MS Anscombe: Intention (53301; praktisch: 54302, 54402, 53401)



Zeit und Ort:

  • Mi 8:15-9:45, Raum PSG A 402

Voraussetzungen / Organisatorisches

Note: this course will be taught in English.


Elizabeth Anscombe’s |Intention| is widely recognised as a classic in the analytic tradition of the philosophy of action, and has even been called "the most important treatment of action since Aristotle” (by Donal Davidson). In this course, we will read Anscombe’s text in detail, as well as studying recent work inspired by her. In doing so, we will contrast Anscombe’s theory with other leading theories in the philosophy of action, in order to understand the unique place that her philosophy occupies. Some of the questions that will concern us are:

- What is it to act for a reason?

- What is the relation between what one intends, what one does, and the side effects of what one does?

- What is practical reasoning?

- Is action necessarily aimed at the good?

These questions are not only important in their own right, but also have important implications for (meta)-ethics and the philosophy of mind more generally. Central to Anscombe’s answers to many of these questions is the concept of |practical knowledge|: according to Anscombe, we can know what we are doing "without observation”. An important question that will occupy us during the entirety of this course is therefore: how is such practical knowledge possible? How does it relate to what philosophers call |know-how| (i.e., knowledge of how to perform a certain action), and to practical knowledge in the ethical sense - knowledge of what is good to do?

Empfohlene Literatur

*Literature (required)* - Anscombe, Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret. |Intention|. Harvard University Press, 2000. - More articles that will be distributed at the start of the course. *Literature (recommended)* - Wiseman, Rachael. Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Anscombe’s Intention. Routledge, 2016. - Ford, Anton, Jennifer Hornsby, and Frederick Stoutland (eds.). |Essays on Anscombe's intention|. Harvard University Press, 2011.