I simply think that Einstein enjoyed making witticisms. Do you think that this remark represents Einstein's actual position on reality?
Quite right. Fresco
likes to trot out this quotation on a fairly regular basis
, as if this kind of argumentum ad verecundiam
settles the matter. In fact, I'm surprised it took him so long to include it in this thread. You're starting to slip, old man!
But, of course, Einstein was having his little jest when he quipped that reality is a persistent illusion. Most likely he was referring to the Berkeleyan notion that to be is to be perceived ("esse est percipi
"). Einstein must have reasoned that, if
reality is an illusion, it's a remarkably persistent one. That makes sense, given that Einstein was undoubtedly a firm believer in an existence apart from the observer.