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Conference on G.E.M. Anscombe Set for March

G.E.M. Anscombe
G.E.M. Anscombe

Neumann University will host a conference on G.E.M. Anscombe's contributions to the Catholic intellectual tradition on March 14-15. Anscombe (1919-2001) is one of the twentieth century's most provocative and highly regarded philosophers.


In its 2001 obituary of Anscombe, The Guardian wrote: “Elizabeth Anscombe, who has died aged 81, was considered by some to be the greatest English philosopher of her generation. She was professor of philosophy at Cambridge from 1970 to 1986, having already, as a research fellow at Oxford in the 50s, helped change the course of moral philosophy. Also influential in philosophy of mind, she pioneered contemporary action theory, and the pre-eminent philosopher Donald Davidson called her 1957 monograph Intention the best work on practical reasoning since Aristotle.”


Conference sessions will focus on topics such as Catholic Moral Theory, Double Effect, Souls and Persons, and Marriage and Women. One discussion will delve into Anscombe's 1958 article entitled Modern Moral Philosophy. Presentations will be made by faculty from the Catholic University of America, Niagara University, Seton Hall University, the University of Chicago, the University of Toronto, and many other institutions.


Fr. Dennis Billy, C.Ss.R. will deliver the plenary session presentation on "Anscombe and Catholic Moral Theology." Fr. Billy is John Cardinal Krol Chair of Moral Theology at Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. He specializes in the history of moral theology and Christian spirituality. Fr. Billy has authored or edited more than 30 books and written more than 300 articles in a variety of scholarly and popular journals.


Candace Vogler, Ph.D. will deliver the keynote address on "Anscombe's Complaint: The Importance of Moral Prohibition." Vogler is the David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy at the University of Chicago. She has authored two books and has written essays on ethics, social and political philosophy, philosophy and literature, cinema, psychoanalysis, and sexuality studies. Her research interests include practical philosophy, particularly the strand of work in moral philosophy indebted to Elizabeth Anscombe.


The conference is free for Neumann students, faculty and staff. For a full conference schedule and registration information, visit



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