who had written an entire book of which Mark could not understand a single sentence.
Einstein, therefore, is great in the public eye partly because he has made revolutionary discoveries which cannot be translated into the common tongue. We stand in proper awe of a man whose thoughts move on heights far beyond our range, whose achievements can be measured only by the few who are able to follow his reasoning and challenge his conclusions.
There is, however, another side to his personality.
The World as i See It
It is revealed in the addresses, letters, and occasional writings brought together in this book. These fragments form a mosaic portrait of Einstein the man. Each one is, in a sense, complete in itself; it presents his views on some aspect of progress, education, peace, war, liberty, or other problems of universal interest. Their combined effect is to demonstrate that the Einstein we can all understand is no less great than the Einstein we take on trust.
Einstein has asked nothing more from life than the freedom to pursue his researches into the mechanism of the universe. His nature is of rare simplicity and sincerity; he always has been, and he remains, genuinely indifferent to wealth and fame and the other prizes so dear to ambition. At the same time he is no recluse, shutting himself off from the sorrows and agitations of the world around him.
Himself familiar from early years with the handicap of poverty and with some of the worst forms of man's inhumanity to man, he has never spared himself in defence of the weak and the oppressed. Nothing could be more unwelcome to his sensitive and retiring character than the glare of the platform and the heat of public controversy, yet he has never hesitated when he felt that his voice or influence would help to redress a wrong.
History, surely, has few parallels with this introspective mathematical genius who laboured unceasingly as an eager champion of the rights of man. When he was four years old his father, who owned an electrochemical works, moved to Munich, and two years later the boy went to school, experiencing a rigid, almost military, type of discipline and also the isolation of a shy and contemplative Jewish child among Roman Catholics-- factors which made a deep and enduring impression. From the point of view of his teachers he was an unsatisfactory pupil, apparently incapable of progress in languages, history, geography, and other primary subjects.
His interest in mathematics was roused, not by his instructors, but by a Jewish medical student, Max Talmey, who gave him a book on geometry, and so set him upon a course of enthusiastic study which made him, at the age of fourteen, a better mathematician than his masters.
At this stage also he began the study of philosophy, reading and re-reading the words of Kant and other metaphysicians. Business reverses led the elder Einstein to make a fresh start in Milan, thus introducing Albert to the joys of a freer, sunnier life than had been possible in Germany. Necessity, however, made this holiday a brief one, and after a few months of freedom the preparation for a career began. It opened with an effort, backed by a certificate of mathematical proficiency given by a teacher in the Gymnasium at Munich, to obtain admission to the Polytechnic Academy at Zurich.
A year passed in the study of necessary subjects which he had neglected for mathematics, but once admitted, the young Einstein became absorbed in the pursuit of science and philosophy and made astonishing progress.
After five distinguished years at the Polytechnic he hoped to step into the post of assistant professor, but found that the kindly words of the professors who had stimulated the hope did not materialize.
Then followed a weary search for work, two brief interludes of teaching, and a stable appointment as examiner at the Confederate Patent Office at Berrie. Humdrum as the work was, it had the double advantage of providing a competence and of leaving his mind free for the mathematical speculations which were then taking shape in the theory of relativity. In his first monograph on the theory was published in a Swiss scientific journal, the Annalen der Physik.
Zurich awoke to the fact that it possessed a genius in the form of a patent office clerk, promoted him to be a lecturer at the University and four years later--in installed him as Professor. His next appointment was in at the University of Prague, where he remained for eighteen months. Following a brief return to Zurich, he went, early in , to Berlin as a professor in the Prussian Academy of Sciences and director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Theoretical Physics.
The period of the Great War was a trying time for Einstein, who could not conceal his ardent pacifism, but he found what solace he could in his studies. Later 4 events brought him into the open and into many parts of the world, as an exponent not only of pacifism but also of world-disarmament and the cause of Jewry.
To a man of such views, as passionately held as they were by Einstein, Germany under the Nazis was patently impossible. In Einstein made his famous declaration: "As long as I have any choice, I will stay only in a country where political liberty, toleration, and equality of all citizens before the law are the rule.
For reasons indicated above, these have been omitted in the present edition; the object of this reprint is simply to reveal to the general reader the human side of one of the most dominating figures of our day. To answer this question at all implies a religion. Is there any sense then, you ask, in putting it?
I answer, the man who regards his own life and that of his fellow-creatures as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost disqualified for life. The World as I see it What an extraordinary situation is that of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he feels it.
