Philipp Frank: The Humanistic Background of Science

SUNY Press has published the edited volume on

Philipp Frank: The Humanistic Background of Science
(edited by George A. Reisch and Ádám Tamás Tuboly)

The once-lost introduction to the philosophy of science by Philipp Frank (1884-1966), a leading member of the Vienna circle of philosophers and biographer of Albert Einstein.

Philipp Frank (1884–1966) was an influential philosopher of science, public intellectual, and Harvard educator whose last book, The Humanistic Background of Science, is finally available. Never published in his lifetime, this original manuscript has been edited and introduced to highlight Frank's remarkable but little-known insights about the nature of modern science—insights that rival those of Karl Popper and Frank's colleagues Thomas Kuhn and James Bryant Conant. As a leading exponent of logical empiricism and a member of the famous Vienna Circle, Frank intended his book to provide an accessible, engaging introduction to the philosophy of science and its cultural significance. The book is steadfastly true to science; to aspirations of peace, unity, and human flourishing after World War II; and to the pragmatic philosophies of Charles S. Peirce, William James, and John Dewey that Frank embraced in his new American home. Amidst the many recent surveys and retrospective analyses of midcentury philosophy of science, The Humanistic Background of Science offers an original, first-hand view of Frank's post-European life and of intellectual dramas then unfolding in Chicago, New York City, and Boston.

Table of contents:

Philipp Frank: A Crusader for Scientific Philosophy


1. Introduction: Science, Facts, and Values

2. The Longing for a Humanization of Science

3. Metaphysical Interpretations of Science

4. The Sociology of Metaphysical Interpretations

5. Philosophy of Science and Political Ideology

6. Sociology of Science and the Search for a Democratic Metaphysics


7. Scholastic Philosophy and Thomism

8. The Physical Universe as a Symbol

9. Union, Divorce, and Reunion between Science and Philosophy

10. Science, Democracy, and the New Wave of Positivism

11. The Vienna Circle: Moritz Schlick, Rudolf Carnap, and Otto Neurath

12. Pragmatism

13. Mechanistic and Dialectical Materialism

14. The Laws and Politics of Dialectical Materialism

Conclusion: Einstein's Philosophy of Science