1 5 8 D O C U M E N T 1 1 M A Y 1 9 2 0
everyone thinks is so shabby just for traveling, never wear it in Holland, do you
hear? I beg you earnestly. Don’t make yourself ridiculous in your dress coat, which
is good for train travel but not for anything
Change your socks regularly,
otherwise they get too large holes. And give a shirt and a nightshirt to the laundry
now; you took hardly enough along with you.
Take care and all my love, your
11. From Ernst Cassirer[1]
Hamburg, 26 Blumen Street, 10 May 1920
Highly esteemed Colleague,
Please accept my cordial thanks for your kind willingness to glance briefly
through my manuscript now, while you are still
I am having the manu-
script sent to you today and hope that it reaches you safely: no confirmation of re-
ceipt is expected, but I would request a brief note only if, contrary to expectation,
it does not
As far as the content of my text is concerned, it evidently does
not propose to list all philosophical problems contained in the theory of relativity,
let alone to solve them. I just wanted to try to stimulate general philosophical dis-
cussion and to open the flow of arguments and, if possible, to define a specific
methodological direction. Above all, I would wish, as it were, to confront physi-
cists and philosophers with the problems of relativity theory and bring about agree-
ment between them. That in doing so I took pains to make wide-ranging use of the
physics literature and to learn from the writings of great physicists of the past and
present—this you will gather from my exposition. But with the various conceptual
mind sets and different languages that physicist and philosopher speak, even the
best of intentions does not always suffice to avoid misunderstandings. So here your
verdict would be of exceptional value to me: I remain open to your criticism and
instruction, all the more so since while writing my work I was not thinking of pub-
lication at all, initially, but rather only undertook it because I felt a growing inner
need to arrive at deeper clarification of these questions. Wherever your judgment
may fall, this clarification will be substantially advanced by it, either way.
I am, in expressing my thanks and utmost respect, yours very truly,
Ernst Cassirer.
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