But from the point of view of daily life, without going deeper, we exist for our fellow-men--in the first place for those on whose smiles and welfare all our happiness depends, and next for all those unknown to us personally with whose destinies we are bound up by the tie of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labours of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.
It impelled me toward a theory of gravitation. Robert J. Comment made after a six-week trip to Japan in November-December , published in Kaizo 5, no. Einstein Archive Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. Einstein himself used variants of this quote at other times. For example, in a conversation with William Hermanns recorded in Hermanns' book Einstein and the Poet, Einstein said: "As I have said so many times, God doesn't play dice with the world.
It is the theory which decides what can be observed. Objecting to the placing of observables at the heart of the new quantum mechanics, during Heisenberg's lecture at Berlin; related by Heisenberg, quoted in Unification of Fundamental Forces by Abdus Salam ISBN Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion.
To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious. Kessler Ich glaube an Spinozas Gott, der sich in der gesetzlichen Harmonie des Seienden offenbart, nicht an einen Gott, der sich mit Schicksalen und Handlungen der Menschen abgibt. I believe in Spinoza 's God, Who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.
Goldstein: "Do you believe in God? Answer paid 50 words. The New York Times 25 April Similarly, in a letter to Maurice Solovine , he wrote: "I can understand your aversion to the use of the term 'religion' to describe an emotional and psychological attitude which shows itself most clearly in Spinoza I have not found a better expression than 'religious' for the trust in the rational nature of reality that is, at least to a certain extent, accessible to human reason.
Work is x, play is y and z is keeping your mouth shut. Cited with additional notes in The Ultimate Quotable Einstein by Alice Calaprice and Freeman Dyson , Princeton UP p Science is international but its success is based on institutions, which are owned by nations. If therefore, we wish to promote culture we have to combine and to organize institutions with our own power and means.
Is human reason, then, without experience, merely by taking thought, able to fathom the properties of real things? One reason why mathematics enjoys special esteem, above all other sciences, is that its laws are absolutely certain and indisputable, while those of other sciences are to some extent debatable and in constant danger of being overthrown by newly discovered facts.
A scan of the article is available online here. I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. I am a Jew , but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene. No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life. I look upon myself as a man. Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. The meaning of relativity has been widely misunderstood.
Philosophers play with the word, like a child with a doll. Relativity, as I see it, merely denotes that certain physical and mechanical facts, which have been regarded as positive and permanent, are relative with regard to certain other facts in the sphere of physics and mechanics. It does not mean that everything in life is relative and that we have the right to turn the whole world mischievously topsy-turvy. No man can visualize four dimensions, except mathematically … I think in four dimensions, but only abstractly.
The human mind can picture these dimensions no more than it can envisage electricity. Nevertheless, they are no less real than electro-magnetism, the force which controls our universe, within, and by which we have our being.
Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.
My laurel is not for sale like so many bales of cotton. If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. Reading after a certain age diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking, just as the man who spends too much time in the theater is tempted to be content with living vicariously instead of living his own life.
Our time is Gothic in its spirit. Unlike the Renaissance, it is not dominated by a few outstanding personalities. The twentieth century has established the democracy of the intellect. In the republic of art and science there are many men who take an equally important part in the intellectual movements of our age.
It is the epoch rather than the individual that is important. There is no one dominant personality like Galileo or Newton. Even in the nineteenth century there were still a few giants who outtopped all others. Today the general level is much higher than ever before in the history of the world, but there are few men whose stature immediately sets them apart from all others.
In America, more than anywhere else, the individual is lost in the achievements of the many. America is beginning to be the world leader in scientific investigation. American scholarship is both patient and inspiring. The Americans show an unselfish devotion to science, which is the very opposite of the conventional European view of your countrymen.
Too many of us look upon Americans as dollar chasers. This is a cruel libel, even if it is reiterated thoughtlessly by the Americans themselves. It is not true that the dollar is an American fetish. The American student is not interested in dollars, not even in success as such, but in his task, the object of the search. It is his painstaking application to the study of the infinitely little and the infinitely large which accounts for his success in astronomy. We are inclined to overemphasize the material influences in history.
The Russians especially make this mistake. Intellectual values and ethnic influences, tradition and emotional factors are equally important. If this were not the case, Europe would today be a federated state, not a madhouse of nationalism. I am a determinist.
As such, I do not believe in free will. The Jews believe in free will. They believe that man shapes his own life. I reject that doctrine philosophically.
