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They surely want to present themselves roughly as follows: ingratiating-
ly, interesting ideas—which, however, cannot collide in the least with the genuine
philosophical problems (tendency of the somewhat fearful limitation: “everything
in Kant legitimately stands” and—where possible—exploit what you can–)
Now, i.a., in the paper Vossische Zeitung: “In connection with the plenary ses-
sion of the Kant Society . . . a number of prominent German scholars, i.a., Einstein,
Abderhalden, Kraus! (Prague), Vaihinger, extend an invitation “to a scientif. dis-
cussion about Positivistic Idealism along the lines of the ÂPhilosophy of As IfÊ(!)”
in Halle—Prof. Einstein will be attending the
And I receive a
printed invitation: “A number of members of the K.S., who are interested in
Positivistic Idealism along the lines of the Philosophy of As If . . . The signers, in
part members, in part nonmem. of the Kant Soc., herewith invite you to this discus-
sion . . . Members of the Kant S. also have the right to participate in the As If Con-
ference–” Signed: Abderhalden, Becker, Bergmann, Einstein!, Feldkeller, Fliess,
[Gocht], Knopf, [Koffka], Kowalewski, Kraus
Müller-Freienfels, R.
Schmidt, [J.] Schultz, Vaihinger, Wichmann, H.
Good grief! Into what sort of publicity campaign are you being recruited?!
Would physicists of commensurate caliber dare to do such a thing?! For the greatest
part, feeble-minded, languidly regurgitating, squabbling mediocrity and in part like
Kraus: insolent; and with such an obsession for publicity—Well, for God’s sake, if
one could at least imagine there were some sort of purpose: that anything serious
could be advanced by the “conference” or even just seriously treated—but you,
good fellow, do not know what these people are like and what they are aiming at?!
And even if there were only an unmentionable dullness of these persons With
persons of earnest intention—for example,
—it would perhaps be possi-
ble; but even with these, better not at the center of such a corona–! And how can
such a “conference” turn out? The people will present their thing in their charac-
teristic psychological habit and perform feats of disputation—and you will say a
few kind words, and then, smiling a little, hold your peace—and the people—ugh.
This is no pretty affair and no good can come of it.
That’s how things are with these philosophers—Then someone like you comes
along—and look what the people do–! Good grief!
(If you really are considering going there, then I’d be inclined to go
–So; this I had to get off my chest; and I still positively cannot quite imagine that
you are really going there (a sunny day in the woods or a workers’
stead would be a much finer and better thing)—and now I send you, you good,
overly good fellow, my best wishes and am annoyed that I had to write to you over
there about such rot as this!
Good wishes to all! Yours,
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