Search - List of Books by Charles Frankel
Charles Frankel (December 13, 1917 — May 10, 1979) was an American philosopher.
Total Books: 21
Born in to a Jewish family in New York City, he was the son of Abraham Philip and Estelle Edith (Cohen) Frankel. He married Helen Beatrice Lehman on August 17, 1941. Together they had two children, Susan and Carl.
Frankel was educated at Columbia, (A.B. with honors, 1937, Ph.D., 1946) and Cornell Universities (graduate study, 1937-38). He served in the U.S. Navy from 1942-46, becoming a lieutenant. He was a member of the American Philosophical Association, the American Association of University Professors (chair of committee on professional ethics), the Institut International de Philosophie Politique, the Authors Guild, the Century Association, and the Phi Beta Kappa society.
He wrote on value theory, social philosophy, and philosophy of history. Frankel was the Assistant Secretary of State, in charge of education and culture, from 1965 to 1967. He resigned this post in protest of the Vietnam War.
Charles Frankel was concerned with American government, mainly the democracy. He lived most of his life during the Cold War when the two great powers in the world were the U.S and the Soviet Union. He made a case for democracy when comparing it to totalitarianism. Democracy, if a bad decision in the government is made, can be changed because democracy is a never-ending and constantly reforming process which causes the government to become better and better through debate of different ideas and perspectives. A Totalitarian government, on the other hand, cannot retrace its steps. Once a choice has been made in the government, there is no way to go back and change it- the people do not have a say and the dictator rules all. In order for democracy to work, it needs certain qualities: courts, judicial systems; bills, a written law; and the press to keep the public informed and also to keep the power of the people in the government in check by revealing their every step and move they make to the public. In democracy, we also need something called a "loyal opposition" although there is a losing party, that party is able to disagree with the winning and ruling party but it must remain loyal to the country and whichever party has won the election. The winning party is also not allowed to harm the losing party and the losing party may always run again in a later election.
In 1978-79 Frankel was one of the founders (along with the first president and director) of the National Humanities Center in North Carolina.
On May 10, 1979, both he and his wife were shot and killed by a robber in Bedford Hills, New York.
From 1989 to 1996, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded the Charles Frankel Prize "to recognize persons for outstanding contributions to the public's understanding of the humanities." A list of Frankel Prize winners is available at the NEH website. In 1997 the prize was renamed The National Humanities Medal.