20th Century Philosophy                Paul L. Franco | pfranco@uw.edu 

Women in Early(ish) 20th Century Analytic Philosophy

I just finished teaching a more or less standard history of analytic philosophy course. I touched on most of the top hits (standardly conceived), but also made a few choices that seem slightly non-standard: papers by Susan Stebbing & Alice Ambrose in the Moore/Russell part of the course, a week on C.I. Lewis leading into the Quine/Carnap debate, and we ended the class by talking about G.E.M. Anscombe’s, Philippa Foot’s, & Iris Murdoch’s work in ethics (h/t: http://www.womeninparenthesis.co.uk/; I also did Rawls’s “Outline of a Decision Procedure for Ethics” as a contrast to Anscombe’s, Foot’s, & Murdoch’s approaches).

I started thinking about how one might change a history of 20th century analytic philosophy course even further. So, here’s a preliminary list of resources for a history of analytic philosophy course aiming to feature more prominently—perhaps exclusively—women philosophers. I’ve selected a few papers from each philosopher listed here that are—or seemed to me to be—relevant to some of the major themes in standard history of analytic philosophy courses.

The selected papers aren’t taken to exhaustively represent the body of the listed philosophers’ work. And I’ve drawn from Anglophone sources only. The listed philosophers also aren’t taken to exhaustively represent all women philosophers of the time period, which I’m arbitrarily cutting off around the mid-1960s. I haven’t read all or most of these papers, though I skimmed the first few pages of most. Many of the selections were taken from searching the author’s name at philpapers.org. Another method I often employ is by just going through the old issues of Mind, Analysis, etc on JSTOR and seeing what names pop up.

Feel free to leave comments or suggestions, or email them to me, Paul L. Franco, at pfranco@uw.edu.

3/21: Additions to the list are at the end of the document.

Epistemology, language, & analysis (& logic & mathematics)

E.E.C. Jones |  https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/emily-elizabeth-constance-jones/ 

  • “Mr. Russell's Objections to Frege's Analysis of Propositions”
  • “A new `law of thought' and its implications”

L. Susan Stebbing |  https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/stebbing/ 

  • “Logical Positivism and Analysis”
  • “Critical Notice of Language, Truth, and Logic
  • “The Method of Analysis in Metaphysics”
  • “Constructions”
  • “Some Puzzles About Analysis”
  • “Language and Misleading Questions”
  • Thinking to Some Purpose
  • Philosophy and the Physicists

Alice Ambrose | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Ambrose 

  • “A Critical Discussion of Mind and the World-Order
  • “A Controversy in the Logic of Mathematics”
  • “Moore’s ‘Proof of an External World’”
  • “Linguistic Approaches to Philosophical Problems”

Margaret MacDonald |  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_MacDonald_(philosopher) 

  • “Verification and Understanding”
  • “The Philosopher’s Use of Analogy”
  • “Necessary Propositions”
  • “Professor Ryle on the Concept of Mind”
  •   “Art and Imagination”
  • “The Language of Fiction” (symposium w/ Michael Scriven, another interesting figure!)
  • “Linguistic Philosophy and Perception”

Susanne Langer’s early stuff; her later work should be of interest for a unit on value theory | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susanne_Langer 

  • “Form and Content: A Study of Paradox” (dealing with Russell)
  • “A Logical Study of Verbs” (dealing with Russell)
  • “Confusion of Symbols & Confusions of Logical Types” (dealing with Russell)
  • Here’s a review of her 1930 book The Practice of Philosophy by C.A. Baylis
  •  “Facts: The Logical Perspective of the World”
  • “On a Fallacy in ‘Scientific Fatalism
  • A review of Reichenbach’s The Philosophy of Space & Time:
  • Philosophy in a New Key

A special issue of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy on women philosophers:

Links to Ruth Barcan Marcus’s work:

An interesting paper by Celia Fremlin—who went on to write mystery novels—“Must We Always Think in Propositions?” |  https://www.jstor.org/stable/3326306 

Value theory

Helen Knight | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Knight 

  • “Aesthetic Experience in Pictorial Art”
  • “Sense-Form in Pictorial Art”
  • “The Limits of Psychology in Aesthetics”
  • “The Use of ‘Good’ in Aesthetic Judgments”

G.E.M. Anscombe | Philippa Foot | Iris Murdoch | Mary Midgley

I taught the following from the In Parenthesis group in a unit on ethics. Since these figures are more well-known than others, I’ve not included obvious things like Anscombe’s Intention.

  • Anscombe’s “Modern Moral Philosophy”
  • Anscombe’s “On Brute Facts”
  • Foot’s “Moral Arguments” & “When is a Principle a Moral Principle?”
  • Murdoch’s “The Idea of Perfection” from The Sovereignty of Good

History & philosophy of science

Mary Hesse | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Hesse 

  • “Action at a Distance in Classical Physics”
  • “On Defining Analogy”
  • “Analogy and Confirmation Theory”
  • “Aristotle’s Logic of Analogy”
  • “A New Look at Scientific Explanation”
  • Review of Kuhn’s Structure
  • “Induction and Theory Structure”

Marjorie Grene | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marjorie_Grene 

  • “Hume: Skeptic and Tory?”
  • “On Some Distinctions Between Men and Brutes”
  • “Authenticity: An Existentialist Virtue”
  • “Two Evolutionary Theories”
  • “Changing Concepts of Darwinian Evolution”
  • “Statistics and Selection”
  • The Knower and the Known

A forum in HOPOS: “Pluralism? Reflections on Women in the History of Philosophy of Science”

American Philosophers | I know this is a weird category

Grace de Laguna | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_de_Laguna 

  • Her papers at PhilPapers:
  • See this blogpost by Joel Katzav:
  • See this paper by Peter Olen on Sellars & de Laguna:

Mary Parker Follett & Jane Addams are at the border of the 19th & 20th centuries


Mary Parker Follett works (h/t Matt Brown):

Dorothy Wrinch (h/t Mat Simpson) [Added: 3/21] |


Victoria Welby (h/t https://twitter.com/AlbertLEtranger/status/1108508998502879232) [Added 3/21]

Christine Ladd-Franklin (h/t https://twitter.com/Prof_Livengood/status/1108501319915130881) [Added 3/21]