D O C U M E N T 1 7 J A N U A R Y 1 9 2 2 3 7
17. From Eberhard Zschimmer
[1]
Jena, 59 Reuter Street, 14 January 1922
Highly esteemed Professor,
I must admit that the idea of starting a discussion with you about the known
problems did occur to me long ago; but how could I have dared to presume such a
thing of you? I consider myself lucky that you are inclined of your own accord to
discuss at all seriously matters that I with my stupid layman’s understanding deem
important—with the vague feeling that from your lofty outpost all of this could
only be ludicrous conceptual difficulties that vanish as soon as one has the mathe-
matical wherewithal to be able to draw the conclusions from your theory on one’s
own. And yet you have now written me such a very promising postcard! Well, rest
assured; I shall only make [use] of your kind offer after I have first interviewed your
“guardian angel” about how your [mood] is, etc. Besides, it does have to be reward-
ing for you as well, and that will only be the case once I have brought Prof.
Straubel
[2]
far enough along that the concave mirror for my measurements has
descended from the sphere of fantasy into the realm of graspable
reality.[3]
Straubel
is horrendously busy; if you hatch an idea with him, you never know when he will
find the time to materialize it. A little “hint” by you, however, would, I believe,
have a very accelerating effect. [I am visiting him later
on.][4]
I assume, as you see,
that the glass experiments are of much more importance to you than my stupid phil-
osophical theoretical speculations about the perceptible world. Nevertheless, I
would like to permit myself to send you next week my finally finished (short!)
manuscript for the Beiträge z[ur] Phil[osophie] d[es] d[eutschen] Idealismus, in
particular, with the following earnest request: (1) if according to your assessment
it is pointless, simply drop it into the mailbox in the enclosed stamped envelope;
(2) if you consider the problem per se of merit but find the solution to flawed, give
me a few pointers in the margin. For this you may take as much time as you please;
there is no need to publish the thing so quickly, although it would appeal to me to
land a crushing blow on the philosophical pamphlet (Kant contra Einstein) by that
“virago” [Mannin], and specifically in the same academic journal in whose supple-
ments this lamentable product
appeared.[5]
Alternatively, I could go to the Natur-
wissenschaften; but a philosophical journal does appear to me to be more
appropriate.
By the way, may I point out what is surely a typographical error that has
remained standing even in the 13th edition of your Vieweg publication: On p. 75
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