Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Ernest Nagel papers, 1930-1988

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0915
Bib ID 4078453 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Nagel, Ernest, 1901-1985; Gödel, Kurt; Hempel, Carl G. (Carl Gustav), 1905-1997; Hook, Sidney, 1902-1989; Lazarsfeld, Paul F., 1901-1976; McGill, William J. (William James), 1922-1997; White, Morton, 1917-2016
Title Ernest Nagel papers, 1930-1988
Physical Description 15 linear feet (37 boxes)
Language(s) English .
Access You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

The following boxes are located off-site: 2-37. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.



This collection is arranged into 11 series.


Scope and Content

Correspondence, manuscripts, speeches, notebooks, notes, teaching materials, subject files, clippings, printed materials and books of Ernest Nagel. Included among the correspondence are William J. Bennett, Rudolph Carnap, Kurt Gödel, Adolph Grünbaum, C. G. Hemple, Paul Lazarsfeld, William J. McGill and Morton White. The collection's manuscripts include most of Nagel's essays and articles as well as drafts of his major works, including "The Structure of Science" (1961). The teaching materials contain syllabi, reading lists and lecture plans from the philosophy courses Nagel taught at Columbia. The collection also includes numerous manuscripts and printed materials by other authors which were inscribed to Nagel. In addition, there are printed materials and printed books by Nagel at the end of the collection.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

The following boxes are located off-site: 2-37. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Ernest Nagel papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.


Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact rbml@columbia.edu for more information.

Ownership and Custodial History

Gift of Ernest Nagel, 1980; Alexander and Sidney Nagel, 1988.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition--Nagel, Ernest, 1980; Alexander and Sidney Nagel, 1988. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--07/25/88. Accession number--M-88-07-25.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Processed TC 11/01/88. HM 2/90 rev.

Revision Description

2010-02-18 Legacy finding aid created from Pro Cite.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Philosophers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Philosophy, Modern -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical sketch

Ernest Nagel (1901-1985), philosopher and University Professor Emeritus at Columbia University. Nagel received a B.S. (1923) from City College, and a M.A. (1925) and Ph.D. (1930) from Columbia. First appointed to Columbia's faculty in 1930, Nagel became John Dewey Professor of Philosophy in 1955 and University Professor in 1967.

All external visitors, including alumni, must meet the University's primary COVID-19 vaccination series mandate and are required to adhere to the University's COVID-19 policies . After clicking 'Submit Request', users will login with their UNI and password (Columbia affiliates) or their special collections account (external users). Appointments are required and will be arranged according to each individual repository's policy.

Series I: Cataloged Correspondence

Box 1 Hook, Sidney

Box 1 Santayana, George

Box 1 Hu, Shi

Series II: Arranged Correspondence

Box 1 A - J

Box 1 K - W

Box 1 Bailey, Herbert S., Jr.

Box 1 Bennett, William J.

Box 1 Bentley, Arthur

Box 1 Berenda, Carlton W.

Box 1 Berkson, Joseph

Box 1 Black, Max

Box 1 Brandt, Richard

Box 1 Bryson, Lyman

Box 1 Carnap, Rudolf

Box 1 Chroust, Anton-Hermann

Box 1 Church, Alonzo

Box 1 Cumming, Robert D.

Box 1 Feigl, Herbert

Box 1 Fraenkel, George K.

Box 1 The Free Press

Box 1 Gödel, Kurt

Box 1 Grünbaum, Adolf

Box 1 Harcourt, Brace and World, 1) - (2)

Box 1 Hempel, C. G. ("Pete")

Box 1 International Institute for the Unity of Science

Box 1 Janus Books

Box 1 Katz, Leo

Box 1 Kolakowski, Leszek

Box 1 Laudan, Larry

Box 1 Lazarsfeld, Paul

Box 1 McGill, William J.

Box 1 Morgenbesser, Sidney

Box 1 Nagel, Ernest, (carbons, etc.

Box 1 New York University Press

Box 1 Parsons, Charles D.

Box 1 Phi Delta Kappa Society

Box 1 Purdom, Paul

Box 1 Reichenbach, Hans.

