Lot 212: Moritz Schlick's copy of Einstein's masterpiece in true first edition

Adams Amsterdam Auctions

June 19, 2017
Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Description: SCIENCE - EINSTEIN, Albert. Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie and 2 others on the same subject. Leipzig, Verlag von Johann Ambrosius Barth, 1916. 4to. Original wrappers, uncut. Offprint from the 'Annalen der Physik', Band 49, 1916. With formulas. 64 pp. With a (minor) addition in pencil by Schlick. With 2 newspaper clippings (incl. a review in The Nation and Athenaeum of the lecture on June 13, 1921 at King's College). True first edition with 'Metzger & Wittig, Leipzig' printed on the reverse of the title page and on the back cover. Including the advertisement for seven publications, another essential characteristic of the original edition. Added: Über die spezielle und die allgemeine Relativitätstheorie. (Gemeinverständlich). Braunschweig, Vieweg & Sohn, 1918. 4to. Original wrappers (dam.). With name entry 'Schlick' on the title page and several corrections in pencil and in ink, 83 pp. As well as: Äther und Relativitäts-Theorie. Rede gehalten am 5. Mai 1920 an der Reichs-Universität zu Leiden [...]. Berlin, Verlag von Julius Springer, 1920. 4to. Original wrappers (sl. stained along the fore edge), 15 pp. Three works on the Theory of Relativity, including a remarkably fine copy of the true first edition of Einstein's masterpiece, one of the books of the century.
Artist or Maker: EINSTEIN, Albert.
Provenance: The estate of Moritz Schlick
The first work with a small addition in pencil by the owner, the second work with corrections by the same of some rather obvious, apparently unnoticed lapses in the previous editions. E.g. 'kinetische Energie' instead of 'kinetische Theorie' [sic!]. Three publications from the library of philosopher and physicist Moritz Schlick, founder of the Wiener Kreis and of Logical Positivism, author of one of the first and most brilliant scientific commentaries on the Theory of Relativity. Moreover, Schlick was a pupil of Max Planck (for 4 works by Planck from Schlick's library search the catalogue for Planck), who coined the term 'Relativtheorie' in 1906. As early as 1915 Schlick published an important contribution to Einstein's theory, one of the first studying the philosophical implications and titled: 'Die philosophische Bedeutung des Relativitätsprinzips'. Followed in 1918 by his Allgemeine Erkenntnislehre, a key study in the development of logical empiricism. The importance of Einstein's relationship with Schlick can hardly be overstated. "The Einstein-Schlick correspondence reveals the fruitful relationship between the scientific philosophy and modern physics within the period from the 1910s to the 1930s. The letters concern the philosophical consequences with respect to the rising of the relativity and the quantum theory. Furthermore, the correspondence illustrates the intellectual and socio-cultural background that was decisive for the relativity and the quantum revolution to take place" (from: http://quantum-history.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/eLibrary/sources/ms-ea ). Without any doubt. Einstein's letters to Schlick are in the Princeton Library, the three books from his library are now for sale.
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