In that respect I am not a Jew. Practically, I am, nevertheless, compelled to act as if freedom of the will existed. If I wish to live in a civilized community, I must act as if man is a responsible being. I know that philosophically a murderer is not responsible for his crime; nevertheless, I must protect myself from unpleasant contacts. I may consider him guiltless, but I prefer not to take tea with him.
My own career was undoubtedly determined, not by my own will but by various factors over which I have no control—primarily those mysterious glands in which Nature prepares the very essence of life, our internal secretions. Whereas materialistic historians and philosophers neglect psychic realities, Freud is inclined to overstress their importance.
I am not a psychologist, but it seems to me fairly evident that physiological factors, especially our endocrines, control our destiny … I am not able to venture a judgment on so important a phase of modern thought. However, it seems to me that psychoanalysis is not always salutary.
It may not always be helpful to delve into the subconscious. The machinery of our legs is controlled by a hundred different muscles. Do you think it would help us to walk if we analyzed our legs and knew exactly which one of the little muscles must be employed in locomotion and the order in which they work?
I think he is even greater as a writer than as a psychologist. Freud's brilliant style is unsurpassed by anyone since Schopenhauer. The only progress I can see is progress in organization. The ordinary human being does not live long enough to draw any substantial benefit from his own experience. And no one, it seems, can benefit by the experiences of others. Being both a father and teacher, I know we can teach our children nothing.
We can transmit to them neither our knowledge of life nor of mathematics.
The World As I See It By Albert Einstein
Each must learn its lesson anew. I believe in intuitions and inspirations. I sometimes feel that I am right. I do not know that I am.
When two expeditions of scientists, financed by the Royal Academy, went forth to test my theory of relativity, I was convinced that their conclusions would tally with my hypothesis. I was not surprised when the eclipse of May 29, , confirmed my intuitions. I would have been surprised if I had been wrong. As a child, I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene. Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrasemongers, however artful.
No man can dispose of Christianity with a bon mot.
As reported in Einstein — A Life by Denis Brian, when asked about a clipping from a magazine article reporting his comments on Christianity as taken down by Viereck, Einstein carefully read the clipping and replied, "That is what I believe. It is quite possible to be both. When asked by Viereck if he considered himself to be a German or a Jew. We have been too eager to sacrifice our idiosyncrasies for the sake of social conformity. I do not think that religion is the most important element. We are held together rather by a body of tradition, handed down from father to son, which the child imbibes with his mother's milk.
The atmosphere of our infancy predetermines our idiosyncrasies and predilections.
In response to a question about whether religion is the tie holding the Jews together. But to return to the Jewish question. Other groups and nations cultivate their individual traditions. There is no reason why we should sacrifice ours. Standardization robs life of its spice. To deprive every ethnic group of its special traditions is to convert the world into a huge Ford plant. I believe in standardizing automobiles. I do not believe in standardizing human beings.
Standardization is a great peril which threatens American culture. I am happy because I want nothing from anyone. I do not care for money. Decorations, titles or distinctions mean nothing to me.
I do not crave praise. The only thing that gives me pleasure, apart from my work, my violin and my sailboat, is the appreciation of my fellow workers. I claim credit for nothing. Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control.
It is determined for the insect as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible player. I am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues.
The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects.
That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations.
I am fascinated by Spinoza's Pantheism. I admire even more his contributions to modern thought. Spinoza is the greatest of modern philosophers, because he is the first philosopher who deals with the soul and the body as one, not as two separate things.
There have been disputes on the accuracy of this quotation. Sometimes misquoted as, "I don't think I can call myself a pantheist". We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written these books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is.
That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws. I am fascinated by Spinoza's pantheism, but I admire even more his contribution to modern thought because he is the first philosopher to deal with the soul and body as one, and not two separate things.
To keep your balance you must keep moving. I believe that whatever we do or live for has its causality ; it is good , however, that we cannot see through to it. Life is like riding a bicycle. It comes soon enough. Attributed in The Encarta Book of Quotations to an interview on the Belgenland December , which was the ship on which he arrived in New York that month. Calaprice speculates that "perhaps it was recalled later and inserted into the archives under the later date.
The snippet also discusses the "welcome to Professor Einstein on the Belgenland" in New York Besides agreeing with the aims of vegetarianism for aesthetic and moral reasons, it is my view that a vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.As a result, Einstein is experiencing the fate that so many of the great men of history experienced: Today the general level is much higher than ever before in the history of the world, but there are few men whose stature immediately sets them apart from all others.
Request Username Can't sign in? The American student is not interested in dollars, not even in success as such, but in his task, the object of the search. On what grounds does Einstein put the individual before state? I reject that doctrine philosophically.