About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Friday, May 20, 2011

A nice Einsteinian aphorism

"Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions."

I'm currently reading Einstein's Ideas and Opinions. Unfortunately, I don't have time to read the whole thing, just whatever seems relevant to his general worldview (especially his views on religion and ethics). I've gotta say that I love the beauty and clarity of his English prose. It's a model for anyone to follow if they're so capable. He does love his metaphorical invocations of God or the gods, though. He's very easy to quote-mine to suggest that he believed certain things when he actually believed pretty much the opposite.


Secular Dentist said...

Excellent book... I've had it for 5 years and always seem to go back to read certain excerpts or letters. I don't think it was meant to be read in one sitting.

Anonymous said...

What I remember of that book is very good. Unfortunately I loaned it out in the 90’s and it never came back.
I may have to pick up another copy some day.

Grendels Dad