Einstein and Spinoza

  • Michel Paty
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 91)


Einstein was often asked to write on Spinoza, or to provide prefaces for books on him,1 but he constantly refused, claiming to be largely ignorant of the work of the man for whom he had a deep veneration, speaking of him as “our master Spinoza” (unseres Meisters Spinoza, letter to Willy Aron, October 17, 1946), who “was the first”.2 “Unfortunately”, he wrote, “to like Spinoza is not sufficient to be allowed to write on him: one must leave it to those who have gone further into the historical background” (letter to S. Hessing, September 8, 1932),3 i.e. into a precise knowledge of his life and work. Probably I should have followed such an illustrious example of modesty and deep respect, leaving to those better acquainted with Spinoza’s thought — who are numerous — the task of speaking competently of him. However, after much hesitation, I finally made up my mind and stopped hesitating to speak, as I had been asked, on the topic ‘Einstein and Spinoza’, because I have become more and more convinced that these two thinkers have indeed a deep relation to one another.


Physical Reality Short Treatise Spiritual Adventure Autobiographical Note Copenhagen School 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michel Paty
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre National de la Recherche ScientifiqueParisFrance

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