Happy Birthday, Elizabeth Anscombe!

Elizabeth Anscombe, [born Mar 18, 1919] 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. The philosophical world owes her an enormous debt, too, for bringing Wittgenstein, probably the greatest philosopher of the 20th century, to public knowledge….

~ by Jane O’Grady, from her obituary for Anscombe for The Guardian

Let us honor Elizabeth Anscombe on the anniversary of her birth by learning more about this influential  and trailblazing philosopher:

G. E. M. Anscombe (1919—2001) – by Duncan Richter for the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe – by Julia Driver for The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Elizabeth Anscombe – Sarah Woolman speaks to Dr Rosalinde Hursthouse and Professor Philippa Foot for the BBC’s Woman’s Hour

The Golden Age of Female Philosophy – Eleanor Gordon-Smith speaks with Dr Rachael Wiseman, Assoc Prof Fiona Jenkins, and philosopher Mary Midgley about Anscombe’s, work along with the work of other great contemporary women philosophers, for The Philosopher’s Zone

Anscombe Bioethics Centre – ‘a Roman Catholic academic institute that engages with the moral questions arising in clinical practice and biomedical research’

G.E.M. Anscombe Bibliography – by José M. Torralba for Universidad de Navarra

~ Ordinary Philosophy is a labor of love and ad-free, supported by patrons and readers like you. Please offer your support today!

Happy Birthday, Rosa Luxemburg!

Rosa Luxemburg, By unknown photographer around 1895-1900 [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsRosa Luxemburg, Mar 5 1871 – Jan 15 1919, was the Marxist theorist, writer, economist, revolutionist, anti-war and anti-capital-punishment activist, and philosopher who was murdered during the German Revolution of 1918–1919.

Though she was an anti-war activist, Luxemburg was also critical of the idea that a just society can be brought about by incremental reforms through established political systems. If she was to be involved in the 2016 Democratic primary race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, she would very likely have backed Bernie, with his more revolutionary style and rhetoric: she was sharply critical of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, to which she belonged (in its left wing) for favoring a Clinton-style within-the-system, gradual reformist approach. However, Luxemburg’s internationalism takes Marxist thinking beyond the point where leading Marxists of her day had progressed, with their focus on unique formulations of Marxist political theory tailored to their own particular national identities and histories. She would likely find fault, then, with Sanders’ protectionism.

Luxemburg’s other great contribution to Marxist thought is her theory about the accumulation of capital. Since capitalism’s primary fuel is constant and ever-increasing consumption, she thinks it’s a mechanism for the ultimate destruction of our material capabilities to sustain ourselves, starting with the ecosystems on which indigenous people, the poor, and the working class depend. Here as well, her progressive thinking takes her far beyond Marx himself, and her concerns in this timely issue make her as relevant now as ever.

Read more about the brilliant and fearless Luxemburg:

The Crisis of German Social Democracy (The Junius Pamphlet) ~ by Rosa Luxemburg, 1915

‘The Dialectic of the Spatial Determination of Capital: Rosa Luxemburg’s Accumulation of Capital Reconsidered’ ~ by Peter Hudis for Logos: A Journal of Modern Society & Culture

Rosa Luxemburg: Polish-German Revolutionary ~ by Helmut Dietmar Starke for Encyclopædia Britannica

‘Who’s Who: Rosa Luxemburg’ ~ at First World War.com

Ordinary Philosophy and its Traveling Philosophy / History of Ideas series is a labor of love and ad-free, supported by patrons and readers like you. Please offer your support today!

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth Anscombe!

‘Elizabeth Anscombe, [born Mar 18, 1919] 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. The philosophical world owes her an enormous debt, too, for bringing Wittgenstein, probably the greatest philosopher of the 20th century, to public knowledge…. from Jane O’Grady’s obituary for The Guardian

Let us honor Elizabeth Anscombe on the anniversary of her birth by learning more about this important, influential, and trailblazing philosopher:

G. E. M. Anscombe (1919—2001) – by Duncan Richter for the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe – by Julia Driver for The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Elizabeth Anscombe – A BBC Programme Woman’s Hour episode in which Sarah Woolman speaks to Dr Rosalinde Hursthouse and Professor Philippa Foot

The Golden Age of Female Philosophy – A recent episode of Philosopher’s Zone which discusses Anscombe’s work along with the work of other great contemporary women philosophers

Anscombe Bioethics Centre – ‘a Roman Catholic academic institute that engages with the moral questions arising in clinical practice and biomedical research’

G.E.M. Anscombe Bibliography – by José M. Torralba for Universidad de Navarra

~ Ordinary Philosophy is a labor of love and ad-free, supported by patrons and readers like you. Please offer your support today!

Happy Birthday, Rosa Luxemburg!

Rosa Luxemburg, By unknown photographer around 1895-1900 [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsRosa Luxemburg, Mar 5 1871 – Jan 15 1919, is the great Marxist theorist, writer, economist, revolutionist, anti-war and anti-capital-punishment activist, and philosopher who was murdered during the German Revolution of 1918–1919.

Though she’s an anti-war activist, Luxemburg is also critical of the idea that a just society can be brought about by incremental reforms through established political systems. If she were to be involved in the 2016 Democratic primary race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, she would very likely back Bernie, with his more revolutionary style and rhetoric: she’s sharply critical of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, to which she belongs (in its left wing) for favoring a Hillary-style reformist approach. However, her internationalism takes Marxist thinking beyond the point where leading Marxists of her day had progressed, with their focus on unique formulations of Marxist political theory tailored to their own particular national identities and histories. She would likely find fault, then, with Bernie’s protectionism.

Luxemburg’s other great contribution to Marxist thought is her theory about the accumulation of capital. Since capitalism’s primary fuel is constant and ever-increasing consumption, she thinks it’s a mechanism for the ultimate destruction of our material capabilities to sustain ourselves, starting with the ecosystems on which indigenous people, the poor, and the working class depend. Here as well, her progressive thinking takes her far beyond Marx himself, and her concerns in this timely issue makes her as relevant now as ever.

Read more about the brilliant and fearless Luxemburg:

‘Who’s Who – Rosa Luxemburg’ at First World War.com

‘The Dialectic of the Spatial Determination of Capital: Rosa Luxemburg’s Accumulation of Capital Reconsidered’ by Peter Hudis

The Crisis of German Social Democracy (The Junius Pamphlet) by Rosa Luxemburg, 1915

‘Rosa Luxemburg’, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ordinary Philosophy and its Traveling Philosophy / History of Ideas series is a labor of love and is ad-free, entirely supported by patrons and readers like you. Please offer your support today!