01 April 2011
The Anscombe LegendC.S. Lewis never lost a single debate while at Oxford--until he came against Catholic philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe. The subject was: "No thought is valid if it can be fully explained as the result of irrational causes."Anscombe argued that he failed to distinguish two senses of the word "because," which can be used to denote not only a cause-effect relation, but also a ground-consequent relation. An argument could be valid, because (Ground-Consequent) its propositions entail each other, even if the propositions are generated (Cause-Effect) by irrational factors.