Dr. Marta Sznajder

May1st - 31st, 2022


Research for a study about:

The life and work of Janina Hosiasson-Lindenbaum

Janina Hosiasson-Lindenbaum was a philosopher of induction active in the 1920s and 1930s. She was educated in Warsaw and lived there until 1939, but had strong ties with the Vienna Circle and the Unity of Science movement. Hosiasson was an important player in the development of the modern Bayesian epistemology at the time. But while she is quite well-known for her axiomatic approach to confirmation theory ("On Confirmation", 1940) and her - historically first - Bayesian response to Hempel's paradox of confirmation - the majority of her work is almost completely forgotten. While in Vienna, I will be working towards preparing a translation of her main papers and a critical essay to accompany the collection, as well as a full-length biography.


Janina Hosiasson on Analogical Reasoning: New Sources

Date:   24 June 2021

Time: 3–5pm (CET)

Online Plattform: Online APSE-CEU-IVC Talks

While Janina Hosiasson herself is a relatively known figure in the philosophy of probability of the 1930s, a large part of her work remains inaccessible to the wider academic audience. This is particularly true of her analysis of inductive reasoning by analogy, which until recently was available only through a single published article. In the talk, I will discuss this work and present its extension, which Hosiasson developed in the 1940s, the publication of which was prevented by her untimely death. I will then show how this late work foreshadows Carnap's own approach to "analogy by similarity'" developed in the 1960s. Hosiasson turns out to be a predecessor of the line of research that models analogical influence as inductive relevance.


I have spent my time at the IVC working on various parts of my larger project on the biography of Janina Hosiasson-Lindenbaum and the philosophical appraisal of her work. I have conducted a study of the situation of female philosophers in analytic philosophy, focusing especially on the biographical reasons for the exclusion of some of them from the mainstream narrative. To that effect, I managed to do some remote archive research about Janina Hosiasson's and Rose Rand's efforts to be recognized and funded as refugee philosophers in the 1940s. I have also started to place their stories in the larger context of the American and British refugee scholars effort.

The second paper I have worked on in Vienna is an essay on the philosophical context of Hosiasson's work on probability, and a book proposal associated with that project. The book will include translations of her works, which I have spent some of my time in Vienna transcribing.

During my visit I had a number of meetings with the members of the IVC and started working on a Marie Curie grant proposal sponsored by Georg Schiemer, which builds on my current work on Hosiasson. I was also a guest at Bet-Debora podcast recorded by Naomi Osorio-Kupferblum from the Institute of Philosophy.