Box 1 Sovern, Michael

Box 1 Toulmin, Stephen

Box 1 White, Morton

Box 1 Zeisel, Hans

Box 2 Miscellaneous (1) - (3)

Series III: Arranged Manuscripts

Box 2 America Illustrated statement

Box 2 Assumptions in Economic Theory

Box 2 [Biographical portraits of philosophers]

Box 2 Biology [incomplete]

Box 2 Max Black (Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Box 2 G. Spencer Brown Probability and Scientific Inference., Review

Box 2 A Budget of Problems in the Philosophy of Science

Box 2 [Business school seminar]

Box 2 Butler Gold Medal Speech, 1980

Box 2 Carnap's Theory of Induction (1) - (3)

Box 2 Causal Inferences in the Social Sciences

Box 2 Certainty in Natural Science

Box 2 Changing Conceptions of Science

Box 2 Charles Peirce's Place in Philosophy

Box 2 The Cognitive Status of Theories

Box 2 Cohen Week Celebration Speech

Box 2 Columbia College Award Speech

Box 2 Comments on John Dewey, Logic

Box 2 Comment on Fuller, Human Purposes and Natural Law

Box 2 Comments on Papers by Dr. Crombie and Father Clark

Box 2 [Comments on Professor Holton]

Box 2 [Comments on Professor Toulmin]

Box 2 The Competence of Reason

Box 2 Conference on Scientific Spirit

Box 2 Creativity in Science

Box 2 Current Critiques of Science as a Cumulative Enterprise

Box 2 D'Amato on Law and Custom

Box 2 The Debt We Owe to G. E. Moore

Box 2 Definition and Specification of Meaning

Box 2 Determinism and Development

Box 3 Dewey Lecture , Brandeis, 1959

Box 3 Dewey's Lectures on Ethical Theory

Box 3 Dewey's Lectures on Logic

Box 3 Dewey's Logic of Inquiry

Box 3 Differentiation and Unification in the Natural Sciences

Box 3 Dispositional Concepts

Box 3 Do Life Processes Transcend Physics and Chemistry?

Box 3 Eighth International Congress of Philosophy. Address

Box 3 Encyclopedia Americana, 1954

Box 3 Encyclopedia Americana, 1958

Box 3 The Enforcement of Morals

Box 3 Evidence as Justification

Box 3 Experience and Probability., 1st Draft.; 2nd Draft; 3rd Draft; 4th Draft; 5th Draft; 6th Draft; Final Draft (1) - (2

Box 3 Explanation and Structure of Scientific Knowledge

Box 3 Fact, Value and Human Purpose

Box 3 Fair Play and Civil Disobedience

Box 3 The Formation of Modern Concepts of Formal Logic in the Development of Geometry (1) - (4)

Box 4 Freedom and Authority in Scientific Method

Box 4 Freedom and Civilization [Sakharov Conference]

Box 4 A Frequency Theory of Probability (1) - (3)

Box 4 Functionalism in the Social Sciences

Box 4 Gšdel's Proof. 1st Draft.; 2nd Draft.; 3rd Draft.; 4th Draft.; 5th Draft.; 6th Draft. (1) - (2); 7th Draft.; 7th Draft. Revisions.; Final Draft

Box 4 Ernest H. Hutten Language of Modern Physics., Review

Box 4 Impossible Numbers -- A Chapter in the History of Modern Logic

Box 4 Impressions of European Universities: The Nineteen-Thirties

Box 4 [Indefiniteness]

Box 4 Introduction to R. Condon, Probability.

Box 4 Introduction to A. DeMorgan, Budget.

Box 4 Introduction to Greenberg and Gershenson, Anaxagoras.

Box 4 Introduction to A. GrŸnbaum

Box 4 Introduction to Logic and Scientific Method., 1st Draft. (1) - (3

Box 5 Introduction to Logic and Scientific Method, 2nd Draft. (1) - (6); 3rd Draft.

Box 5 Introduction to J. S. Mill, Philosophy of Scientific Method.

Box 5 Introduction to Watson, Understanding Physics.

Box 5 Is Biology Different from Physics?

Box 5 Is the Laplacian Theory of Probability Tenable?

Box 5 Arnold Isenberg Tribute

Box 5 Issues in the Logic of Reductive Explanations.

Box 5 William James

Box 5 Journal of the History of Biology. Comment.

Box 5 The Judgment of Practise.

Box 5 Krikorian Party Comments

Box 5 Liberalism and Intelligence.

Box 5 A Limitation of the Axiomatic Method.

Box 5 Logic Without Metaphysics. Introduction.

Box 5 Logical Empiricism -- Its Achievements and Its Promise.

Box 5 Logical Positivism and A Priori Knowledge.

Box 5 Logical vs. Psychological Problems of Induction.

Box 5 Man's Right to Know and Free Use Thereof.

Box 5 Mathematics: An Indispensable Tool of Physical Inquiry, Review

Box 5 Mathematics: The Nature of Mathematics, television program

Box 5 Mathematics: Paradoxes, television program

Box 6 Meaning and Knowledge. (1) - (2)

Box 6 The Meaning of Probability.

