I’ve been nosing through Anscombe’s work on intentionality; more specifically, I’m reading her work as it relates to some of my developing ideas regarding a reconception of Hegel’s much-misunderstood concepts “absolute”, “the idea” and his important distinction between general and formal logic. Anscombe’s work, Intention, hints at something important which I’m seeking to develop for an admission paper and, while reading a short review of the text, found this hilarious excerpt which I’d like to share.
I was a student of Anscombe’s when she was a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, along with her spouse Peter Geach, circa 1980. I took a class on Wittgenstein from Anscombe and a class on Frege from Geach. Anscombe was a wonderfully friendly raconteur with dry wit and lofty memories of Wittgenstein, who apparently “blessed” her. For the class we used her book Intention, a great read and even better when read aloud by her. Geach’s class was a frightening exercise in intimidation, as few of us were brave enough to even be in the room with him, much less have him lecture to us on Frege. I remember being the sole person in the class, and saying nothing for 12 weeks. Meanwhile Geach lectured at the board, completely ignoring me. From what I understand when they headed back to England they boarded the wrong plane and wound up in Mexico City. I did spend some time discussing McTaggart with Geach, and almost went abroad to write my dissertation with him on said, but was warned that he probably wouldn’t remember me when I showed up.