Albert Einstein, "Foreword to Lucretius"

  • Quote

    For anyone who is not completely submerged in the spirit of our age, who feels instead like a spectator as the world goes past him, especially, from time to time, vis-à-vis the intellectual attitudes of his contemporaries — on him will Lucretius’s poem work its magic

    I don't know anything more about this quote than can be found here, but it might be worth looking in to!

  • Hmmm not quite as interesting as I had hoped....I wonder what that note [3] references?


    Not sure I follow his reasoning why he thought that Lucretius seems more motivated by the physics than the stated purpose of freeing from religious oppression, or why the practical minded Roman would not appreciate that. From a "practical" point of view very little would be more efficient toward happiness than overthrowing religious oppression. Maybe he's saying the Roman would be looking for information to use for better farming or the like, but if there is one thing the poem is devoid of it's "practical" application like mechanics or hydraulics.

  • Maybe he's saying the Roman would be looking for information to use for better farming or the like, but if there is one thing the poem is devoid of it's "practical" application like mechanics or hydraulics.

    I think that's what he's saying, that Lucretius is pushing atomism even though it doesn't seem practical to the typical Roman of his time. But he seems to be missing or ignoring how the understanding of atomism can free people from religious oppression. I read into this the idea of a spoonful of honey to help the wormwood go down but I don't see him saying this.


    Interesting find!