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Einstein on Cosmic Religion and Other Opinions and Aphorisms Paperback – April 23, 2009


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Einstein on Cosmic Religion and Other Opinions and Aphorisms + The World As I See It + Ideas And Opinions
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (April 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486470105
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486470108
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

In addition to conducting the research that culminated in his acclaimed theories of relativity, Albert Einstein (1879-1955) taught and lectured at universities around the world. Einstein received numerous awards and honorary doctorate degrees in science, medicine, and philosophy, and he remains a towering symbol of intellectual and imaginative achievement.

It's All Relative
Around 1950, Hayward Cirker, Founder and President of Dover Publications, wrote to Einstein and asked his approval to proceed with a Dover paperback reprint of the 1923 collection of original papers on relativity by Einstein himself and others (H. A. Lorentz, H. Weyl, and H. Minkowski), which had originally been published in England. Einstein was reluctant, wondering how much interest there could possibly be in this relic of his work from 30 or more years earlier. Cirker persisted, and Einstein finally agreed — the Dover edition of The Theory of Relativity has been in print ever since and has been followed by many other Dover books on relativity.

The papers reprinted in this original collection will always be for the serious student the cornerstone of their Einstein library: Michelson's Interference Experiment (H. A. Lorentz); Electromagnetic Phenomena in a System Moving with any Velocity Less Than That of Light (H.A. Lorentz); On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies (A. Einstein); Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon its Energy Content? (A. Einstein); Space and Time (H. Minkowksi with notes by A. Sommerfeld); On the Influence of Gravitation on the Propagation of Light (A. Einstein); and The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity (A. Einstein) found on pages 109–164 of this text; Hamilton's Principle and The General Theory of Relativity (A. Einstein); Cosmological Considerations on the General Theory of Relativity (A. Einstein); Do Gravitational Fields Play an Essential Part in the Structure of the Elementary Particles of Matter? (A. Einstein); and Gravitation and Electricity (H. Weyl).

In the Author's Own Words:
"How can it be that mathematics, being after all a product of human thought independent of experience, is so admirably adapted to the objects of reality?"

"What nature demands from us is not a quantum theory or a wave theory; rather, nature demands from us a synthesis of these two views which thus far has exceeded the mental powers of physicists."

"Do not be troubled by your difficulties with Mathematics, I can assure you mine are much greater." — Albert Einstein

Critical Acclaim for The Theory of Relativity:
"This book constitutes an indispensable part of a library on relativity." — Nature


More About the Author

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was born in Germany and became an American citizen in 1940. A world-famous theoretical physicist, he was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics and is renowned for his Theory of Relativity. In addition to his scientific work, Einstein was an influential humanist who spoke widely about politics, ethics, and social causes. After leaving Europe, Einstein taught at Princeton University. His theories were instrumental in shaping the atomic age.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Kelli on October 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I chose to purchase this book because I kept getting signs leading to Einstein through other books and even on the tv. So I thought that I had better investigate Albert Einstein. I believe that what Einstein did and felt was true to his soul and beyond our mere planet earth. That is not to say whether he was correct or incorrect 100% of the time, but who was or is? I think if you are a soul searching spiritualist that Einstein's words and stories should at least be taken a look at for the sake of wonderment. I am adding other Einstein related books to my shelf. I think he had a lot to share and we are fortunate that it is available to do so. Yes, I would read this again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By W.M. on November 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This short book on Einstein's opinion on religion is invaluable.
People should realize that Einstein was a deep reflective thinker
in religion in addition to his creative work in physics.
Here he becomes a metaphysician.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Terrence Overholser on August 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One gets the sense that the editor wanted to make some money by focusing on Einstein's thoughts about cosmic religion, but then, even on that limited topic, misleads the reader by substantially shortening what he said. If you want a fuller understanding of what Einstein thought of a variety of topics, and specifically a more complete and accurate version of what he said about cosmic religion, read "Ideas and Opinions." This "book" took less than 10 minutes to read and took away rather than added to what had already been given to us on that subject.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven H. Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on February 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
This 1931 publication contains a biographical essay by the publishers; an "appreciation" by George Bernard Shaw; Einstein's fairly brief "Cosmic Religion" essay; and then other brief essays on "Militant Pacifism," "Disarmament," "The Jewish Homeland," "On Radio," "On Science," etc.

In the title essay, he wrote, "there is found a third level of religious experience... I will call it the cosmic religious sense. This... does not involve an anthropomorphic idea of God; the individual feels the vanity of human desires and aims, and the nobility and marvelous order which are revealed in nature and in the world of thought. He feels the individual destiny as an imprisonment and seeks to experience the totality of existence as a unity full of significance." (Pg. 48)

He adds, "The religious genuises of all times have been distinguished by this cosmic religious sense, which recognizes neither dogmas nor God made in man's image. Consequently there cannot be a church whose chief doctrines are based on the cosmic religious experience... How can this cosmic religious experience be communicated from man to man, if it cannot lead to a definite conception of God or to a theology? It seems to me that the most important function of art and of science is to arouse and keep alive this feeling in those who are receptive." (Pg. 49-50)

He adds, "I assert that the cosmic religious experience is the strongest and the noblest driving force behind scientific research. No one who does not appreciate ... the devotion without which pioneer creations in scientific thought cannot come into being, can judge the strength of the feeling out of which alone such work, turned away as it is from immediate practical life, can grow." (Pg.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amy Wilkening on November 25, 2012
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it was in great shape and I loved how fast it came to me. What a wonderful experince.... I loved it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shaun M Coates on November 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
This short read packed quite a punch for me. I particularly found his thoughts on religion (reason I bought the book), creativity, and plight of the Jewish people to be very interesting.
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Einstein briefly introduces the cosmic religion as an alternative to fear and moral religions. There is no anthropomorphic idea of God, it is based on the rational enjoyment of the beauty of the universe. He states that only exceptionally gifted individuals or noble communities can reach this level of abstraction. I laughed, but Einstein isn't at Nietzsche level on this matter. Then, the book changes topic and goes briefly through pacifism, Jewish homeland and aphorisms. It is like a short lecture.
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By Aleksey Fylypiv on April 6, 2014
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I enjoyed every part of this book with the exception of one or two lines. Albert mentions the torture in Ukraine but did not mention the fact that Ukraine hid thousands of Jews during world war two and beforehand. His subjective viewpoint about how Ukrainians behaved was rash and projecting his feelings on the only people during the war that helped isn't going to bring anyone back.
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