“Frank’s Philosophy of Science Revisited,” Philosophy of Science, 1960, 183-86. (download paper)

On rereading this paper, I still think Kegley was wrong about the Philipp Frank book Philosophy of Science. However, were I doing it again, I would tone down my commentary a bit. Obviously I was annoyed with him, and I’m afraid that led me to match the truculent tone of his paper. More importantly, though, were I to write it again I would concentrate more on the  drawing the distinction between writing for specialists (philosophers, in the instance), which he claimed he was not doing, and a more general audience (science teachers, science educators, scientists, the informed public), which he claime he was. It is never easy for specialists in any field to write for other audiences, but I could have suggested how he might have done so, making the my response more useful.

At the time I wrote the paper, I had not met Frank or Kegley. After my paper was published, I received a penny postcard from Professor Frank thanking me for defending his book. His message filled the entire card in tiny handwriting which seemed to me to be a combination of English and German. I couldn’t read it, so I took it to my colleague Gerald Holton who did the translation for me. I never met Philipp Frank, and because of my carelessness, I no longer have either his book or his card.

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