Philipp Frank

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
By PHILIPP FRANK. (Epistemata Literaturwissenschaft, 526) Wurzburg: Konigshausen & Neumann.
In his introduction Bernstein recounts his first encounter with Einstein's ideas via a course in 1947 at Harvard from esteemed professor Philipp Frank, who explained many topics in a manner that required no more than high school math, which is, in turn, the author's goal for this book.
Philipp Frank was Lecturer on Physics and Mathematics at Harvard University.
As the great physicist wrote to his friend Philipp Frank in 1910, "In my relativity theory, I set up a clock at every point in space, but in reality, I find it difficult to provide even one clock in my room."