Einstein's quote

  • Thread starter becko
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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?
 

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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.
 
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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.
 
  • #4
turbo
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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.

Einstein's memoriam for Ernst Mach said:
How does it happen that a properly endowed natural scientist comes to concern himself with epistemology? Is there not some more valuable work to be done in his specialty? That's what I hear many of my colleagues ask, and I sense it from many more. But I cannot share this sentiment. When I think about the ablest students whom I have encountered in my teaching — that is, those who distinguish themselves by their independence of judgment and not just their quick-wittedness — I can affirm that they had a vigorous interest in epistemology. They happily began discussions about the goals and methods of science, and they showed unequivocally, through tenacious defense of their views, that the subject seemed important to them.
Concepts that have proven useful in ordering things easily achieve such authority over us that we forget their earthly origins and accept them as unalterable givens. Thus they might come to be stamped as "necessities of thought," "a priori givens," etc. The path of scientific progress is often made impassable for a long time by such errors. Therefore it is by no means an idle game if we become practiced in analysing long-held commonplace concepts and showing the circumstances on which their justification and usefulness depend, and how they have grown up, individually, out of the givens of experience. Thus their excessive authority will be broken. They will be removed if they cannot be properly legitimated, corrected if their correlation with given things be far too superfluous, or replaced if a new system can be established that we prefer for whatever reason.
 
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  • #5
BobG
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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.

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.
 
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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.

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
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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.
http://www.einsteinandreligion.com/biblio.html#einstgod
"There are many quotations from Einstein in this work. Unfortunately Goldman almost never gives a reference for Einstein's words."
 
  • #9
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true wisdom comes from knowing for certain that you know nothing for certain.

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?
 

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