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Early History

1970's group picture

HPS at Pitt began life as an interdisciplinary graduate program in 1969, following the appointment of Prof. Laurens Laudan to the Department of History. 

In 1970, a group of faculty members from both the philosophy and history departments submitted a prospectus for the founding of HPS as an autonomous department.

Their proposal was approved by Chancellor Wesley Posvar in June 1971. In the words of Provost Charles Peake, the department was established, “to provide a high quality complementary program to the distinguished program in the philosophy of science not only to maintain but also to strengthen [the University’s] distinguished position in the philosophy of science.”

The founding members of HPS in the Fall 1971 were:Carl Hempel and Ted McGuire, 1984

Primary faculty: Larry Laudan and Ted McGuire, newly hired from the University of Leeds, UK.

Secondary faculty: Robert Colodny (Dept. of History), with Alan Anderson, W.W. Bartley, Nuel Belnap, Adolf Grünbaum, Gerald Massey, Nicholas Rescher, and Wilfrid Sellars (Dept. of Philosophy). 

Laudan and McGuire were joined shortly afterwards by Jon Hodge, Ken Schaffner and Peter Machamer. Jim Lennox joined the department in 1977.

Adolf Grünbaum and Nicholas Rescher

Ken Schaffner and Barbara Boylan

Peter Machamer and Ron Giere