Einstein's Jewish Science: Physics at the Intersection of Politics and Religion

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9781421405544: Einstein's Jewish Science: Physics at the Intersection of Politics and Religion

Is relativity Jewish? The Nazis denigrated Albert Einstein’s revolutionary theory by calling it "Jewish science," a charge typical of the ideological excesses of Hitler and his followers. Philosopher of science Steven Gimbel explores the many meanings of this provocative phrase and considers whether there is any sense in which Einstein’s theory of relativity is Jewish.

Arguing that we must take seriously the possibility that the Nazis were in some measure correct, Gimbel examines Einstein and his work to explore how beliefs, background, and environment may―or may not―have influenced the work of the scientist. You cannot understand Einstein’s science, Gimbel declares, without knowing the history, religion, and philosophy that influenced it.

No one, especially Einstein himself, denies Einstein's Jewish heritage, but many are uncomfortable saying that he was being a Jew while he was at his desk working. To understand what "Jewish" means for Einstein’s work, Gimbel first explores the many definitions of "Jewish" and asks whether there are elements of Talmudic thinking apparent in Einstein’s theory of relativity. He applies this line of inquiry to other scientists, including Isaac Newton, René Descartes, Sigmund Freud, and Émile Durkheim, to consider whether their specific religious beliefs or backgrounds manifested in their scientific endeavors.

Einstein's Jewish Science intertwines science, history, philosophy, theology, and politics in fresh and fascinating ways to solve the multifaceted riddle of what religion means―and what it means to science. There are some senses, Gimbel claims, in which Jews can find a special connection to E = mc2, and this claim leads to the engaging, spirited debate at the heart of this book.

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From the Back Cover:

The Nazis denigrated Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity by calling it "Jewish science," a charge typical of the ideological excesses of Hitler and his followers. Philosopher of science Steven Gimbel explores the many meanings of this provocative phrase and considers whether there is any sense in which Einstein’s revolutionary theory is Jewish.

Arguing that we must take seriously the possibility that the Nazis were in some measure correct, Gimbel examines Einstein and his work to explore how beliefs, background, and environment may―or may not―have influenced the work of the scientist. You cannot understand Einstein’s science, Gimbel declares, without knowing the history, religion, and philosophy that influenced it.

"To understand Gimbel’s argument about the Jewish quality of Einstein’s approach―and to perceive the boldness of Gimbel’s decision to re-examine twentieth-century, anti-Semitic ideas about 'Jewish science'―it’s necessary first to understand the historical moment out of which the theory of relativity emerged."― Tikkun

"Gimbel... takes readers on enlightening excursions through the nature of Judaism, Hegelian philosophy, wherever his curiosity leads."― New York Times Book Review

"A fascinating and enlightening discussion of many aspects of the... 20th century that examines the many different ways in which one might understand the suggestion that Einstein’s physics expresses or reflects something distinctively Jewish."― Physics Today

"A lively, intentionally provocative and wholly compelling inquiry into the Jewishness of Einstein himself and the world-changing scientific revolution that he set in motion."― Jewish Journal

"Gimbel spins out what could have been a mere provocation into a wide-ranging and entertaining collision of science, history, philosophy, and religion."― Zocalo Public Square

"A fascinating engagement with the nature of Judaism and of science. By exploring and, in a sense, redeeming the Nazi accusation that Einstein's relativity theory is 'Jewish science,' Gimbel not only challenges the racist meanings of that charge but shows how scientific theories must in fact reflect the issues and concerns of the historical periods which give rise to them."―Rabbi Michael Lerner

About the Author:

Steven Gimbel is the Edwin T. and Cynthia Shearer Johnson Professor for Distinguished Teaching in the Humanities and chair of the Department of Philosophy at Gettysburg College, where he won the Luther and Bernice Johnson Award for Distinguished Teaching. He is author of Exploring the Scientific Method: Cases and Questions; René Descartes: The Search for Certainty; and Defending Einstein: Hans Reichenbach's Writings on Space, Time, and Motion.

