Einstein and Culture

Einstein and Culture

by Gerhard Sonnert
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 1591023165

ISBN-13: 9781591023166

Pub. Date: 02/25/2005

Publisher: Prometheus Books

Popular images of Albert Einstein often depict him as either an almost superhuman solitary genius or as a countercultural rebel. In this unique perspective on Einstein the man, sociologist of science Gerhard Sonnert argues that both popular images are simplistic and misleading because they fail to account for the impact of culture. In this scholarly yet accessible

Overview

Popular images of Albert Einstein often depict him as either an almost superhuman solitary genius or as a countercultural rebel. In this unique perspective on Einstein the man, sociologist of science Gerhard Sonnert argues that both popular images are simplistic and misleading because they fail to account for the impact of culture. In this scholarly yet accessible book, Sonnert examines major features of German Kultur, showing how powerful cultural influences helped to shape Einstein’s life and science.

The author demonstrates how strongly Einstein’s physical research program was driven by a pivotal cultural goal: the quest for the synthesis of a scientific worldview (Weltbild). His was the rebellion of the idealistic radical in the name of Kultur against its perceived failings and shortcomings. Sonnert also shows that Einstein’s quest was deeply motivated by a broadly defined religious impulse. Here again, the physicist reveals himself to be a true creature of Kultur, epitomizing the German scientist-priest.

Einstein and Culture is a fascinating, insightful, and original study of a neglected aspect of Einstein’s life and work.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591023166
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
02/25/2005
Pages:
375
Product dimensions:
6.66(w) x 9.36(h) x 1.08(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction11
1Rebel or Traditionalist?19
1.1Determinants of Scientific Genius20
1.2The Rebel26
1.3The Traditionalist35
2Kultur49
2.1Kultur and Bildung51
2.2Kultur and Zivilisation57
2.3Culture64
3Weltanschauung and Weltbild71
3.1Definitions77
3.2Conceptual Evolution80
4Kultur and Science127
4.1National Styles of Science129
4.2Science Claims Kultur135
4.3Science as Religion144
5Weltanschauung and Weltbild in the Sciences183
5.1History of Scientific Weltanschauung and Weltbild184
5.2Different Groups of Scientists-Different Strategies228
6Albert Einstein's Background257
6.1Jews and Kultur258
6.2Einstein's Family in the Nineteenth Century261
7Rebellion and Tradition: Roots of Einstein's Physical Weltbild277
7.1Synthesis278
7.2The Cultural Thema of Einstein's Physics279
8Philosophy and Cosmic Religion: Einstein's Weltanschauung295
8.1Cosmic Religion298
8.2Kant302
8.3Schopenhauer307
8.4Spinoza312
9Einstein and America: The Priest and the Tinkerers327
Conclusion341
References349
Index397

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >