Boo to the Boo-Hurrahs: How four Oxford women transformed philosophy

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Revised here

Women are up to something: How Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Mary Midgley and Iris Murdoch revolutionized ethics

through Benjamin JB Lipscomb

Oxford

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In April 1945, a newsreel entitled German atrocities appeared in UK cinemas. Having been spared graphic imagery for most of the war, this was, for most British civilians, their first encounter with the horrors of concentration camps. After viewing images of emaciated bodies and piled up corpses, Philippa Foot, 24, told her mentor, philosopher Donald MacKinnon: “Nothing will ever be the same again. These were acts, according to Foot, that were undeniably bad, and if philosophy was unable to identify them as such, then there was a major problem with philosophy.

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