Abstract: Susan Stebbing and the Truthmaker Approach to Metaphysics

Susan Stebbing’s reflections on method in metaphysics are deserving of sustained attention by historians of analytic philosophy, not least because her work was for some time unduly sidelined. In this paper I build on recent reassessments of Stebbing’s work to argue that she can fruitfully be seen as attempting in the mid-1930s to articulate a precursor to the Truthmaker Approach in metaphysics — doing so departs from Janssen-Lauret’s account of Stebbing as a stepping-stone to later Quinean holism while still recognising that she was not simply a proponent of a Moorean–Russellian position. This different perspective reveals (i) the emergence of a difference in metametaphysical approaches at an earlier stage than is typically thought and (ii) a difference between ways of critiquing the logical positivist project which would otherwise be difficult to see.