Box 6 Memorandum on Philosophy in Relation to the Sciences.

Box 6 Method in Social and Natural Science.

Box 6 Methodological Issues in Psychoanalytic Theory.

Box 6 The Methods of Science.

Box 6 Mill's Logic.

Box 6 Mr. Wheelwright's Wisdom.

Box 6 National Teach-In, Washington D.C. Address.

Box 6 The Nature and Aim of Science.

Box 6 Nature and Convention.

Box 6 Nature, Man and Science.

Box 6 The Nature of Scientific Explanation.

Box 6 On the Origin of Dialectic and Syllogism in Greek Philosophy.

Box 6 On the Interpretation of Probability Calculi.

Box 6 On the Logic of Measurement. Chapter 3; Chapter 7.

Box 6 On the Method of Verstehen as the Sole Method of Philosophy.

Box 6 On Three Arguments in Support of Natural Law.

Box 6 [Oral History Interview Transcript]

Box 6 Peirce Review.

Box 6 The Philosopher Looks at Science.

Box 6 Philosophical Concepts of Atheism.

Box 6 Philosophical Interpretations of Contemporary Biology.

Box 6 Philosophical Problems in Biology.

Box 6 Philosophy in Educational Research.

Box 7 The Philosophy of Science.

Box 7 The Philosophy of Science, May 1932

[Radio Lecture]

Box 7 The Philosophy of Science, University of Delaware, 1961

Box 7 Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Education.

Box 7 Philosophy of Science -- Assessment of Evidence.

Box 7 The Place of Science in a Liberal Education.

Box 7 Predictability and Scientific Knowledge.

Box 7 Preference, Evaluation and Reflective Choice.

Box 7 Princeton Conference, 5 Nov. 1965

Box 7 Probability (Logic).

Box 7 Probability and Non-Demonstrative Inference.

Box 7 The Problem of Induction.

Box 7 The Quest for Uncertainty.

Box 7 Rationality in Judicial Decisions.

Box 7 Reduction and Autonomy of the Sciences.

Box 7 Reductive Explanations and Scientific Revolutions.

Box 7 A Rejoinder to Putnam.

Box 7 The Relation Between the Social and the Natural Sciences.

Box 7 The Relation of Sign to Object Signified.

Box 7 Relativism and the Problems of a Working Historian.

Box 7 Relativity and Twentieth-Century Intellectual Life.

Box 7 Reply to "An Objective Probabilism."

Box 7 The Rise of Modern Science.

Box 7 Rorty Talk. Comments, Spring 1973

Box 7 Science and Culture, Bard College

Box 7 Science and Culture

[Phi Beta Kappa Society]

Box 7 Science and Knowledge, 1st Draft and Notes (1) - (2); 2nd Draft.; Final Draft.

Box 8 [Science and Mechanics] (1) - (2)

Box 8 Science and Semantic Realism.

Box 8 Science and the Humanities.

Box 8 Science as a Way of Life.

Box 8 Scientific American, Reviews

Box 8 Scientific Laws and Theories.

Box 8 The Scientific Man.

Box 8 The Scientific Method, Jan. 1964

Box 8 Scientific Method, 1967

Box 8 The Scientific Revolution.

Box 8 Sense and Nonsense -- A Modern Critique of Language.

Box 8 The Social Import of Automatic Control.

Box 8 The Social Sciences.

Box 8 The Sociology of Knowledge and Philosophy of Science.

Box 8 Some Current Issues. Introduction.

Box 8 Some Issues in Teilhard's Theory of Cosmogenesis.

Box 8 Some Leading Principles of Dewey's Logical Theory.

Box 8 Some Notes on Determinism.

Box 8 Some Reflections on Myth and Symbols in Science.

Box 8 Some Reflections on the Use of Language in the Natural Sciences.

Box 8 Some Theses in the Philosophy of Logic.

Box 8 Sovereign Reason. Preliminary Introduction.

Box 8 Sovereign Reason. (1) - (3)

Box 8 State University Centennial Symposium., Speech.

Box 8 The Structure of Evolutionary Explanations.

Box 9 The Structure of Science., 1st Draft. (1) - (6); 2nd Draft (1) - (3

Box 10 The Structure of Science., 2nd Draft (4) - (8); 3rd Draft (1) - (8

Box 11 The Structure of Science., Publisher's Copy. (1) - (11

Box 12 The Structure of Science., Corrected Galleys.

