Rose Rand

*June 14, 1903 (Lemberg, Galizien (Lviv, Ukraine))
†July 28, 1980 (Princeton, NJ; USA)

Rose (Rozalia) Rand was born in Lemberg (today, Lviv, Ukraine). In 1924 she began to study philosophy at Vienna University, her teachers included Heinrich Gomperz, Moritz Schlick, and Rudolf Carnap. She graduated with her first degree in 1928. During her post-graduation years, she participated regularly in the Vienna Circle discussions (especially from 1930-1935), and kept records of these discussions. Between 1930 and 1937 she also worked at the Psychiatric-neurological Clinic of the Vienna University and earned money by tutoring students and giving adult educations classes at the Philosophical Seminar Ottakring of the Volkshochschule Wien in the Volksheim. In addition, she translated Polish articles on logic for Springer Publishers.

Her doctoral thesis about Kotarbiński’s Philosophy (“T. Kotarbińskis Philosophie auf Grund seines Hauptwerkes: ›Elemente der Erkenntnistheorie, der Logik und der Methodologie der Wissenschaften‹”) was approved by Robert Reininger and Richard Meister on 6th July 1937. The printed version of the work was published in Erkenntnis 7 (1938). Ernest Nagel reviewed this work in 1938 in the Journal of Symbolic Logic. Rand’s final doctoral exam took place on 21st July 1938. In October 1938 she succeeded in completing her study on the logic of norms which was published in 1939 under the title “Die Logik der Forderungssätze,” in Volume I of Internationale Zeitschrift für Theorie des Rechts / Revue internationale de la théorie du droit. This work is considered an early draft for a logic of norms, or deontic logic.

During these years, Rand was always burdened by worries about her own financial security and personal situation as a Jew in Vienna. In 1939 she finally emigrated to London with the help and recommendation of Susan Stebbing. After a period of time in England in which she worked as a nurse she was admitted as “distinguished foreigner” at the faculty of Moral Science at Cambridge University, where she continued her studies with Wittgenstein. During the Cambridge years, Rand herself gave reports of monotonous factory-work with which she could hardly earn her keep. In 1943 she lost her privileges and had to work at a metal factory, and teach night in the Luton Technical College and Tottenham Technical College. Karl Popper helped her to get a small research grant, so she could attend Oxford University as a “recognized student.” In September 1943, she finally suffered a nervous breakdown which necessitated a lengthy stay at a psychiatric clinic. Between 1943-50 she also worked in practical engineering.

Rand moved to the United States in 1954. Between 1955 and 1959 she taught elementary math, ancient philosophy and logic, and was a research associate, at the University of Chicago, Indiana University Northwest in Gary and Notre Dame University. In 1959 she returned to Cambridge, Massachusetts and after that to Princeton, New Jersey. In the following years she earned her living from small grants and fellowships which were given to her mostly for her work on translations and operated on private loans and other financial assistance, free-lance translation work, or sporadic temporary employment. In this phase, her translation of Gottlob Frege’s “Über das Trägheitsgesetz” (“About the Law of Inertia”) was published in the journal Synthese. In the same journal, the English translation of her “Logik der Forderungssätze” was translated as “The Logic of Demand-Sentences” in 1962. Numerous other important translations and reviews of Polish logicians by Rose Rand were published. Rose Rand died on July 28, 1980 in Princeton.

Rand’s records at the University of Pittsburgh contain, among other things, her research, the records of the discussions in the Vienna Circle protocols (among them Rose Rand’s “Protokoll über die Wechselrede des im Anschluß an den am 15.1.1931 von Gödel gehaltenen Vortrag Über Widerspruchsfreiheit und Entscheidbarkeit in Axiomensystemen”) and over 1,600 letters to Otto Neurath, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Alfred Tarski and others.


Rand, R. (1936). “Die Logik der verschiedenen Arten von Sätzen.” Przeglad filozoficzny 39, p. 438.

Rand, R. (1938). “Kotarbińskis Philosophie auf Grund seines Hauptwerkes: ›Elemente der Erkenntnistheorie, der Logik und der Methodologie der Wissenschaften‹.” Erkenntnis 7, 92–120.

Rand, R. (1939). “Die Logik der Forderungssätze.” Internationale Zeitschrift für Theorie des Rechts (Revue internationale de la théorie du droit)Neue Folge 1,  308–322.

Rand, R. (1961). “About the Law of Inertia” (translation of Gottlob Frege, “Über das Trägheitsgesetz” 1891). Synthese 13, 350–363.

Rand, R. (1962). “The Logic of Demand-Sentences” (translation of Rand 1939). Synthese 14, 237–254.

Rand, R. (2002). Wechselrede zum Referat Herrn Gödels. Über Widerspruchsfreiheit und Entscheidbarkeit in Axiomensystemen. Protokoll am 15.1.1931, in: E. Köhler, P. Weibel, M. Stöltzner et al. (eds.). Kurt Gödel. Wahrheit & Beweisbarkeit, Bd. 1: Dokumente und historische Analysen, Vienna: öbv & htp, 133–134.

[numerous further translations and reviews]

Archival Records

Archiv der Universität Wien. Rigorosenakt Rose Rand: PH RA 13.680.

University of Pittsburgh. ULS Digital Collections: Rose Rand Papers.

Back to top  

You cannot copy content of this page