Anscombe on Freedom, Animals, and the Ability to Do Otherwise


Authors
Denis Sullivan
St. John's University
Abstract
It is commonly assumed that human beings are free because they have minds and, since they are the only creatures we have encountered that have minds, itis further assumed that they are the only creatures that are free. Elizabeth Anscombe, on the other hand, maintains that freedom, in the sense in which it is identified with the ability to do otherwise, is required for intentional action and, since even thoughtless beasts perform intentional actions, these beasts are also free. She does not deny that humans exercise this freedom in a unique way. But by situating human freedom in a broader context and detaching it from any robust concept of mind she makes the claim that human beings are free that much easier to defend.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Conference Proceedings  History of Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 0065-7638
DOI acpaproc20078118
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