Talk:G. E. M. Anscombe

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She's in the polymath category, but I don't see anything here in the article that really confirms that status. I don't know much about her myself... can anyone explain this a bit more? (The honor seems to have been bequeathed here. Kindly, David Bergan 06:51, 29 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Polymath seems fair: she contributed significantly to nearly every branch of philosophy, to theology, to logic (at, I believe, a fairly advanced level), she translated extensively from German, and, I believe, Greek and Latin--maybe I'm wrong there, and her translations, particularly of Wittgenstein, are usually considered definitive. She was a noted public intellectual and debater as well.
On the other hand, if we're looking only at the range of her work rather than its degree of importance, she's no more a polymath than any number of professional scholars. How many maths does it take to be poly?
I think what stands out is her prominence both in ethics and theology and in logic and metaphysics--the two "ends" of philosophy, on a common picture. This is, increasingly, a rarity even among professional philosophers.

The article made out that she took two degrees. I have altered it. The Oxford Greats system involved exams in Moderations after five terms, in language and literature, and Finals after another seven terms, in philosophy ancient and modern, and ancient history, all ending in one degree. Seadowns (talk) 00:57, 18 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Signs with bad sounds[edit]

It is not true that she decided to retain, because of cacophony, her surname after marrying Peter Geach. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:23, 3 January 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]


I don't see that it says this. It is true that she received his marriage proposal on the condition that she would not have to take his name.

Was that the only condition? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 02:34, 4 January 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]

Who knows, but the facts about her name are well known and were frequently addressed to her. She must have been asked about it in public, after colloquia for example, literally hundreds of times. She and her husband are/were among the very best known philosophers, decades before people were familiar with women not following the tiresome (modern) tradition of taking their husbands'last names. It is surprising from a present day standpoint that there should be so much interest in such a thing, and thus so much common knowledge about it, but on reflection it is obvious that there would have been.


Why are all the external links about Harry Truman?-- 18:10, 10 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have moved the content here - since it read more like talk page material.Walkerma 05:04, 7 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Assorted links concerning Truman's degree and Anscombe's protest of it

The academic procession before Truman's degree in Civil Laws was presented is depicted here; the page also includes a clip of Truman being interviewed in London by ITN reporter Robin Day in which Truman refers the hearer to his autography for a defense against the type of charge Anscombe made; Anscombe is alluded to only as "a lady."

Historical details are also discussed by Philippa Foot in the BBC program linked above.

It is claimed here that a previous U.S. president, Millard Fillmore, had "refused an honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law from Oxford. He said, "No man should accept a degree that he can not read.""

The academic hood former President Truman wore at the Oxford degree granting ceremony Anscombe protested is depicted here.

C.S. Lewis[edit]

I'd like to see a source for the suggestion that C.S. Lewis gave up theological argument because he lost a debate with her. That sounds a bit silly, particularly in light of the fact that Mere Christianity was published in 1952. (talk) 05:41, 16 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Seeing as the guy was born in 1919, he was thus born in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Thus my reason for adding United Kingdom via that link, to his birthplace. GoodDay (talk) 13:44, 5 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That's the second time you have referred to Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe as male have you even read the article or are you just making blind reverts/edits? Mo ainm~Talk 13:52, 5 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Her gender is irrelevant, concerning her location of birth. GoodDay (talk) 14:36, 5 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My point is, we either use countries or islands. If the latter? then use Ireland & Great Britain. If the former? use Great Britain and Ireland & United Kingdom. -- GoodDay (talk) 15:06, 5 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We don't either use countries or islands; the majority of the UK infoboxes have the constituent country listed too. As it stands, we've now got Ireland (the island) and the UK. This is getting silly. JonChappleTalk 15:16, 5 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree Jon. Mo ainm~Talk 15:18, 5 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Avoiding a pipe-link & going directly with United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, is best. It quite accurate & not confusing to readers. GoodDay (talk) 15:22, 5 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why not which part? Say, "Ireland, UK" and "England, UK"? JonChappleTalk 15:24, 5 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think my versions are best. Also, I made adjustments to the context of the article, so readers shant confuse the island of Ireland with the current country of Ireland. GoodDay (talk) 15:28, 5 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've altered the infobox to read "Ireland" and "England" in line with common practice to give the constituent country during the period. --RA (talk) 22:21, 11 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Praise in the lead[edit]

Isn't there somewhere else besides the lead where quotations about Anscombe's importance as a philosopher could be placed? Three quotations in the lead praising her seems excessive. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 08:15, 24 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We could have an 'influence' section. I plopped them in there because I ran across the quotes while reading papers. —Tom Morris (talk) 10:51, 24 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, that seems like a good suggestion. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 19:46, 24 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Influence Section??[edit]

