15 Quotes from Albert Einstein That Reveals His Philosophy on Life

Albert Einstein was a remarkable theoretical physicist. He made discoveries about the smallest things in the world to the largest things in the world and everything in between. Not everyone can say they’ve done that. But while most people were distracted by his insights in science, Einstein crafted a personal philosophy on the greater questions of life. He was engaged in political matters and used his influence to change the world. As one could imagine, he cared deeply for remaining curious about life and encouraging others to do the same. The following are direct quotes from Einstein on these matters of life. They give us an insight into the humanity of one of the world’s greatest. I read these in Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson.

On Education

Near the end of his life, the New York State Education Department asked Einstein what they should teach in school. He replied,

In teaching history, there should be an extensive discussion of personalities who benefited mankind through independence of character and judgment.

The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think.

On Curiosity

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

A new idea comes suddenly and in a rather intuitive way. But, intuition is nothing but the outcomes of earlier intellectual experience.

Nature hides her secret because of her essential loftiness, but not by means of ruse.

All knowledge of reality starts from experience and ends in it.

I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious.

Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when one contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality

Nature is the realization of the simplest conceivable mathematical ideas.

On Individuality and Politics

It is important to foster individuality, for only the individual can produce the new ideas.

When a person can take pleasure in marching in step to a piece of music it is enough to make me despise him. He has been given his big brain only by mistake.

A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth.

How an intelligent man can subscribe to a party I find a complete mystery.

On Personal Matters

To dwell on things that depress or anger us does not help in overcoming them. One must knock them down alone.

The monotony of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.

I’ve loved studying this man’s life. I wrote an essay examining his life and greater detail and wrote about how he came up with his ideas that changed the world (and explained how you can do the same). I also published my notes on the biography here.