Elizabeth Lane Beardsley

Elizabeth Lane Beardsley was an American philosopher. (1914 -- March 22, 1990) At the time of this writing she has neither a Wikipedia nor Stanford Encyclopedia page concerning her work. She receives brief mention in articles devoted to the life and work of her husband, with whom she is listed (in Wikipedia at least) as a "sometimes co-author."

Beardsley had a long and active career as a professional philosopher. She received her undergraduate degree in 1935 from Swarthmore College and her MA from Columbia University two years later. She completed her doctoral degree in 1940 at Yale University.

Beardsley taught at the University of Delaware (1949-1952), Lincoln University (1953-1960) and Temple University (1962-1981), where she supervised "numerous masters theses and doctoral dissertations." (source) She served as dissertation advisor for Rosemarie Tong.

Philosophical Work

Beardsley made contributions to the logic and semantics of imperatives and counterfactuals, moral responsibility, and philosophy of law.


Beardsley was awarded Lindbach Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1969.

Beardsley was the first honoree of the Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP) award for "Distinguished Woman of the Year." She received the award in 1984.

Personal Life

Beardsley suffered a stroke in 1969. She retired from Temple University twelve years later, although she continued teaching courses until fall of 1989. She died of a heart attack a few months later on March 22, 1990.

Selected Bibliography

  • The Semantical Aspect of Sentences (1943) Journal of Philosophy 40 (15):393-403.
  • Imperative Sentences in Relation to Indicatives. (1944) Journal of Symbolic Logic 9 (2):48-49.
  • "Non-Accidental" and Counterfactual Sentences. (1949) Journal of Philosophy 46 (18):573-591.
  • Moral Worth and Moral Credit. (1957) Philosophical Review 66 (3):304-328.
  • Moral Experience and Ethical Analysis. (1959) Philosophical Review 68 (4):519-530.
  • Determinism and Moral Perspectives. (1960) Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 21 (1):1-20.
  • A Plea For Deserts. (1969) American Philosophical Quarterly 6 (January):33-42.
  • Moral Disapproval and Moral Indignation. (1970) Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 31 (2):161-176.
  • Blaming. (1979) Philosophia 8 (4):573-583.
Adam EdwardsComment