Origin of Specious

Female logicians and the purpose of philosophy


Here is one of my favourite stories about Elizabeth Anscombe:

[O]nce, entering a smart restaurant in Boston, she was told that ladies were not admitted in trousers. She proceeded to take them off.

A story with the same moral was told by Christine Ladd-Franklin. Here it is recounted by Susan Stebbing in Thinking to Some Purpose (p.23):

Mrs. Ladd Franklin tells the story of a little girl, aged four, whose nurse objected to her table manners. ‘Emily,’ said the nurse, ‘nobody eats soup with a fork.’ ‘But,’ replied Emily, ‘I do, and I am somebody.’

Female logicians were troublesome in a society that aimed to control women.

More generally, people who think are difficult to control.

That’s the point of philosophy.