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.
George A. Reisch is managing editor of The Monist and the author of The Politics of Paradigms: Thomas S. Kuhn, James B. Conant, and the Cold War "Struggle for Men's Minds", also published by SUNY Press. Adam Tamas Tuboly is postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Philosophy, Research Centre for Humanities, and research fellow at the Institute of Transdisciplinary Discoveries, Medical School, University of Pécs.
"American pragmatism influenced Frank, and his treatise offers a fascinating historical window on the intellectual currents of mid-century American philosophy. Thanks to the archival research of these editors, the work is now available and likely to be of particular interest to historians of science and philosophy. Because Frank's manuscript lay unpublished and never became an influential text, its greatest appeal will be to readers with strong historical interests." — CHOICE