I have heard some stuff about how Einstein got is ideas from third parties. I've read a biography about him by Walter Isaacson, and a lot of possibly wrong one-liners on the internet.

But I'm wondering, are there specific texts that Einstein has written about the chronology of how he discovered the things he discovered? For example, did he directly write himself about his intellectual influences, what kind of things he read, and so forth?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ A famous one is Autobiographical notes, in Schilpp (1949, pp. 1–94). $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2017 at 20:41
  • $\begingroup$ It would help if you name the biography you read and what are the third parties in question (some, like Mach and Grossman, are well-known). Abraham Pais wrote an authoritative scientific biography based on his extensive interviews with Einstein called Subtle is the Lord. $\endgroup$
    – Conifold
    Dec 14, 2017 at 21:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Conifold, The one by walter isaacson. But really any text by Einstein would be good. I'm going to read "Autobiographical notes" as Francois Ziegler suggested. I hope there is more. $\endgroup$
    – user56834
    Dec 15, 2017 at 4:40
  • $\begingroup$ I highly recommend Pais book "Subtle is the Lord". The biography by Isaacson is also a great book but focuses mostly on his life whereas you get into the details of the math and physics of much of Einstein's work with Pais book and he does go into those other ideas that influenced Einstein in a deeper technical way. $\endgroup$
    – K7PEH
    Dec 20, 2017 at 6:14


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