Philosophy of Mind Seminar (Friday - Week 2, HT23)

Philosophy of mind

Many scholars of Intention read Anscombe’s philosophy of action as bound up with her ethics and specifically her attack on Oxford Moral Philosophy and consequentialism (sometimes both in tandem). I contribute to this exegetical tradition in an oblique way. Archival material from the late Forties shows Anscombe engaging with literature on psychokinesis. Remembering that Henry Sidgwick was one of the founding members of the Society for Psychical Research, this suggests the beginnings of a fresh way to engage with Anscombe’s critique of consequentialism. Along the way, I consider Anton Ford’s (2015) reading of Intention §29 ('the only sense I can give to 'willing' is that in which I might stare at something and will it to move'). I also show that analogising a materialist (Anscombean) philosophy of action to Naïve Realism in perception needs careful treatment, and more so given that the perceptual relationism at the heart of Naïve Realism owes much to Sidgwick’s pupil – Moore. 

Philosophy of Mind Seminar convenors: Mike Martin, Matthew Parrott, Will Davies and Anil Gomes