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Philosophical Topics

Volume 44, Issue 1, Spring 2016

Essays on the Philosophy of Frederick Stoutland

Martin Gustafsson
Pages 207-237
DOI: 10.5840/philtopics201644112

Anscombe’s Bird, Wittgenstein’s Cat
Intention, Expression, and Convention

This paper offers an interpretation of Anscombe’s account of animal versus human intention, and of her notorious claim that the expression of intention is purely conventional. It engages in a criticism of Richard Moran’s and Martin Stone’s recent exegesis of these views of Anscombe’s, and proposes an alternative reading which explains how she can accept both that speechless brutes have intentions and that human intention is essentially linguistic.

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