Box 13 The Supremacy of Method

Box 13 Teleology Revisited. (1) - (4)

Box 13 Theory and Observation

Box 13 Truth and Certainty in Science

Box 13 Types of Causal Explanations in Science

Box 13 The Universe and the Paradox of Relevance

Box 13 Verifiability, Truth, Verification

Box 13 What Do Communists Understand by Marxism-Leninism?

Box 13 Wittgenstein

Box 13 Unidentified Mss. (1) - (2)

Box 14 Unidentified Mss. (3) - (4)

Box 14 Miscellaneous Introductions

Box 14 Miscellaneous Book Reviews (1) - (10)

Series IV: Speeches and Lectures

Box 15 On index cards

Series V: Notebooks

Box 16 Algebra, vols

Box 16 Bolzano

Box 16 Cornford, F. M. From Religion to Philosophy.

Box 16 Logic 101-102, 1931-1932

Box 16 Logic 101-102, 1932-1933

Box 16 Logic 101-102, 1933-1934

Box 16 Mathematics, volumes

Box 16 Philosophy Review

Box 16 Tarski, vols

Box 16 Miscellaneous, spiral notebooks

Series VI: Notes

Box 17 Algebra (1) - (2)

Box 17 [City College]

Box 17 Civilization and Progress

Box 17 Cohen and Natural Law

Box 17 Concept Formation in the Social Sciences

Box 17 Dewey: Types of Logical Theory

Box 17 Ethics

Box 17 [Geometry]

Box 17 History and the Social Sciences

Box 17 C. J. KEYSE, Modern Geometry

Box 17 Logic (1) - (2)

Box 17 The Logic of Economic Analysis

Box 17 Mathematics (1) - (2)

Box 17 N. P. MEAD, The World War & Division and Reunion.

Box 17 [Organizations]

Box 17 Probability

Box 18 The Problems of Evolutionary Theory

Box 18 Salmon's "Statistical Relevance" Model

Box 18 Reichenbach, Hans.

Box 18 Richardson, Lewis F.

Box 18 Miscellaneous (1) - (3)

Series VII: Teaching Materials

Box 18 Anatomy of Biological Thought. (1) - (2)

Box 18 Conceptions and Critiques of Reason.

Box 18 Contemporary Philosophical Problems.

Box 18 Explanatory Methods of Empirical Science.

Box 18 Foundations of Modern Physical Science.

Box 18 Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Box 18 History of Biology.

Box 18 Hull, C. L.

Box 18 Jurisprudence.

Box 18 Legal Philosophy Seminar. 1959-1969; Spring 1962

Box 19 Legal Philosophy Seminar, Autumn 1962; 963; Fall 1965; Fall 1967; Autumn 1968; Fall 1970; Fall 1971; Fall 1972

Box 19 Legal Philosophy Seminar Related Materials.

Box 19 Logic (1) - (4)

Box 19 Logic (1) - (5), 1937-1938

Box 19 Logic, 1941-1950

Box 20 Logic, 1943

Box 20 Logic, 1951-1952

Box 20 Logic. Examinations.

Box 20 Logic. Related Materials. (1) - (2)

Box 20 Logic in Practice.(1) - (2)

Box 20 Logic of Social Inquiry, 1953; 1954

Box 20 Related Materials.

Box 20 Logic of Social Research, 1955; 1956; 1957; 1959; 1961; 1964

Box 20 Logic of Social research. Related Materials

Box 21 Logical Theory (1) - (2), 1948-1949

Box 21 Logical Theory, 1952-1953.

Box 21 Nineteenth Century Philosophies of Science

Box 21 Philosophy Examinations. (1) - (3)

Box 21 Philosophy of Civilization.

Box 21 Philosophy of Language. (1) - (3)

Box 21 Philosophy of Law, Spring 1963; Spring 1978.

Box 21 Philosophy of Law. Examinations.

Box 22 Philosophy of Law, Reading Lists.

Box 22 Philosophy of Law. Related Materials (1) - (6)

Box 22 Philosophy of Mathematics. (1) - (5)

Box 23 Philosophy of Mathematics. (6) - (10)

Box 23 Philosophy of Mathematics (1) - (5), 1957

Box 24 Philosophy of Science.

Box 24 Philosophy of Science, 1943.; 1950.; 1954.; 1958.

Box 24 Philosophy of Science Seminar, 1961.

Box 24 Philosophy of Science Seminar (1) - (2), 1968; 1971.

Box 24 Philosophy of Science. Related Materials.

Box 24 Probability and Induction. (1) - (6)

Box 25 Reading Lists.

Box 25 Science and Imagination.

Box 25 Scientific Methods and Stages in Their Historical Development

Box 25 Swarthmore College Honors, Examinations.

Box 25 Theory of Knowledge, 1951.; 1954.

