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Philipp Frank and the Wiener Kreis: from Vienna to Exile in the USA


Based on texts and personal recollections, the paper discusses the origins and roots of Philipp Frank’s philosophy of science as it was developed in Eastern Europe and later institutionalized in the United States. It takes into account the influence of Abel Rey and V. I. Lenin, considering the idea of the “bankruptcy of science.”

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  1. An excellent article on Frank and Rey is Neuber (2010).

  2. See Frank (1907/1949). The book was translated into English in 1998 as Frank (1932/1998).

  3. For Einstein’s official recommendation of Frank see Einstein (1912/1993).

  4. On Exner’s powerful ideas see Stöltzner (2002).

  5. It calls for a “comprehensive Weltanschauung”, across all fields of the Wissenschaft, and was signed by over 30 academics, including Mach, Einstein, and Freud. See Holton (1993: chapter 1).

  6. Cf. Carnap – Hahn – Neurath 1929/1973: 305.

  7. Cf. Holton (1995: 281–283).


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Correspondence to Gerald Holton.

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Holton, G. Philipp Frank and the Wiener Kreis: from Vienna to Exile in the USA. Stud East Eur Thought 69, 207–213 (2017).

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  • Philipp Frank
  • Vienna Circle
  • Boston Colloquium for philosophy of science
  • Emigration