I stumbled on this map of the philosophers recently. It’s basically a who’s who six degrees of separation of philosophers based on lines of influence. Never much a one for philosophy myself, I nevertheless recognized the guys in 20 point type and even a few of the smaller fry.
I did just wonder, however, about the outliers, the people furthest away from Plato. That poor fellow at the very bottom, for example, all alone, no one much to talk to. Who it could possibly be? No doubt a name I didn’t know.
In fact it was a name I knew. Hans Reichenbach.
It’s only a slightly convoluted story. My father’s family had spent the 1931/2 year on sabbatical in Berlin where my mathematician grandfather soaked up the wisdom and good fellowship of the University’s mathematical and physics superstars (Einstein, von Neumann, et al.). Continue reading