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G. E. M. Anscombe

Anscombe as a young woman
Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe

(1919-03-18)18 March 1919
Limerick, Ireland
Died 5 January 2001(2001-01-05) (aged 81)
Cambridge, England
Nationality British
Other names Elizabeth Anscombe
Notable work
  • Intention (1957)
  • "Modern Moral Philosophy" (1958)
Peter Geach (m. 1941)
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Analytical Thomism
Main interests
Notable ideas
  • Brute facts
  • "under a description"
  • direction of fit
  • modern revival of virtue ethics
  • acting under a description

Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe FBA ( 18 March 1919 – 5 January 2001), usually cited as G. E. M. Anscombe or Elizabeth Anscombe, was a British analytic philosopher. She wrote on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of action, philosophical logic, philosophy of language, and ethics. She was a prominent figure of analytical Thomism, a Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge.

Anscombe was a student of Ludwig Wittgenstein and became an authority on his work and edited and translated many books drawn from his writings, above all his Philosophical Investigations. Anscombe's 1958 article "Modern Moral Philosophy" introduced the term consequentialism into the language of analytic philosophy, and had a seminal influence on contemporary virtue ethics. Her monograph Intention is generally recognised as her greatest and most influential work, and the continuing philosophical interest in the concepts of intention, action, and practical reasoning can be said to have taken its main impetus from this work.

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