Michael Friedman (philosopher)

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Michael Friedman
Born (1947-04-02) April 2, 1947 (age 71)
Brookline, Massachusetts[1]
Alma mater Queens College, City University of New York
Princeton University
Era Contemporary philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Analytic philosophy
Main interests
Philosophy of science, philosophy of physics, history of philosophy, Kantianism
Notable ideas
Dynamics of reason, retrospective communicative rationality,[2] relativized (constitutive) a priori principles as paradigms[3][4]

Michael Friedman (born April 2, 1947) is an American philosopher of science, best known for his work on scientific explanation, philosophy of physics and Immanuel Kant. Friedman has also done important historical work on figures in Continental philosophy such as Martin Heidegger and Ernst Cassirer.


Friedman earned his A.B. from Queens College, City University of New York in New York in 1969 and his PhD from Princeton University in 1973.[5] He is now Frederick P. Rehmus Family Professor of Humanities at Stanford University.[6] Before moving to Stanford in 2002, Friedman taught at Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Illinois, Chicago, and Indiana University. He is married to the philosopher Graciela de Pierris, who is an associate professor of philosophy at Stanford.[7]

Friedman has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences since 1997.[8] Four of his articles have been selected as among the "ten best" of their year by the Philosopher's Annual.

Philosophical work[edit]

Friedman's initial work was on the nature of scientific explanation and the philosophy of physics. His first book on Foundations of Space-Time Theories published by Princeton University Press in 1983 won the Matchette Prize (what is now known as the "Book Prize") from the American Philosophical Association, to recognize work by a younger scholar. It also won the Lakatos Award from the London School of Economics to recognize outstanding work in philosophy of science.

Kant and the Exact Sciences was described in Philosophical Review as "a very important book," "required reading for researchers on the relation between the exact sciences and Kant's philosophy."[9]

Hans Sluga described Friedman's 2000 book on Carnap, Cassirer, and Heidegger as "eye-opening" and "ambitious," shedding new light on the split between analytic philosophy and Continental philosophy.[10]

In his book Dynamics of Reason, Friedman "provides the fullest account to date not only of [his] neo-Kantian, historicized, dynamical conception of relativized a priori principles of mathematics and physics, but also of the pivotal role that [he] sees philosophy as playing in making scientific revolutions rational."[11]

Selected publications[edit]


  • Foundations of Space-Time Theories: Relativistic Physics and the Philosophy of Science (Princeton University Press, 1983)
  • Kant and the Exact Sciences (Harvard University Press, 1992)
  • Reconsidering Logical Positivism (Cambridge University Press, 1999)
  • A Parting of the Ways: Carnap, Cassirer, and Heidegger (Open Court, 2000)
  • Dynamics of Reason: The 1999 Kant Lectures at Stanford University (CSLI/University of Chicago Press, 2001)
  • Immanuel Kant: Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science (Cambridge University Press, 2004) (editor)
  • The Kantian Legacy in Nineteenth-Century Science (MIT Press, 2006) (co-editor with Alfred Nordmann)
  • The Cambridge Companion to Carnap (2007) (co-editor with Richard Creath)
  • Kant's Construction of Nature: A Reading of the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science (Cambridge University Press, 2013)

Journal articles[edit]


  1. ^ John R. Shook (ed.), The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Philosophy in America, 2016.
  2. ^ Michael Friedman, Dynamics of Reason: The 1999 Kant Lectures at Stanford University (CSLI/University of Chicago Press, 2001), p. 96.
  3. ^ Michael Friedman, Dynamics of Reason: The 1999 Kant Lectures at Stanford University (CSLI/University of Chicago Press, 2001), p. 45.
  4. ^ David Marshall Miller, Representing Space in the Scientific Revolution, Cambridge University Press, 2014, p. 4 n. 2.
  5. ^ philosophy.stanford.edu: Michael Friedman'S CV
  6. ^ philosophy.stanford.edu: Michael Friedman Archived 2008-06-16 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ hilosophy.stanford.edu
  8. ^ honorsandawards.iu.edu
  9. ^ jstor.org (2185822)
  10. ^ jstor.org (3649474)
  11. ^ jstor.org (40040756)

External links[edit]