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Elizabeth Anscombe on Living the Truth

May 10, 2018
Classics 110
1010 E 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Jennifer FreyUniversity of South Carolina

  • Jennifer Frey - Elizabeth Anscombe on Living the Truth
  • Jennifer Frey - Interview

Elizabeth Anscombe was one of the most important and influential analytic philosophers of the twentieth century. One of the last lectures she delivered was titled "Doing the Truth." In it, she set out to identify and clarify a specifically practical mode of truth as the proper goal of a specifically practical mode of reasoning and knowledge.  This talk will explore how Anscombe understands practical truth by relating it to her influential theory of the intentionality of action; its ultimate suggestion is that "doing the truth" just is living a good human life--i.e., knowingly performing actions in accordance with true judgments of right practical reasoning.  The person who achieves this truth is virtuous, someone who can stand as an exemplar (or rule and measure) for those who seek the truth but have not yet realized it in their lives.

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Jennifer Frey is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina and fellow of the Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America. She was previously a Collegiate Assistant Professor of Humanities at the University of Chicago, where she was a member of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts and an affiliated faculty in the philosophy department. Frey holds a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.A. from Indiana University-Bloomington. She has published widely on action, virtue, practical reason, and meta-ethics, and has recently co-edited an interdisciplinary volume, Self-Transcendence and Virtue: Perspectives from Philosophy, Theology, and Psychology (Routledge, 2018)Her writing has also been featured in First ThingsFare ForwardImageLaw and LibertyPloughThe Point, and USA Today