Routledge Philosophy GuideBook to Anscombe's Intention: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Routledge Philosophy GuideBook to Anscombe's Intention

1st Edition

By Rachael Wiseman


204 pages

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G. E. M. Anscombe’s Intention is a classic of twentieth-century philosophy. The work has been enormously influential despite being a dense and largely misunderstood text. It is a standard reference point for anyone engaging with philosophy of action and philosophy of psychology.

In this Routledge Philosophy GuideBook, Rachael Wiseman:

  • situates Intention in relation to Anscombe’s moral philosophy and philosophy of mind
  • considers the influence of Aquinas, Aristotle, Frege, and Wittgenstein on the method and content of Intention
  • adopts a structure for assessing the text that shows how Anscombe unifies the three aspects of the concept of intention
  • considers the influence and implications of the piece whilst distinguishing it from subsequent work in the philosophy of action

Ideal for anyone wanting to understand and gain a perspective on Elizabeth Anscombe’s seminal work, this guide is an essential introduction, useful in the study of the philosophy of action, ethics, philosophy of psychology and related areas.


‘This book is clearly, beautifully, and thoroughly organized. The content is exciting and offers a thoughtful and compelling reading of Anscombe’s Intention.’

Candace Vogler, University of Chicago, USA

‘This superb Guidebook is an essential companion for anyone trying to understand Anscombe’s brilliant but somewhat elusive book. It enables the reader to see the unity in what can seem a rather disparate work, in ways that students and professional philosophers alike will find eye opening.'

Adrian Haddock, University of Stirling, UK

Table of Contents

1. Background: Intention in context

2. Three aspects of the concept of intention

3. (1) Expressions of intention

4. (2) Intentional action

5. (3) Intention with which

6. The unification of the concept of intention

7. The influence of Intention in the philosophy of action

8. The implications of Intention: moral philosophy, philosophy of psychology & the self

About the Author

Rachael Wiseman is Addison Wheeler Research Fellow at Durham University, UK

About the Series

Routledge Philosophy GuideBooks

Routledge Philosophy GuideBooks painlessly introduce students to the classic works of philosophy. Each GuideBook considers a major philosopher and a key area of their philosophy by focusing upon an important text – situating the philosopher and the work in a historical context, considering the text in question and assessing the philosopher’s contribution to contemporary thought.

Edited by Tim Crane, University of Cambridge and Jonathan Wolff, University College London

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