Skip to main content

30% Off New Releases: Explore the List

Harvard University Press - home
Essays on Anscombe’s Intention

Essays on Anscombe’s Intention

Edited by Anton Ford, Jennifer Hornsby, and Frederick Stoutland

ISBN 9780674284265

Publication date: 03/24/2014

Request exam copy

G. E. M. Anscombe's Intention, firmly established the philosophy of action as a distinctive field of inquiry. Donald Davidson called this 94-page book "the most important treatment of action since Aristotle." But until quite recently, few scholars recognized the magnitude of Anscombe's philosophical achievement. This collection of ten essays elucidates some of the more challenging aspects of Anscombe's work and affirms her reputation as one of our most original philosophers.

Born in 1919, Anscombe studied at St. Hugh's College, Oxford, where she later held a research fellowship. In 1941 she married philosopher Peter Geach, with whom she had seven children. A close friend of Wittgenstein, in 1946 she joined Oxford's Somerville College and spent the next twenty-four years there before being appointed to the Chair of Philosophy at Cambridge that Wittgenstein had held. She died in 2001 after her long career as a highly regarded analytic philosopher.

This volume brings together fresh interpretations of Intention written by some of today's leading philosophers of action. It will enlighten Anscombe's readers who struggle with concepts they find puzzling or obscure, while providing a bracing corrective to doubts about Intention's significance and the gravity of what is at stake.

Praise

  • This publication marks a new stage in the reception of Anscombe’s thought. In the decades following the publication of Intention, readers saw Anscombe’s philosophy of action largely through a Davidsonian lens. Davidson’s selective reconstruction was more accessible and less Wittgensteinian than the original. It also encouraged the hope of absorbing Anscombe’s insights within a comfortable causalism about the mental. This hope could be sustained as long as relatively few philosophers made a serious study of Anscombe’s book. As the present volume shows, those days are over. We now have a critical mass of authors with the scholarly skill and the philosophical acumen to put us in direct contact with Intention. This is a book about what we have missed.

    —Philip Clark, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Authors

  • Anton Ford is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Chicago.
  • Jennifer Hornsby is Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London.
  • Frederick Stoutland was Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, at St. Olaf College.

Book Details

  • 324 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

Recommendations