29 March 1916 |
|Main interests||Philosophical logic, history of philosophy, philosophy of religion|
|Notable ideas||Analytical Thomism, Omnipotence paradox|
Geach was educated at Balliol College, Oxford. He taught at the University of Birmingham from 1951 until 1966 when he was appointed Professor of Logic in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Leeds. Geach was given the title of Emeritus Professor of Logic on his retirement from Leeds in 1981.
His early work includes the classic texts Mental Acts and Reference and Generality, the latter defending an essentially modern conception of reference against medieval theories of supposition.
His Catholic perspective is integral to his philosophy. He is perhaps the founder of Analytical Thomism (though the current of thought running through his and Elizabeth Anscombe's work to the present day was only ostensibly so named forty years later by John Haldane), the aim of which is to synthesise Thomistic and Analytic approaches. He defends the Thomistic position that human beings are essentially rational animals, each one miraculously created. He dismisses Darwinistic attempts to regard reason as inessential to humanity, as "mere sophistry, laughable, or pitiable." He repudiates any capacity for language in animals as mere "association of manual signs with things or performances."
Geach dismisses both pragmatic and epistemic conceptions of truth, commending a version of the correspondence theory proposed by Aquinas. He argues that there is one reality rooted in God himself, who is the ultimate truthmaker. God, according to Geach, is truth.
Personal life 
His wife and occasional collaborator was the noted philosopher and Wittgenstein scholar Elizabeth Anscombe. Both converts to Roman Catholicism, they married in 1941 and had seven children. They co-authored the 1961 book Three Philosophers, with Anscombe contributing a section on Aristotle and Geach one each on Aquinas and Gottlob Frege. For a quarter century they were leading figures in the Philosophical Enquiry Group, an annual confluence of Catholic philosophers held at Spode House in Staffordshire that was established by Father Columba Ryan in 1954.
Selected publications 
- (edited, with Max Black) Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege, 1952/1960/1966
- "Good and Evil," Analysis (1956)
- Mental Acts: Their Content and Their Objects, 1957/1997
- Three Philosophers: Aristotle; Aquinas; Frege (with G.E.M. Anscombe), 1961
- Reference and Generality: An Examination of Some Medieval and Modern Theories, 1962
- History of the corruptions of logic, inaugural lecture, University of Leeds, 1968
- God and the Soul, 1969/2001
- Logic Matters, 1972
- Reason and Argument, 1976
- "Saying and Showing in Frege and Wittgenstein," Acta Philosophica Fennica 28 (1976): 54–70
- Truth, Love, and Immortality: An Introduction to McTaggart's Philosophy, 1979
- (edited) Wittgenstein's Lectures on Philosophical Psychology, 1946–47: Notes by P.T. Geach, K.J. Shah, and A.C. Jackson, 1989
- Logic and Ethics (edited by Jacek Holowka), 1990
- Truth and Hope: The Furst Franz Josef und Furstin Gina Lectures Delivered at the International Academy of Philosophy in the Principality of Liechtenstein, 1998 (ISBN 0-268-04215-2)
See also 
- Boxer, Sarah (13 January 2001). "G. E. M. Anscombe, 81, British Philosopher". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- University of Leeds, List of Emeritus Professors
- British Academy, List of Fellows
- Teichman, Jenny (10 February 1991). "Henry James Among the Philosophers". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- "Professor G E M Anscombe". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). 6 January 2001.
- "Father Columba Ryan: priest, teacher and university chaplain". The Times (News Corporation). 19 August 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2010.