Anscombe's Intention

A Guide

Ranked #90 in Utilitarianism

Written against the background of her controversial opposition to the University of Oxford's awarding of an honorary degree to Harry S. Truman, Elizabeth Anscombe's Intention laid the groundwork she thought necessary for a proper ethical evaluation of actions like the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The devoutly Catholic Anscombe thought that these actions made Truman a murderer, and thus unworthy of the university's honor-but that this verdict depended on an understanding of intentional action that had been widely rejected in contemporary moral philosophy.... more

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