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Elizabeth Anscombe on Living the Truth

May 10 2018 7pm
Classics 110
1010 E 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Jennifer Frey

University of South Carolina

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Free and open to the public. Cosponsored by the Nicholson Center for British Studies and the Department of Philosophy. This lecture will be audio and video recorded and accessible via this webpage shortly after the event. Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact us by email or call 773-955-5887.

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 sets 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.


Jennifer Frey is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina. 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. Prof. Frey holds a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh, and a B.A. from Indiana University-Bloomington. She is the co-Principal Investigator on a major three year research project, titled “Virtue, Happiness, and Meaning of Life.” Her further research interests include the history of ethics, especially medieval and early modern.