Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe

English Philosopher


Perhaps the most distinguished woman English philosopher ever, G.E.M. Anscombe is a member of the analytical school of philosophy, contributing widely to the fields of logic, semiotics, semantics, and theory of language. She studied at Oxford, graduating in 1941, and went on to teach at numerous places including Oxford.

One of her first works is entitled Intention(1957), in which she undertakes an analysis of the meaning of intentional expressions and actions. She utilized these thoughts to clarify ethical concepts and behavior.

An Introduction to Wittgenstein's Tractatus is another of her important works, centering on the philosophers Frege and Russell, and the thoughts that Wittgenstein inherited from the two which made up his Tractatus. Anscombe states that the Tractatus could be understood if there were a sensible verification theory, in order to discuss statements like "what can be said at all can be said clearly, and what cannot be spoken of we must be silent about." She does not think that there is such a theory, though. Her book is a classic introduction to Wittgenstein's much maligned and misunderstood work.

In Three Philosophers Anscombe contributes an essay on Aristotle, describing his importance to contemporary analytic philosophy, especially in logic and theory of meaning. She tackles Aristotle's qualities, alluding to his Metaphysics and Categories.

Some of her other works include:

Collected Papers(1981)
1. Parmenides to Wittgenstein
2. Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Mind
3. Religion and Politics
Causality and Determinism(1971)
Numerous Collected essays in Books such as:
"Thought and Action in Aristotle: What is 'Practical Truth'" from New Essays on Plato and Aristotle(1965)

Numerous contributions to journals like:
"Aristotle and the Sea Battle": Mind(1956)
"Modern Moral Philosophy": Philosophy(1958)
"Critical Notice Intention": Australian Journal of Philosophy(1960)
"Retraction": Analysis(1965)

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