Brodbeck, May (1917–1983)

views updated

Brodbeck, May (1917–1983)

American philosopher and professor. Born in Newark, New Jersey, on July 26, 1917; died on August 2, 1983; granted B.A., New York University (1941); University of Iowa, M.A. 1947, Ph.D. 1947.

Appointed instructor at University of Minnesota (1947–74), professor of philosophy (1959–74), chair, department of philosophy (1967–70), dean of graduate school (1972–74), Carver Professor of Philosophy (1974–83); University of Iowa Professor Emeritus (1983).

Selected works: "Coherence Theory Reconsidered: Professor Werkmeister on Semantics and on the Nature of Empirical Laws," in Philosophy of Science (Vol. 16, 1949); "Toward a 'Non-Naturalistic' Ethic," in Philosophical Studies (Vol. 2, 1951); "An Analytic Principle of Induction?" in Journal of Philosophy (Vol. 49, 1952); Philosophy in America: 1900–1950 (1952); (ed. with Herbert Fiegel) Readings in the Philosophy of Science (1953); "Meaning and Action," Philosophy of Science (Vol. 30, 1963); "Objectivism and Interaction: a Reaction to Margolis," in Philosophy of Science (Vol. 33, 1966); (ed.) Readings in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences (1968).

May Brodbeck achieved outstanding success as an academic philosopher at a time when there were few prominent women in philosophy. Widely published, she became chair of her department at the University of Minnesota, prestigious for philosophy of science, and acted as dean of the Graduate School for a few years. Academically concerned primarily with the philosophy of social science, she examined human behavior, individually and as part of groups. Brodbeck's work also examined the logic, or laws of inference, at work in social science.

Catherine Hundleby , M.A. Philosophy, University of Guelph

About this article

Brodbeck, May (1917–1983)

Updated About content Print Article