D O C U M E N T S 2 0 0 , 2 0 1 J A N U A R Y 1 9 2 4 2 0 1
200. To Ernst Cassirer[1]
[Berlin, after 27 January
Esteemed Colleague,
I send you herewith a genuinely American matter. As I do not know Mr. Wind
I ask you please to add the necessary information that works in his
favor. I put my signature on it because otherwise the impression is given that I
wasn’t prepared to provide the information.
Genuinely American: Stamp on the back-side, drawer 425, value × dollars.
Your finely polished lecture left a great impression on me; probably no one here
could have done it so ably. The matter with a priori causality in Nature reminded
me of an analogous joke out of my “youth.” Lieutenant: “I have damned good luck
with women. I recently sat down on a bench at the zoo. An attractive girl was al-
ready sitting on it.” Pitiful high-handedness. Aren’t the notions of cow and donkey
also a priori? One doesn’t see a donkey but just has certain visual perceptions that
one assigns a priori under a donkey-idea……that’s what the Kantian should say.
The donkey-idea is not contained in experience and therefore cannot originate from
it, either. I seriously believe that whoever says so is in a certain sense right, not
more and not less than if he argued analogously regarding causality. (You are going
to give me a nice flogging when we see each other again!)
Cordial regards, yours,
A. Einstein.
201. To Betty Neumann
[Berlin,] Monday morning [28 January 1924]
My dear Betty,
In lengthy, laborious battles I have now arrived at the desired goal, i.e., a proper
peace treaty with my
according to which my right is acknowledged to invite
you to see me two afternoons a week or to go out with you as I wish. And the im-
portant point is, she’s quite all right with it! Not often have I been so thrilled and
proud about the solution to a problem. If you come to visit me tomorrow, Tuesday
afternoon around 3 o’clock, for a festive inauguration of this wonderful custom,
then I’ll tell you more about these wondrous events and changes. She doesn’t even
feel furious about the dear
anymore and said during the discussion, “on
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