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George Edward Moore

G.E. Moore (4 November 1873 – 24 October 1958) was an English philosopher. He was, with Bertrand Russell?, Ludwig Wittgenstein?, and (before them) Gottlob Frege?, one of the founders of the Analytic Tradition? in philosophy. Along with Russell, he led the turn away from idealism in British Philosophy?, and became well known for his advocacy of common sense concepts, his contributions to ethics?, epistemology?, and metaphysics?, and "his exceptional personality and moral character."

Here is a Hand Argument

The argument takes the form:

  • This is a hand.
  • Here is another hand.
  • There are at least two external objects in the world.
  • Therefore an external world exists.

Moore's argument was in response to the skeptical argument which takes the following form where S is a subject, sp is a skeptical possibility, such as the brain in a vat hypothesis, and q is a knowledge claim about the world:

  • If S doesn't know that not-sp, then S doesn't know that q
  • S doesn't know that not-sp
  • Therefore, S doesn't know that q

Moore's response

  • If S doesn't know that not-sp, then S doesn't know that q
  • S knows that q
  • Therefore, S knows that not-sp


Page last modified on September 29, 2012, at 11:51 PM