The Anscombe Society is a student organization at Princeton University that aims to foster an atmosphere where sex is dignified, respectful, and beautiful; where human relationships are affirming and supportive; where marriage is given pride of place among those relationships; where motherhood and authentic femininity are reverenced; where true masculinity and committed fatherhood are vital to family life; and where no one is objectified, instrumentalized, or demeaned. We hope to provide those students who strive to understand, live, and love their commitment to chastity and ‘traditional’ sexual and familial ethics with the support they need to make their time at Princeton the best it can be. Lastly, we wish to offer these values to the wider Princeton community and promote a culture of charitable dialogue and mutual understanding among all Princetonians.
Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret (G.E.M., or Elizabeth) Anscombe (1919-2001), a student and literary executor of Wittgenstein, was a British analytic philosopher — according to some, the 20th century’s greatest. Her 1957 book Intention, on the role of reasoning in human action, has become a modern classic; her penetrating analysis of traditional sexual ethics in a 1977 essay “Contraception and Chastity” displays the rigor of her moral reasoning and the vigor of her defense of family values. A highly regarded Cambridge professor, wife, and mother of seven, she was chosen as our namesake for her unabashed dedication to the life of the mind and to marriage and family in her life and work.