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Q: Identifying a quotation by Albert Einstein ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Identifying a quotation by Albert Einstein
Category: Reference, Education and News
Asked by: rstein3817-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 03 Mar 2006 16:18 PST
Expires: 02 Apr 2006 17:18 PDT
Question ID: 703391
I am trying to identify the source of this Albert Einstein quotation;
the quote may have originally been in German; I'd be happy to find
either an English or German source.  It was given to me "as cited in
Eysenck & Eysenck", but I haven't been able to find a work by Eysenck
& Eysenck that includes this quotation.

"Everything conceptualisable is constructive and is not derivable in a
logical manner from immediate experience.  Therefore we are in
principle completely free in the choice of those fundamental
conceptions upon which we base our picture of the world.  Everything
depends on this alone:  to what extent our construction is suitable
for bringing order into the apparent chaos of the world of

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 20 Mar 2006 09:17 PST
Please give us a little more context as to how/where you came across
this quote, and why you attribute it to Einstein?

Any additional information may be helpful in ultimately tracking down
this elusive quote.


Subject: Re: Identifying a quotation by Albert Einstein
Answered By: hedgie-ga on 26 Mar 2006 11:42 PST
Einstein did say that theories are 'free creations of human spirit' but
exact words you give must be either paraphrase or terrible translation.

This is closest I could find:

 Gerald Holton quotes him (from Einstein's reply to his critics in
vol. II of Schilpp, p.684):

 'such a scientist, therefore must appear to the systematic
epistemologist as a type of unscrupulous opportunist: he appears as a
realist insofar as he seeks to describe the world independent of the
acts of perception; as an idealist insofar as he looks upon the
concepts and theorie! s as the free inventions of the human spirit'

 G. Holton and Y. Elkana (eds): Albert Einstein - Historical and
Cultural Perspectives, Princeton U.P 1982, p. 398.

 Schilpp (ed.): Albert Einstein- Philosopher-Scientist, 1949.
Subject: Re: Identifying a quotation by Albert Einstein
From: cyberrecon-ga on 20 Mar 2006 08:58 PST
It might be in one of his letters to Maurice Solovine as I have read
some of them, I haven't found any direct links to online manuscripts,
but amazon has some books on it and google it if you can.

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