passion for comprehension

// there exists a passion for comprehension,

just as there exists a passion for music.

that passion is rather common in children,

but gets lost in most people later on.

without this passion,

there would be neither mathematics nor natural science.

time and again

the passion for understanding

has led to the illusion

that man is able to comprehend the objective world rationally,

by pure thought,

without any empirical foundations

in short,

by metaphysics.

i believe that every true theorist is a kind of tamed metaphysicist,

no matter how pure a “positivist” he may fancy himself.

// the metaphysicist believes

that the logically simple is also the real.

// the tamed metaphysicist believes

that not all that is logically simple is embodied in experienced reality,

but that the totality of all sensory experience

can be “comprehended”

on the basis of a conceptual system

built on premises of great simplicity.

// the skeptic will say

that this is a “miracle creed.”

admittedly so,

but it is a miracle creed which

has been borne out to an amazing extent

by the development of science.

× albert einstein ×
ideas and opinions

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