G. E. M. Anscombe (—) of psychology. Her work on action, found mostly in her short book Intention, was a step in the direction of such a philosophy. Philosophical perplexity about intention begins with its appearance in three guises: intention for the future, as when I intend to complete this. Anscombe’s Intention () is one of the classics of 20th century .. Philosophy and Ethics by G.E.M. Anscombe (St. Andrews Studies in.

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It is in virtue of its relation to a primary reason that the action counts as intentional, and this reason gives the intention with which the action is done. Despite this, it would be a gross exaggeration to say that Anscombe writes poorly; occasionally her wit is entertaining, and most of the time the arguments flow rather naturally.

Another collection, Human Life, Action and Ethics appeared posthumously in Second, and more obviously, there is room to doubt whether intending to do A is sufficient for me to count as doing it intentionally, even when we admit that I can be doing what I will never successfully do.

This is unintentional and not suicide but a tragic accident. According to her interpretation of the rules and of the statements of the intenyion politicians, traditional rules of war would be broken by the British Government if it went to war with Germany. At a certain point, I am not sure that I can clench my fist. Her main contention in this pamphlet is that Truman dropped the bomb g.e.m.xnscombe those cities, not despite the civilian population, but at least in part because of that population; for the effect it would produce.

What a strategic bomber does in dropping a bomb may be permissible because he does not intend to kill innocent civilians even though he foresees that they will die as a result of the bombing.


In the second part of the book she begins to offer the interesting observations that make the book significant, taking us beyond the first level analysis of how we use the relevant intenion like “intention for certain kinds g.e.m.qnscombe human behavior but not others.

Since g.e.m.anwcombe radioactive decay was not sufficient for this effect, the case tells against viewing causes as sufficient conditions. From Plato to Wittgenstein: Even though both types of action have the further g.e.m.anscojbe of limiting family size, the basic intentions are different. Dyer – – Hay House. She thought one needed an action theory before one could have a real moral theory. One way to understand how this works is by employing a counterfactual test—if the doctor could alleviate the pain of the patient without administering such strong medication she would.

Intention is justified by the former, not the latter: Anscombe applied her views on g.e.manscombe to clarify her own positions on controversial claims, such as the condemnation of contraception. This relates to the easily misunderstood notion of what Anscombe calls brute facts. This challenge to the Humean account would turn out to be very influential—it helped push philosophers towards the development of probabilistic accounts of causation to account for the above type of case. Forming an intention is not predicting the future on the basis of what one takes to be, or what ought to be, adequate grounds.

Donal rated it liked it Nov 08, But a great read. Although she worked in almost every area of philosophy, she is best known to philosophers today for her work on ethics and the philosophy of action.

Those who restrict the content of intention to what is in progress and emphasize how little is involved in being embarked on intentional action may suggest that the beliefs in question verify themselves. So, a doctor may administer a drug to alleviate pain though knowing that another effect of the drug will be the death of the patient.


Enjoyable to read though – echoes of Witty in the presentation: Her g.e.m.anscomne objection infention consequentialism is a moral one. She claimed to have conceived the idea of studying with Wittgenstein as soon as she opened the book in Blackwell’s and read section 5. ge.m.anscombe

G. E. M. Anscombe

For example, one constraint on the Doctrine holds that one cannot intend the means to the desired end. Open Preview See a Problem? Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go. Davidson, however, disagreed with Anscombe on the issue of reasons as causes.

Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

This is because we recognize, however dimly, that sex is, to put it bluntly, a big deal. Yet this leads to a philosophical puzzle: Some of Anscombe’s most frequently cited works are translations, editions, and expositions of the work of her teacher Ludwig Wittgenstein, including an influential exegesis [13] of Wittgenstein’s book, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.

As a result, the study of intention becomes a survey inrention synthesis of folk theories of intention via linguistic use and a pre-scientific empirical study of intentional action with behaviourist undertones via anecdotes and thought experiments.

Anscombe on Expression of Intention: Three volumes of collected papers were published in g.e.mm.anscombe The more basic objection is about the role of intention in intentional action. Is practical knowledge exempt from ordinary requirements of evidence because there is a mistake of performance, not of judgement, when its object is false?