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Intention in Action

The Philosophy of G. E. M. Anscombe


Pathiaraj Rayappan

G. E. M. Anscombe was one of the important philosophers of the twentieth century. Her most famous works are Intention and Modern Moral Philosophy and have given origin to the new branch called Philosophy of Action and have been an impetus for the revival of Virtue Ethics. This book studies G. E. M. Anscombe’s evaluation of moral theories and moral actions based on her findings in Philosophical Psychology. The author argues that a moral evaluation solely from the point of view of intention is insufficient and looks for a way in which this insufficiency can be overcome. Taking inspiration from Martin Rhonheimer, he finds a way to overcome this insufficiency through concepts such as the moral object, the anthropological truth of man and the practical reason, which are other essential elements to be considered in moral evaluation in addition to intention.


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Acknowledgements 9


9Acknowledgements I am indebted to many people who have been instrumental in the com- pletion of this research. In the first place, I would like to place on record my heartfelt gratitude to the Salesian Congregation, the Rector Major Fr. Pascual Chavez, the Province of Chennai, the Provincial Fr. Stanislaus Swamikannu, the community of San Giovanni Bosco, the Rector Fr. Eusebio Munoz and the Faculty of Philosophy of the Salesian Pontifi- cal University, Rome. If not for their fraternal, financial and material support, this research would never have taken off the ground. I am immensely grateful to Prof. Giuseppe Abbà, Professor of Moral Philosophy, Salesian Pontifical University, Rome. He has accompanied me throughout the research, right from its vague beginnings three years ago. He has inspired me, encouraged me and challenged me. He has methodically evaluated the research at its various stages, offering sug- gestions, new ideas and wider horizons. I thank my friends Don Paolo Gerardi, Don Albino Ronco, Don Agostino Favale, Maurizio Romano, Vilma Degiovanni and Cristina Romano for their moral, psychological and material support. I thank Arokiasamy Augustine, Bosco Augustine and Cassius Correya who have helped in proofreading the typescripts. I thank Peter Lang for publish- ing this work under its patronage. Pathiaraj Rayappan 10

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