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Joshua Stuchlik

Abstract

The topic of murder was among Elizabeth Anscombe’s central preoccupations. Drawing on both her published writings and newly available archival resources, this paper reconstructs Anscombe’s theory of murder. I show that Anscombe was concerned to deny the semantic thesis that “murder” means “killing that is unjustified or impermissible” and I show how her theory surmounts three challenges that seem to support the semantic thesis. In doing so, I discuss her views on responsibility, the significance of the distinction between intention and foresight, and the concept of a title to kill.

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