Philipp Frank

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Frank, Philipp

 

Born Mar. 20, 1884, in Vienna; died July 21, 1966, in Cambridge, Mass. Austro-American philosopher and physicist. Neopositivist.

In 1912, Frank became a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Prague. In 1938 he emigrated to the USA, where he was a professor of mathematical physics and philosophy of science at Harvard University. His views developed under the influence of E. Mach, H. Poincaré, and P. Duhem. In the 1920’s and 1930’s, Frank was associated with the Vienna circle and the logical positivist movement. Central in Frank’s research was an analysis of the basic concepts of physics; in accordance with the verification principle he contrasted the concrete scientific content of physical theory with its philosophical interpretations (seeVERIFICATION). He believed that in the contemporary period philosophy was becoming a philosophy of science capable of bridging the gap between the humanities and the natural sciences. Frank was also interested in the theory of relativity, the criticism of vitalism, and questions of scientific logic.

WORKS

Das Kausalgesetz und seine Grenzen. Vienna, 1932.
Das Ende der mechanischen Physik. Vienna, 1935.
Interpretations and Misinterpretations of Modern Physics. Paris, 1938.
Between Physics and Philosophy. Cambridge, Mass., 1941.
“Foundations of Physics.” International Encyclopedia of Unified Science, 1946, vol. 1, no. 7.
Einstein: His Life and Times. New York, 1953.
Modern Science and Its Philosophy. Cambridge, 1961.
In Russian translation:
Filosofiia nauki: Sviaz’ mezhdu naukoi ifilosofiei. Moscow, 1960.

V. S. SHVYREV

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