Guide to the Harold Chapman Brown Papers SCM0406

Finding aid prepared by Daniel Hartwig
Dept. of Special Collections & University Archives
Stanford University Libraries.
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford, California, 94305
Repository email:
June 2011


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Title: Harold Chapman Brown papers
Identifier/Call Number: SCM0406
Contributing Institution: Dept. of Special Collections & University Archives
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 8.0 item(s)
Date (inclusive): 1917-1935
creator: Brown, Harold Chapman, 1879-1943.
creator: Brown, Harold Chapman,, 1879-1943.

Preferred Citation

[identification of item], Harold Chapman Brown Papers (SCM0406). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

Arrangement note

The materials are arranged chronologically.

Access to Collection

Open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94304-6064. Consent is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns. See:

Biographical/Historical note

Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1879, he graduated from Williams College in 1901, and received the Ph.D. degree from Harvard in 1905. At Harvard, he prepared his thesis under the direction of Josiah Royce, who inspired his lifelong interest in the philosophy of science. His teaching career began at Columbia University, and it was from there that he came in 1914 to join the department of philosophy at Stanford, of which he was executive head when illness forced his early retirement last spnng.
He was much in demand as a lecturer, and served as visiting professor at many other universities during his vacation quarters and sabbaticals. His popularity is evidenced by the fact that he was invariably asked to return, and he taught several times at universities as widely separated as Columbia, the University of Texas and the University of California. His influence with students was not confined to the classroom. His students were his friends, and frequently they returned to Stanford, years after graduation, to seek his counsel in personal problems.
His contributions to philosophical journals express the catholicity of his interests; these ranged from mathematical philosophy and the philosophy of language to his especial interest during the last years of his life in the application of philosophical ideas to the study of society. His utmost popular course was probably Aesthetics, which was made effective in a great part by his love for music and his unusual understanding of it. Respected in his field, he was president of the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association during the academic year, 1932-33.
Throughout his career, Harold Brown fought against the tendency to confine philosophy to the ivory tower. His many activities outside his profession witness to the example that he set in this struggle. During the First World War he served as field director for the American Red Cross at Camp Fremont. He was for many years active in support of the labor and cooperative movements and the Civil Liberties Union. He was one of the founders of the Palo Alto Teachers Union and the Palo Alto Cooperative Society. At the time of his death, he was president of the American-Russian Institute in San Francisco.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

McMillan, Evelyn.
Stanford University. Dept. of Philosophy.
Stanford University. -- General subdivision--Faculty.;
Stanford University--Faculty.

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Matter and Energy 1917

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The Problem of Philosophy 1920

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A Materialist's View of the Concept of Levels 1926

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The Milesian background of our Scientific Ontology 1927

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Art, Action and Affective States 1929

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Causality and the Cosmos 1932

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Mind--An Event in Physical Nature 1933

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Bibliography of the Works of H.C. Brown 1906-1935