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Anscombe's Essays

John Finnis

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law; Notre Dame Law School


National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, Vol. 9, pp. 199-207, 2009
Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper No. 09-10

This review article, now published in the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, Spring 2009, focuses on several themes in the two volumes, posthumously selected, edited and published by a daughter and son-in-law, of G.E.M. Anscombe’s philosophical and philosophical/theological essays. Of first importance is her philosophical explication and defence of the spirituality of human life, as manifested in even the simplest act such as pointing to something as an example of colour rather than of shape. With that is connected her defence of freedom of choice in face of scientistic doubts. Then there is the question of the proper interpretation of her famous thesis about the dependence of the moral ought on divine law; and the question whether or how she applied her epoch-making explication of intention in her own treatment of moral questions. The review also discusses the progress of her thought about contraception to an understanding of the relation between sex and the good of marriage itself; and her thoughts about the rational preambles to religious faith.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 16

Keywords: Anscombe, faith, Catholic philosophy

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Date posted: April 22, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Finnis, John, Anscombe's Essays (2009). National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, Vol. 9, pp. 199-207, 2009; Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper No. 09-10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1392217

Contact Information

John M. Finnis (Contact Author)
University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )
University College
High Street
Oxford, England OX1 4BH
United Kingdom
Notre Dame Law School ( email )
P.O. Box 780
Notre Dame, IN 46556-0780
United States

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