This chapter introduces the rationale for challenging the view of Einstein as an icon and genius. We, along with Einstein and others, have made a mistake in reference. The tendency has been to view him as a unique individual and to look to genes and neurons (and more broadly biology) to explain his uniqueness. The label “genius” adds a divine factor to the explanatory narrative. I do not suggest that we deny his uniqueness but that we situate it socially, culturally, and historically. From the vantage point of social science, “Einstein” is defined by the particular configuration of social networks he engaged as his life unfolded. The chapter also previews the following chapters on brains, self, and genius.
KeywordsBrain Genius Culture Network Self
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