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Margaret MacDonald's 1937 pragmatism

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Margaret MacDonald may be remembered as a founder of the journal Analysis and a note-taker (along with Alice Ambrose) in Wittgenstein’s classes in the mid-1930s. But she is also one of Britain’s two most important pragmatists, the other being Frank Ramsey. This paper traces MacDonald’s sophisticated pragmatism about the relation between our thoughts and the world, and about induction, hypotheses, and laws of nature. It shows that she made the important pragmatist distinction between knowledge that and knowledge how and argues that she should be returned to centre stage in the history of philosophy.

This talk is part of the CamPoS (Cambridge Philosophy of Science) seminar series.

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