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Descripción JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2012. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Is relativity Jewish? The Nazis denigrated Albert Einstein s revolutionary theory by calling it Jewish science, a charge typical of the ideological excesses of Hitler and his followers. Philosopher of science Steven Gimbel explores the many meanings of this provocative phrase and considers whether there is any sense in which Einstein s theory of relativity is Jewish. Arguing that we must take seriously the possibility that the Nazis were in some measure correct, Gimbel examines Einstein and his work to explore how beliefs, background, and environment may-or may not-have influenced the work of the scientist. You cannot understand Einstein s science, Gimbel declares, without knowing the history, religion, and philosophy that influenced it. No one, especially Einstein himself, denies Einstein s Jewish heritage, but many are uncomfortable saying that he was being a Jew while he was at his desk working. To understand what Jewish means for Einstein s work, Gimbel first explores the many definitions of Jewish and asks whether there are elements of Talmudic thinking apparent in Einstein s theory of relativity. He applies this line of inquiry to other scientists, including Isaac Newton, Rene Descartes, Sigmund Freud, and Emile Durkheim, to consider whether their specific religious beliefs or backgrounds manifested in their scientific endeavors. Einstein s Jewish Science intertwines science, history, philosophy, theology, and politics in fresh and fascinating ways to solve the multifaceted riddle of what religion means-and what it means to science. There are some senses, Gimbel claims, in which Jews can find a special connection to E = mc2, and this claim leads to the engaging, spirited debate at the heart of this book. Nº de ref. de la librería AAC9781421405544

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Descripción JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2012. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Is relativity Jewish? The Nazis denigrated Albert Einstein s revolutionary theory by calling it Jewish science, a charge typical of the ideological excesses of Hitler and his followers. Philosopher of science Steven Gimbel explores the many meanings of this provocative phrase and considers whether there is any sense in which Einstein s theory of relativity is Jewish. Arguing that we must take seriously the possibility that the Nazis were in some measure correct, Gimbel examines Einstein and his work to explore how beliefs, background, and environment may-or may not-have influenced the work of the scientist. You cannot understand Einstein s science, Gimbel declares, without knowing the history, religion, and philosophy that influenced it. No one, especially Einstein himself, denies Einstein s Jewish heritage, but many are uncomfortable saying that he was being a Jew while he was at his desk working. To understand what Jewish means for Einstein s work, Gimbel first explores the many definitions of Jewish and asks whether there are elements of Talmudic thinking apparent in Einstein s theory of relativity. He applies this line of inquiry to other scientists, including Isaac Newton, Rene Descartes, Sigmund Freud, and Emile Durkheim, to consider whether their specific religious beliefs or backgrounds manifested in their scientific endeavors. Einstein s Jewish Science intertwines science, history, philosophy, theology, and politics in fresh and fascinating ways to solve the multifaceted riddle of what religion means-and what it means to science. There are some senses, Gimbel claims, in which Jews can find a special connection to E = mc2, and this claim leads to the engaging, spirited debate at the heart of this book. Nº de ref. de la librería AAC9781421405544

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Descripción Johns Hopkins University Press. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Hardcover. 256 pages. Dimensions: 9.0in. x 6.2in. x 1.0in.Is relativity Jewish The Nazis denigrated Albert Einsteins revolutionary theory by calling it Jewish science, a charge typical of the ideological excesses of Hitler and his followers. Philosopher of science Steven Gimbel explores the many meanings of this provocative phrase and considers whether there is any sense in which Einsteins theory of relativity is Jewish. Arguing that we must take seriously the possibility that the Nazis were in some measure correct, Gimbel examines Einstein and his work to explore how beliefs, background, and environment mayor may nothave influenced the work of the scientist. You cannot understand Einsteins science, Gimbel declares, without knowing the history, religion, and philosophy that influenced it. No one, especially Einstein himself, denies Einsteins Jewish heritage, but many are uncomfortable saying that he was being a Jew while he was at his desk working. To understand what Jewish means for Einsteins work, Gimbel first explores the many definitions of Jewish and asks whether there are elements of Talmudic thinking apparent in Einsteins theory of relativity. He applies this line of inquiry to other scientists, including Isaac Newton, Ren Descartes, Sigmund Freud, and mile Durkheim, to consider whether their specific religious beliefs or backgrounds manifested in their scientific endeavors. Einsteins Jewish Science intertwines science, history, philosophy, theology, and politics in fresh and fascinating ways to solve the multifaceted riddle of what religion meansand what it means to science. There are some senses, Gimbel claims, in which Jews can find a special connection to E mc2, and this claim leads to the engaging, spirited debate at the heart of this book. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Nº de ref. de la librería 9781421405544

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