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The Intended and Unintended Consequences of Intention

Wiseman, Rachael

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Rachael Wiseman


This paper examines the context in which Anscombe wrote Intention—focusing on the years 1956–1958. At this time Anscombe was engaged in a number of battles against her university, her colleagues, and, ultimately, “the spirit of the age,” which included her public opposition to Oxford University’s decision to award Harry Truman an honorary degree. Intention, I show, must be understood as a product of the explicitly ethical and political debates in which Anscombe was involved. Understanding the intention with which she wrote Intention suggests that we need radically to rethink its nature and character, and that the consequences of the book for work in ethics—consequences Anscombe foresaw and intended—are yet to be understood.


Wiseman, R. (2016). The Intended and Unintended Consequences of Intention. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, 90(2), 207-227.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Apr 30, 2016
Publication Date Apr 1, 2016
Deposit Date Sep 22, 2016
Publicly Available Date Sep 22, 2016
Journal American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly
Print ISSN 1051-3558
Electronic ISSN 2153-8441
Publisher American Catholic Philosophical Association
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 90
Issue 2
Pages 207-227


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