This worksheet considers Anscombe’s discussion of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Was Truman right to drop atom bombs on these cities? Can mass murder be justified if it serves the greater good?
This worksheet focuses on a pamphlet entry by G.E.M. Anscombe, Mr Truman’s Degree. In it she defends her objection to American president, Harry Truman, receiving an honorary degree from Oxford University. It is a complex piece of work, which delves into many different issues in ethics and politics. In the worksheet below, you will find quotations from the text and questions about the quotations. They focus on key claims in the paper and certain arguments given. Students are encouraged to read the original article which is somewhat conversational in tone and quite different to a standard philosophy paper. As such, it is good context for the questions posed below, and for considering different kinds of philosophical writing.