I was going to add a few more figures to her influences, but now I find that section of the infobox is deleted. Is there any particular reason why outside of lack of references?Artimaean (talk) 21:36, 21 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Infobox person" no longer supports the fields influences / influenced. I've installed "Infobox scientist", which does. Edit away. --Andreas Philopater (talk) 22:11, 21 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


First person "Though the position was later adopted in a more radical form by David Lewis" should probably have a cited source. Sadly, I don't know the paper or collection thereof that this is referring to. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:21, 23 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hijab, Wasfi Ahmad[edit]

Why the hell does a mini-biography of this person appear in the notes to Anscombe's life, together with a link to a scholarship fund set up by his family? That's a kind of piracy, I would say. Person in question appears to have been a scholar of some kind, but not of any particular note, and the purpose of an encyclopedia is NOT to biographize every possible person, surely, only those who have achieved some fame. Hijab's one claim to fame is he went to classes, some days, briefly, with Anscombe. But so what? I am going to delete both the note and the reference within the biography. 20:29, 17 August 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Theonemacduff (talkcontribs)


I have commenced a tidy-up of the Bibliography section using cite templates. Capitalization and punctuation follow standard cataloguing rules in AACR2 and RDA, as much as Wikipedia templates allow it. Feel free to continue. Sunwin1960 (talk) 08:18, 19 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Aesthetic judgment[edit]

The portrait shown in the article is extremely crude. (talk) 20:15, 8 January 2017 (UTC)Benjamin CucumberbatchReply[reply]

Ideally an article about a living person should be illustrated with a photograph, not a drawing. If you could start an account and replace the article's current illustration with a photograph of Anscombe, that would be helpful. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 20:19, 8 January 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have readded the youthful photograph used earlier in this article. The crude drawing could be anyone.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:36, 8 January 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requested move 10 November 2017[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved. Jenks24 (talk) 03:40, 18 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Elizabeth AnscombeG. E. M. Anscombe – Per WP:COMMONNAME. See, e.g., [1] vs [2] (talk) 22:56, 10 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is a contested technical request (permalink). TonyBallioni (talk) 23:27, 10 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

TFA Notice[edit]

Howdy, This TFA candidate has been flagged as "too many citations missing, including some important ones relating to her 'scandalising' people" [3]. Please rectify this immediately or this article will be delisted from OTD. Thanks, Nakon 07:51, 4 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Should Anscombe be called `British' or `English'?[edit]

It seems clear to me that Anscombe is English or British. Tolkien is not South African & D. Lessing is not Persian. Nick_cool (talk) 07:20, 14 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've fixed the content. It was changed in a drive-by IP edit, which retained the New York Times source describing her as "British", and then your correction of it was reverted for unclear reasons (I would guess because your edit summary mentioned what you thought, rather than what sources say). --Andreas Philopater (talk) 10:53, 14 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On transubstantion's doctrine[edit]

I've added in blbiography a 1964 free paper] of Miss Anscombe published by the Artistotelian Society, in which the author affirms the transubstantion as a natural chemical process which happens salva substantia, is thought not to be a miracle but a reversible transformation capable of being scientifically explained, and thus controlled and reproduced with no need of the previous work of God as well as of any Eucharistic or other form of religious rite.

Anscombe cllas it with the term "transreification" that can open to a metaphysical atomism:

Transubstantiation, unless acknowledged as a miracle is usually regarded as standing in need of and as being capable of explanation. This view in turn suggests, and has frequently led to, the assumption that any alleged transubstantiation is merely a " transreification" salva substantia. If changes in spatial arrangement alone are admitted, a metaphysical or physical atomism is a natural outcome. [...] Whether what is so conserved are material particles, monads or other entities is not hereby decided. Miss Anscombe does not examine the notion of substance in the light either of various desiderata for the explanation ofchange, or of the restrictions imposed upon the notion by the logical structure of axiomatic theories. It would, therefore, be out of place here to throw more than a quick glance at these problems.

For example the melting of ice into water which at first may appear as a transubstantiation is conceived or explained, as a mere "transreification", in which the same substance, say H20, hassuccessively two properties or is successively in two states

Even if she is believed to be belonged to the analytical Thomism, her position on a key-concept such as the transubstantion is totally out of the legittimate domain Catholic faith. It's not a WP:original research but a concern yet not developed by the WP article. Hope somone helps.Ciccio81ge (talk) 10:36, 17 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ciccio81ge, that article is in two parts: Anscombe's paper and Körner's response. You're quoting Körner and attributing his views to Anscombe. You're also ignoring the weight of unless acknowledged as a miracle. --Andreas Philopater (talk) 12:18, 17 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]