Nagel’s Philosophical Development

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    Ernest Nagel played a key role in bridging the gap between American philosophy and logical empiricism. He introduced European philosophy of science to the American philosophical community but also remained faithful to the naturalism of his teachers. This paper aims to shed new light on Nagel’s intermediating endeavors by reconstructing his philosophical development in the late 1920s and 1930s. This is a decisive period in Nagel’s career because it is the phase in which he first formulated the principles of his naturalism and spent a year in Europe to visit the key centers of logical empiricism. Building on a range of published and unpublished papers, notes, and correspondence—including hundreds of pages of letters to his close friend Sidney Hook—I reconstruct Nagel’s philosophical development, focusing especially on the philosophical influence of John Dewey, Morris R. Cohen, Rudolf Carnap, and Hans Reichenbach.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationErnest Nagel. Between Naturalist Pragmatism and Logical Empiricism
    EditorsMatthias Neuber, Adam Tamas Tuboly
    Number of pages13
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Publication series

    NameLogic, Epistemology, and the Unity of Science
    ISSN (Print)2214-9775
    ISSN (Electronic)2214-9783


    • Ernest Nagel
    • naturalism
    • logical empiricism
    • pragmatism
    • Rudolf Carnap


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