Ideas of G.E. Moore, by Theme

[British, 1873 - 1958, Born in London. Friend of Russell. Professor at Cambridge University. Wittgenstein was a pupil.]

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1. Philosophy / C. History of Philosophy / 5. Modern Philosophy / b. Modern philosophy beginnings
Moore's 'The Nature of Judgement' (1898) marked the rejection (with Russell) of idealism
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 4. Aims of Philosophy / c. Philosophy as generalisation
The main aim of philosophy is to describe the whole Universe.
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 1. Analysis
Analysis for Moore and Russell is carving up the world, not investigating language
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 4. Belief / c. Aim of beliefs
Moore's Paradox: you can't assert 'I believe that p but p is false', but can assert 'You believe p but p is false'
11. Knowledge Aims / B. Certain Knowledge / 2. Common Sense Certainty
Arguments that my finger does not exist are less certain than your seeing my finger
I can prove a hand exists, by holding one up, pointing to it, and saying 'here is one hand'
19. Language / D. Propositions / 5. Unity of Propositions
Hegelians say propositions defy analysis, but Moore says they can be broken down
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / d. Objective value
We should ask what we would judge to be good if it existed in absolute isolation
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / b. Types of good
The three main values are good, right and beauty
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / c. Right and good
For Moore, 'right' is what produces good
'Right' means 'cause of good result' (hence 'useful'), so the end does justify the means
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / b. Defining ethics
Moore tries to show that 'good' is indefinable, but doesn't understand what a definition is
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / a. Idealistic ethics
Can learning to recognise a good friend help us to recognise a good watch?
Moore cannot show why something being good gives us a reason for action
It is always an open question whether anything that is natural is good
The naturalistic fallacy claims that natural qualties can define 'good'
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / c. Ethical intuitionism
Moore's combination of antinaturalism with strong supervenience on the natural is incoherent
23. Ethics / E. Utilitarianism / 1. Utilitarianism
Relationships imply duties to people, not merely the obligation to benefit them