▶︎ CANCELED: Seminar on History and Philosophy of Science
Title: The Philosopher Physicists: Albert Einstein and Philipp Frank
Abstract: This paper surveys the nearly fifty year long friendship between Albert Einstein and Philipp Frank, from before Einstein's championing of Frank as his successor at the Charles University in Prague in 1912 though the publication of Frank's masterful biography of Einstein in 1949. At the heart of this story is Einstein and Frank's shared appreciation of the crucial importance of philosophy in physics. More specifically, the paper explores their detailed discussions of the nature and role of conventions in physics and Frank's argument that Duhem pointed the way to synthesizing the conventionalism of Poincaré and the empiricism of Mach, a synthesis that Frank also thought to be central to Einstein's philosophy of science.