Posted by: src1 | January 13, 2011

L. Susan Stebbing

I have just signed a contract with Palgrave Macmillan to write a book based on my current research project on the British analytic philosopher Susan Stebbing. Here is a very brief account of why I am interested in Stebbing.


  1. If you want biographical information. I have just finished writing a biography of Cyril Joad who was great friend of Stebbing, and I would happy to answer any questions arising from my research.

    • Now published as:

      Radio Philosopher: The Radical Life of Cyril Joad
      ISBN 9781469957128
      Available from

      • Thanks for the update, Tony. I have ordered your book and I’m looking forward to reading it.

      • Dear Tony Judge

        I am now reading your book on Cyril Joad, and have some questions to ask if I may.

        I cannot find your email address, so I’m hoping you might read this request via Siobhan’s site here.

  2. Yes, I will also be ordering Tony Judge’s book – and will look forward to reading it :

    It goes without saying, Siobhan, if you also want any information this end – just ask : (preferred communication – I am very deaf)

    • Thanks for your comment, Richard. It seems from Tony’s book that Stebbing and Joad were near neighbours in London for a number of years, and that Joad sought her opinion on his work fairly often. I agree that the intellectual and personal relationship between the two is potentially interesting.

      • May I ask, Siobhan, if there are any references to Maud Matthews or Ellen Wilkinson in Tony’s book?

        Having problems getting this book at the moment.


  3. Both get brief mentions – Matthews as a friend Joad made fairly late in his life who subsequently ‘gave up her work as a schoolteacher to look after him until the end’ (p. 240) and Wilkinson as an MP who appeared on the Brains Trust and, during a discussion of doodling on the walls of telephone kiosks, ‘speaking in what seems a strangely affected accent to modern ears said that doodling took place in the House of Commons even by members of the government like Churchill and Attlee’ (p. 181).

    • Thanks for that Siobahn.

      I can’t help but wonder how instrumental Susan Stebbing was in securing Cyril Joad’s job at Birkbeck in 1930 (Head of Philosophy & Psychology) – they were close neighbours in Hampstead London NW3 – Squires Mount/Joad – Belsize Park/Stebbing.

      She clearly ‘made things happen’ (eg with Carnap & Popper)

      A remarkable woman.

      I look forward to your book.

  4. I’ve been reading up on Joad’s life and posting some notes about it. It’s interesting to learn of Joad’s friendship with Stebbing. There’s a post about Stebbing at the New Apps blog that might be of interest to you. It’s at

    • Thanks for your comment, and also for the link to the post on the New Apps blog. I found the post and the discussion that followed it very interesting.

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