Oct
28

Peirce, Ramsey, MacDonald, Ryle on Hypotheses

It is often said that Ryle’s 1949 The Concept of Mind was heavily influenced by Wittgenstein. But I argue that Ryle helped himself to Margaret MacDonald’s 1937 reading of Ramsey’s idea that laws are inference tickets or rules with which we meet the future. He also helped himself to MacDonald’s distinction between knowing how and knowing that, which she found in Peirce. Not only will this argument bring the superb analytic philosopher Margaret MacDonald back into the light, where she belongs, but it will start to show how Oxford philosophy in the 1940s was influenced by American pragmatism.