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What Problem Did Ladd-Franklin (Think She) Solve(d)?

Uckelman, Sara L. (2021) 'What Problem Did Ladd-Franklin (Think She) Solve(d)?', Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 62 (3). pp. 527-552.


Christine Ladd-Franklin is often hailed as a guiding star in the history of women in logic—not only did she study under C. S. Peirce and was one of the first women to receive a PhD from Johns Hopkins, she also, according to many modern commentators, solved a logical problem which had plagued the field of syllogisms since Aristotle. In this paper, we revisit this claim, posing and answering two distinct questions: Which logical problem did Ladd-Franklin solve in her thesis, and which problem did she think she solved? We show that in neither case is the answer “a long-standing problem due to Aristotle.” Instead, what Ladd-Franklin solved was a problem due to Jevons that was first articulated in the nineteenth century.

Item Type:Article
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Date accepted:05 April 2021
Date deposited:20 April 2021
Date of first online publication:06 October 2021
Date first made open access:20 January 2022

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