Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Einstein's quote

  1. Feb 11, 2009 #1
    I found the following quote of einstein on http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein#Einstein.27s_God_.281997.29

    ..The fact that man produces a concept "I" besides the totality of his mental and emotional experiences or perceptions does not prove that there must be any specific existence behind such a concept. We are succumbing to illusions produced by our self-created language, without reaching a better understanding of anything. Most of so-called philosophy is due to this kind of fallacy..

    Anyone knows what's the title of the full text where this quote comes from?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 11, 2009 #2
    Not sure where the quote comes from, but I was just thinking about this the other day. Specifically about how, with the cosmological principle, we must assume that all areas of the universe are typical. This, then, seems to presuppose that the universe that we experience or perceive even exists, and further that our individual perceptions must be typical to allow consistency in theory.

    As Socrates said, true wisdom comes from knowing for certain that you know nothing for certain.
  4. Feb 13, 2009 #3
    I was hoping that in the full text of this quote, Einstein would refer to the problem of consciousness. Probably everything Einstein wrote is full of insights. I think it would be interesting to know what his ideas were on this issue.
  5. Feb 13, 2009 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Here's my favorite Einstein quote warning that we cannot blindly accept what we "know" to be true, but must re-examine long-held ideas in light of newer developments, and with a proper understanding of the circumstances under which those ideas became popular.

    Last edited: Feb 13, 2009
  6. Feb 13, 2009 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    This was the same thinking about Aristotle ..... and why the idea of the Earth being the center of the universe persisted so long. How could Aristotle be wrong? Well, aside from the small detail that he was never an astronomer.
  7. Feb 13, 2009 #6
    Of course I don't mean we should blindly trust anything Einstein said. But I think we can agree that Einstein was smart, and that he made an effort in trying to understand a variety of things. Just for that, I think it is worthwhile to read what he said, even though in the end we may disagree.
  8. Feb 13, 2009 #7
  9. Feb 13, 2009 #8
    Apparently the quote appears on the book "Einstein's God—Albert Einstein's Quest as a Scientist and as a Jew to Replace a Forsaken God" by Goldman, Robert N.
    "There are many quotations from Einstein in this work. Unfortunately Goldman almost never gives a reference for Einstein's words."
  10. Feb 14, 2009 #9
    This is a useless and ridiculous sentiment. How then do you decide whether to leave your apartment by the front door, or the window on the second floor?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook