Letter exchange between Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein

Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein had met from time to time, but they did not see much of each other except in the Autumn 1943, when they were both at Princeton University. Quickly becoming good friends, they would meet for weekend evenings for tea and tobacco at Einstein’s home to discuss “various matters in the philosophy of science.”

Contrary to popular belief, Albert Einstein was never on the faculty at Princeton, he occupied an office in the University’s mathematics building in the early 1940s while waiting for construction of the Institute for Advanced Study. By the early 1940s Bertrand Russell was nearly financially destitute form a combination giving away much of his inherited wealth and being dismissed by numerous universities for being “morally unfit”. However, in 1931 he inherited and kept his families earldom (Russell once joked that his title was primarily used for the purpose of securing New York City hotel rooms). In late 1943 Russell was invited to lecture on “Postulates of Scientific Inference” at Bryn Mawr College, and Princeton University. At Bryn Mawr College’s library Russell did much of the writing for A History of Western Philosophy (1945) which provided him with the needed financial security for the latter part of his life. Russell wrote in is his Autobiography:

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