Carl Gustav Hempel

  • Birth

    Carl Gustav Hempel was born January 8th 1905 in Oranienburg, Germany.
  • University of Göttingen

    Hempel studied at the University of Göttingen. He studies mathematics with David Hilbert and symbolic logic with Heinrich Behmann.
  • University of Heidelberg

    Hempel moved to the University of Heidelberg. He studied mathematics, physics, and philosophy.
  • University of Berlin

    In 1924 he studied at the University of Berlin. While there he met Hans Reichenbach, who introduced him to the Berlin Circle of philosophers. He also studied physics with Max Planck and logic with John von Neumann.
  • Rudolf Carnap

    Carl Hempel participated in the first conference on Scientific Philosophy. This event was organized by logical positivist. While there he met Rudolf Carnap who sparked Carl's interest in his work. He moved to Vienna to work along side Carnap and joined the Vienna Circle. He attended courses with Carnap, Moritz Schlick, and Freidrich Waismann. (
  • Graduation

    In 1934 Carl Hempel received his doctorate from the University of Berlin. His dissertation was on Probability theory. In the same year he fled Germany and movied to Belgium with the help of Paul Oppenheim
  • Author

    Him and Paul Oppenheim co-authored the book Der Typusbegriff im Lichte der neuen Logik on typology and logics in 1936.
  • Emigration

    In 1937 he emigrated to the US and accepted an assistant position at the University of Chicago under his friend Rudolf Carnap.
  • Period: to


    He held a position at New York City College(1939-1940), Queens College of New York (1940-1948), Yale University (1948-1955), and Princeton University (1955-1964). At Princeton he was Stuart Professor of Philosophy and he taught alongside Thomas Kuhn, and stayed until he was given emeritus status in 1964. After
  • The Hempel-Oppenheim model

    Hempel and his colleague created the Deductive-Nomological (or Covering-Law) Model of science. They explained that a explanation of a theory is the deduction of a statement. The deduction of said statement is the Scientific laws. Hempel and Oppenheim held that a fundamental theory is a true statement with quantifiers. They then tried to differentiate between a fundamental theory and a derived theory.
  • Problems and Changes in the Empiricist Criterion of Meaning

    in 1950 Carl Hempel published an article that challenged that of the logical empiricists. This sparked a chain reaction having another collogue speak out.
  • The Raven Paradox

    The Raven Paradox
    At this time logical positivist including Hempel proposed that universal statements were observed through observations. "All ravens are black. But that statement is logically equivalent to and thus can be reformulated as (2) All non-black things are non-ravens." Hempel tried to used a number based method determining the degree of confirmation but ultimately did not solve the debate.
  • The Theoretician's Dilemma

    In 1958 Carl Hempel published The Theoretician's Dilemma.
  • The Inductive-Statistical Model

    in his work titled "Aspects of Scientific Explanation" Carl went on to explain laws or theoretical principles of statistical-probabilistic form and statistical laws. He explained that claims that assert universal claim is based on incomplete eveidence.
  • The Meaning of Theoretical Terms

    The Meaning of Theoretical Terms
    In 1973 Carl Hempel also published "The Meaning of Theoretical Terms".
  • Provisoes: a problem concerning the inferential function of scientific theories

    In 1988 Carl Hempel published an article "Provisoes: a problem concerning the inferential function of scientific theories" he criticized logical positivist's view that scientific theories are deductive. He then went to explain the even though Newtons theory of gravitation cannot determine the position of planets even if all the beginning issues are presented because the other variables are unknown. He explained that using Newtons theory required assumptions he coined it proviso.
  • Critic

    It was said that Carl Hempel was the most astute and devastating critics of the logical positivist/logical empiricist program. He opposed many views of those around him, including his fellow Princeton professor Thomas Kuhn.
  • Death

    Carl Gustav Hempel died November 9, 1997, in Princeton Township, New Jersey. He was survived by his second wife Diane Perlow Hempel, and his two children.
  • Impression

    He made lasting friendships. Upon his death his collogue and friend Adolf Grünbaum said of Hempel, "He was at once one of the great philosophers of science of the twentieth century and also one of the most wonderful human beings that one could encounter anywhere. Grünbaum also called Hempel's work on the theory of scientific explanation the point of departure for all other theories of scientific explanation in the twentieth century." He left many impressions of those around him.
  • Legacy

    In 2005 Carl Hempel was still impacting the world that the city of Oranienburg renamed a street to "Carl-Gustav-Hempel-Straße."
  • References

    New World Encyclopedia. “Carl Gustav Hempel - New World Encyclopedia.” Info:Main Page - New World Encyclopedia, Accessed 24 June 2022. Murzi, Mauro. “Hempel, Carl | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy | An Encyclopedia of Philosophy Articles Written by Professional Philosophers., Accessed 24 June 2022