On Wed, Sep 11, 2013  Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

> Einstein read Kant, and loved Spinoza, and admit his influence in his own
> research.

He may have read and loved detective stories too. Einstein was interested
in things other than science, like politics, and those thinkers may have
helped him there, but not in his serious work. As for Spinoza, this is what
Richard Feynman had to say:

"My son is taking a course in philosophy, and last night we were looking at
something by Spinoza and there was the most childish reasoning! There were
all these attributes, and Substances, and all this meaningless chewing
around, and we started to laugh. Now how could we do that? Here's this
great Dutch philosopher, and we're laughing at him. It's because there's no
excuse for it! In the same period there was Newton, there was Harvey
studying the circulation of the blood, there were people with methods of
analysis by which progress was being made! You can take every one of
Spinoza's propositions, and take the contrary propositions, and look at the
world and you can't tell which is right."

 John K Clark

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