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  • Print publication year: 2005
  • Online publication date: January 2010

14 - Competing Programs for Postwar Philosophy of Science


When Morris and Carnap regrouped after Neurath's death and began charting a postwar course for the Unity of Science movement, they were joined by Neurath's old friend Philipp Frank. Morris and Carnap planned to edit the Encyclopedia by themselves, and they met with the University of Chicago Press to plan the next section, to be titled Methods of Science. Frank, meanwhile, would become leader of the Institute for the Unity of Science that, with Morris's help, he re-established in Boston as a center of the movement's activities. At the end of 1947, however, William Malisoff suddenly and unexpectedly died, adding to this mix of projects a struggle for the control of Malisoff's journal, Philosophy of Science, and the young Philosophy of Science Association. This chapter examines three factions that worked variously with and against each other in the wake of Malisoff's death and into the 1950s: Frank and Morris sought to lead the Unity of Science movement in sociological and humanistic directions, while Feigl and Reichenbach pursued more professional and profession-building projects that were independent of both Frank's institute and Malisoff's eventual successor, C. West Churchman. Churchman, finally, positioned himself (and his co-authors) as a critic of logical empiricism who shared some of Dewey's (as well as Neurath's, Frank's, and Morris's) reservations about the formal, “scholastic” future into which logical empiricism seemed to be heading.

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