Philipp Frank’s decline and the crisis of logical empiricism

Studies in East European Thought 69 (3):257-276 (2017)

Adam Tamas Tuboly
Hungarian Academy of Sciences
The aim of the paper is to consider the narrative that Philipp Frank’s decline in the United States started in the 1940s and 1950s. Though this account captures a kernel of truth, it is not the whole story. After taking a closer look at Frank’s published writings and at his proposed book, one can see how he imagined the reunion of logical empiricism. His approach was centered on sociology and on the sociological aspects of science and knowledge. As I will argue, Frank’s longstanding interest in the reunion of the sciences and the humanities can be detected in his sociology and philosophy of science as well as in his reading of Carnap’s critique of metaphysics. But Frank’s intention was never fully recognized, partly due to the atmosphere of American philosophy and sociology in the second half of the twentieth century. As a result, his conception of unified science and logical empiricism died with him.
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DOI 10.1007/s11212-017-9292-y
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