Living the Truth

Date & Time

Thu, April 25, 2019
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM


Cafe 58, Irvine Auditorium, University of Pennsylvania

3401 Spruce Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104


Collegium Institute welcomed Prof. Jennifer Frey (University of South Carolina) for a special luncheon to discuss the life and legacy of Elizabeth Anscombe.

Elizabeth Anscombe was one of the most important and influential analytic philosophers of the twentieth century. One of the last lectures she delivered was titled “Doing the Truth.” In it, she set out to identify and clarify a specifically practical mode of truth as the proper goal of a specifically practical mode of reasoning and knowledge. This talk explored how Anscombe understands practical truth by relating it to her influential theory of the intentionality of action; its ultimate suggestion is that “doing the truth” just is living a good human life–i.e., knowingly performing actions in accordance with true judgments of right practical reasoning. The person who achieves this truth is virtuous, someone who can stand as an exemplar (or rule and measure) for those who seek the truth but have not yet realized it in their lives.