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Elizabeth Anscombe is now recognised as one of the most important philosophers of the second half of the 20th century. She left a large corpus of work, wide-ranging in content, always original and bold. Her monograph Intention, published in 1957, is a modern classic, and was described by Donald Davidson as "the most important treatment of action since Aristotle." Her writings in ethics have inspired countless discussions, and she has been credited with having changed the face of Anglophone moral philosophy by reviving and arguing for virtue ethics, now a major field. Since Anscombe's death in 2001, her philosophical work has received a steadily increasing level of attention worldwide. Anscombe is often difficult to read, and she has certainly been frequently misunderstood, but the sympathetic interest in her work which is now evident in so many quarters is making it possible for a true picture to begin to emerge of the range, depth, and power of her contribution to philosophy. The Oxford Handbook of Elizabeth Anscombe
conveys something of that emerging picture of Anscombe's overall philosophy-showing the great fecundity of her ideas in essays that develop and expand on those ideas-and allows contributors to engage critically with Anscombe, not merely to expound what she said.
The handbook opens with an introduction that addresses the question of the unity in diversity of Anscombe's philosophy, relating this to the twenty-two essays that follow. The handbook is divided into parts along broadly thematic lines, addressing: intention, ethical theory, human life, the first person, and Anscombe on other philosophers.