Einstein, Chern, Ayer and Laozi

Albert Einstein

Einstein had valued highly his copy of the German version of Laozi’s book Daodejing

Hung-Hsi Wu

In 1946-7 Professor Chern was doing research for Dr. Einstein in Princeton University. He was often invited to go to Dr. Einstein’s house to ‘chat’. While in there, he was so impressed to discover, that a German translation of Laozi’s Daodejing, was among a few books in his scantily filled bookshelf. It was one of a few books Dr. Einstein took with him during then turmoil of Hitler’s Germany.

Einstein also liked Popper’s book “The Logic of the Scientific Discovery” and handwritten down his opinion. He had discussed with Popper about philosophy and quantum mechanics; his philosophical position was too Kantian for Popper though.

The Logic of the Scientific Discovery

Taking The Long View–Video 山长水远
Is about the life story of Professor Chern Shiing-Sheng (with old photos)


AJ Ayer

Laozi was the first Empiricist as he announced that his wisdom was based on experience—his building blocks are common sense. Laozi’s philosophy does not aim for building skyscraper-like high rise arguments. Its persuasive power lies on its deep sincerity and enthusiasm, as suggested by Samuel Johnson of 19th Century Boston about this Old Wise Man(a grown-up child).