In dealing with the Jewish way of thinking the author illustrates the Jewish contextual approach to solving problems.
Einstein's Jewish Science: Physics at the Intersection of Politics and Religion
For example, the commandment "Thou shall not steal" is examined by the Talmud. If one finds money, can one keep it or is that stealing? The answer is based on the point of view of the person who lost it. If it was found in the street, most likely the person gave up hope of ever regaining it, but if it was found in the person's home or with ID then one can't keep it.
The use of two boys together studying the Talmud to ensure that no one only has his point of view but is enriched by having two discussants is another example. This is somewhat tenuous but no question there is a Jewish way of exploring ideas that deals with relative points of view. Jewish style reasoning is where there is an absolute truth, a metaphysical truth God's truth , which is beyond our ability to grasp but elements of which are uncovered by seemingly contrasting human interpretations. This is the connection to Einstein. If one passes a magnet inside a coil of wire, one generates an electric field.
If one passes the coil over the wire one also generates an electric force. The theory of relativity is clearly a way of examining forces from different points of view. However there was no Jewish "content" to Einstein's work. The Germans extolled nature Siegfried--big blond hero and insisted that only from observations of nature could one develop science.
Einstein on the other hand manipulated mathematical symbols to derive his theories. He was a modernist. He was a Jew, an internationalist and not a pure German. The jealousy of other German scientists grew as Einstein's prominence increased and as they did not achieve various academic appointments which they sought. German Nobel prize physicists Lenard and Stark engaged in virulent anti-semitic attacks on Einstein and other Jewish scientists.
The author does a wonderful job of illustrating the painful pressures that caused Jewish scientists, intellectuals, and musicians to flee. The author concludes with, "So is Einstein's theory of relativity Jewish science?
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Yes and no. And that is precisely what makes it Jewish. View 1 comment. Oct 28, Dr. Awkward rated it really liked it Shelves: history , intellectual , judaica , nonfiction , science-general. This book is enjoyable, humorous, and interesting.
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Having said that, it also gives off a strong vibe of being written for the sake of writing a book, and the argument being slightly fabricated. I also wish that the penultimate chapter, which presented evidence that anti-Einstein-ism remains in our culture, did more to actually discuss the merits or lack of the anti-Einstein aspect, rather than simply making note of it. Despite those complaints, this was a fun and engaging read, providing both e This book is enjoyable, humorous, and interesting.
Despite those complaints, this was a fun and engaging read, providing both entertainment a lot of wry and understated humor here and education bringing many pieces of history and science together for the sake of the narrative. Rarely have I encountered a solidly academic book which was yet so easy to read. If you have interest in Einstein, science, the history of naturalism, or Judaism, it's worth a read.
Dec 30, Alex rated it liked it.
Intressant stundtals dock. Every so often a book scratches an itch I didn't know I had. This book revolves around the question "Is Einstein's theory of relativity inherently Jewish? More interestingly, it traces the theories of Newton, Copernicus, and Descartes and examines the theological influences present i Every so often a book scratches an itch I didn't know I had.
More interestingly, it traces the theories of Newton, Copernicus, and Descartes and examines the theological influences present in each. I knew that our environment affects our perception, but science, to me, has always been this monolith of observations leading toward facts, full stop.
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In fact, that view of science alone is indicative of Western beliefs of an authoritarian God; as a counter-example, Chinese astronomy, with its cyclical vision of time, focused upon irregularities, ellipses, and comets versus the Western yearning to define the movement of the planets as clockwork. Anyways, the book is a series of logical investigations tying together the history of the Catholic church, Jewish beliefs, the development of relativity, the German nation state's self-perception, and public opinion's focus upon Einstein.
I love when ideas dovetail, because no knowledge exists in a vacuum, and this book is entirely an exploration of those complicated relationships. Tis is a book that is geared up to fight a windmill whose days are long past. It gives a good review of old philosophy and incidents of the ugly German abnormal World influence, now past.
I did not put it down as I am an History student and it did have some practices with which I was not familiar. It is short read, but the authors style seems to be impaired by his anxiousness to get his outrage on paper. He, of course, is correct in his dellivery of events with respect to the Nazii's. All and all Tis is a book that is geared up to fight a windmill whose days are long past.
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All and all it is not a read unless you wish to get the author's view of some historical events. Their is no real dicussion of physics in the text. Jul 05, Fred Kohn rated it really liked it Shelves: philosophy , science. I had to take away one star from this brilliant book because I didn't find it very well organized. The author argues that it is not completely possible to separate a scientific method from a religious context. This does not mean that it is fair to call Einstein's method "Jewish science"; in most ways it is not.
However the discussion of the "Christian" method of science which assumes access to absolute truth via a privileged reference frame a pope or the priesthood of an individual believer vs I had to take away one star from this brilliant book because I didn't find it very well organized. However the discussion of the "Christian" method of science which assumes access to absolute truth via a privileged reference frame a pope or the priesthood of an individual believer vs the "Jewish" method which assumes access to absolute truth via a consortium of non-privileged frames the rabbinic method is fascinating.
This was not an easy read, but it was a thoroughly thought provoking book. Of the chapters, Chapter three was the most compelling for me. The scientific information challenged me. I had to recall my meager scientific knowledge. But the upside was melding my Jewish insights. I applaud the author for taking on this subject and dealing with it in a balanced way. Not a book for everyone, but certainly one for those who want to explore how our beliefs affect our approach to science. This book is rele This was not an easy read, but it was a thoroughly thought provoking book.
This book is relevant to our times. Oct 20, David Berkowitz rated it really liked it. It's often a fascinating read about Einstein, with the perspective that his worldview was influenced by Judaism in ways similar to how Descartes was a Catholic scientist and Newton a Protestant scientist. Request removal from index. Revision history. Google Books no proxy Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server Configure custom proxy use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy.
Configure custom resolver. Modern Physics and Problems of Knowledge. Paul M. Clark ed. Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Richard Staley - - University of Chicago Press.
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Hans Reichenbach - - Cambridge University Press. Einstein's Unification. Jeroen van Dongen - - Cambridge University Press. The Universe and Dr. Lincoln Kinnear Barnett - - Dover Publications. Michel Janssen - unknown. Einstein and the Most Beautiful Theories in Physics. The Einstein Theory of Relativity. Lillian R. Einstein and the Generations of Science. Added to PP index Total views 14 , of 2,, Recent downloads 6 months 3 , of 2,, How can I increase my downloads?
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