Cheryl Misak, "Ryle’s Debt: Peirce, Ramsey, and MacDonald on Hypotheses and 

University of Sydney Philosophy Seminar Series
Philosophy Seminar Room, The University of Sydney, Friday, Dec 9, 3:30–5PM
Simulcast via Zoom:


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 lay out the insights of pragmatism about 
generalizations and laws, which rightly remain strong today.
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