Dartmouth Events

Physics and Astronomy Public Lecture - Dr. Rebecca Goldstein, Harvard University

Title: "Why Did Einstein Write a (Bad) Love Poem to Spinoza?"

Thursday, October 17, 2013
Wilder 104
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Abstract:  Spinoza was a seventeenth-century über-rationalist who employed a truly bizarre methodology, attempting to prove everything — from the nature of the world, to human nature, to the ethical meaning of our lives — from first principles, in the axiomatic style of Euclid.  Why would a scientist take seriously anything this resolutely anti-empiricist pre-scientist had to say?  Somehow Einstein did, going so far as to write a poem entitled "Zu Spinozas Ethik," and opening with the words (in German)  "How much do I love this noble man?" Apparently a lot, but the question is why.

For more information, contact:
Tressena Manning

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.