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Thanks for pointing me to your diary (I just saw your comment reply to one of mine at dKos).

This is fascinating.

by Plutonium Page (page dot vlinders at gmail dot com) on Sat Aug 20th, 2005 at 05:15:25 PM EST
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I know you'll love to browse in this stuff - enjoy!
Leiden ain't that bad - lots of history -
see also Huygens diary.   <2nd link>

It is well known that Einstein's religious credo was inspired by that of Spinoza. In his book on "Einstein and Religion", Max Jammer writes:

    The philosopher whom Einstein admired most was Baruch (later, Benedictus) Spinoza, the seventeenth-century Jewish philosopher, who was excommunicated by the Amsterdam synagogue and declined the Heidelberg professorship in order to live as a lens grinder, leading an independent life dedicated to philosophical reflections.... Einstein was most influenced by Spinoza's thesis of an unrestricted determinism and the belief in the existence of a superior intelligence that reveals itself in the harmony and beauty of nature.


    Baruch Spinoza

The earliest recorded reference of Einstein to Spinoza is a poem from 1920. We are not used to think of Einstein as a poet, and one may wonder what triggered his poetic expression in that year. Here I offer a speculation, based on an unexpected discovery made during a recent visit to a little house in the village of Rijnsburg, just outside Leiden.

~~~

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Aug 20th, 2005 at 05:46:01 PM EST
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I always thought Spinoza spent most of his life in Leiden, but it turns out he merely lived for two years in nearby Rijnsburg. (Anyway, Leiden happens to be my favorite town in the Netherlands, and Spinoza and Einstein are two of my intellectual heroes ;- So thanks for this neat diary!)  

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Aug 21st, 2005 at 02:01:00 AM EST
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