Box 25 Theory of Knowledge, 1955; 1956; 1966.

Box 25 Related Materials. (1) - (3)

Box 25 Theory of Meaning.

Box 25 Theory of Value. [University Seminar]

Box 25 The Thought of the Nineteenth Century. (1) - (3)

Box 25 Turning Points in the History of Science.

Box 25 University of Melbourne.

Box 25 Miscellaneous

Series VIII: Subject Files

Box 26 Academy of Humanism.

Box 26 Agriculture, Department of

Box 26 American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Box 26 American Economic Association Conference.

Box 26 American Friends of Hebrew University.

Box 26 American Philosophical Society.

Box 26 American Philosophical Society. Annual Meeting, 1964

Box 26 American University. Hurst Philosophy Lecture.

Box 26 Bibliographic References.

Box 26 The British Academy.

Box 26 Carnap, Rudolf.

Box 26 Carus Lectures.

Box 26 Catholic University of America.

Box 26 Columbia University Lectures, 1973

Box 26 Conference for Federal Science Executives.

Box 26 Cooper Union.

Box 26 Descartes Tricentenary.

Box 26 John DEWEY Foundation. (1) - (3)

Box 27 John DEWEY Foundation. Essay Project; Minutes.

Box 27 Edel Festschrift.

Box 27 Educational Policies Commission.

Box 27 Einstein Centennial.

Box 27 Einstein College Colloquium.

Box 27 Encyclopedia of the Twentieth Century.

Box 27 Fordham University Conference, 1965

Box 27 Philipp FRANK Dinner.

Box 27 Freiss, Horace L.

Box 27 Gšdel, Kurt.

Box 27 Gšdel's Proof.

Box 27 Harvard Commencement, 1966.

Box 27 Haverford College Institute.

Box 27 KQED Computer Series. (1)

Box 28 KQED Computer Series. (2)

Box 28 Journal of Philosophy Notes on Tadeuxz KOTARBINSKI Translation.

Box 28 Paul F. LAZARSFELD Fund.

Box 28 Logic of Historical Explanation. Conference. (1) - (2)

Box 28 Logical Positivism. Conference.

Box 28 Minnesota Center for the Philosophy of Science.

Box 28 Morgenbesser Festschrift.

Box 28 Nagel Speech Announcements.

Box 28 National Academy of Sciences. National Research Council. (1) - (2)

Box 29 National Academy of Sciences National Research Council. (3)

Box 29 National Endowment for the Humanities.

Box 29 National Endowment for the Humanities. Interdisciplinary Institute.

Box 29 National Science Foundation.

Box 29 New School for Social Research.

Box 29 Charles PEIRCE Colloquium.

Box 29 Charles PEIRCE Colloquium. Related Items.

Box 29 Phi Delta Kappa Symposium on Educational Research.

Box 29 Philosophy of Education Society.

Box 29 Philosophy of Science Association (1) - (2)

Box 29 Princeton University.

Box 30 Randall, J. H.

Box 30 Reichenbach, Hans.

Box 30 Rockefeller Foundation Grant

Box 30 Andrei SAKHAROV Conference, 1981

Box 30 Science, Philosophy and Religion Symposium, 1965

Box 30 Scientific Frontiers and their Interaction with Society.

Box 30 Smith College. Science Committee.

Box 30 Solow, Herbert.

Box 30 Sterling Forest Conference Program.

Box 30 The Tamiment Institute (1) - (2)

Box 30 Teleology Revisited.

Box 30 University Center in Virginia

Box 30 University of Chicago. Conceptual Foundations of Science.

Box 30 Venuxem Lectures.

Box 30 Miscellaneous.

Box 30 Clippings.

Series IX: Manuscripts inscribed to E. Nagel

Box 31 A - M

Box 32 S - W

Series X: Printed Materials

Box 33 Printed Books inscribed to Nagel

Box 34 Printed Books inscribed to Nagel

Box 35 Printed Books inscribed to Nagel

Box 36 Printed Materials and Printed Books by Nagel

Series XI: 1989 Addition

Subseries XI.1: Introduction to Logic and Scientific Method

Box 37 Variant Draft-ver. 1, a.m.s. (1

Box 37 Variant Draft-ver. 2, t.m.s.(2

Box 37 Variant Draft-ver. 2, exercises and analytic, index t.m.s. (carbon) (3

Box 37 Variant Draft-ver. 2, carbon, t.m.s. (carbon) (4

Subseries XI.2: Notes

Box 37 Miscellaneous

Subseries XI.3: Teaching Materials

Box 37 Grade Book for Philosophy Courses