Authors
Alex Plato
Franciscan University of Steubenville
Jonathan Reibsamen
Columbia International University
Abstract
Anscombe ends her seminal 1958 essay “Modern Moral Philosophy” with a presentation of five characters, each answering an ancient question as to “whether one might ever need to commit injustice, or whether it won’t be the best thing to do?” Her fifth character is the execrated consequentialist who “shows a corrupt mind.” But who are the first four characters? Do they “show a mind”? And what precisely is the significance of her presenting those five just then? In this paper, we interpret Anscombe’s essay with an eye to making sense of her character presentation. We argue that the first four characters can be seen to embody the chief negative and positive doctrines of the essay and to thereby represent and charter a pluralistic school of anti-consequentialist ethics. The upshot is something exegetically interesting yet of broader philosophical importance.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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DOI 10.5840/acpq20211215242
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