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Einstein and Twentieth-Century Politics'A Salutary Moral Influence'$
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Richard Crockatt

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198785491

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198785491.001.0001

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Foundations of Thought

Foundations of Thought

Principles, Privacy, and Performance

(p.33) 2 Foundations of Thought
Einstein and Twentieth-Century Politics

Richard Crockatt

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 explores the sources of Einstein’s world view, with a focus on the complex relationships between his approaches to science and politics and between the private and public dimensions of his life. There exists an ‘Einstein paradox’ that manifests itself in the form of two Einsteins: a compartmentalized and an integrated Einstein. The compartmentalized Einstein brought quite different intellectual tools to science and politics, illustrated in his debate with Freud on the subject of war. Yet Einstein also projected a strongly integrated personality. A comparable complexity is apparent in the relation between his public and private lives; he seemed, on the one hand, an intensely private man indifferent to either public adulation or criticism yet also adept at performing public roles. Einstein’s philosophical and religious ideas and his relations with close friends provide clues to the way he handled the private and public dimensions of his life.

Keywords:   science and politics, Einstein paradox, Freud, religious ideas, philosophical ideas

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