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 / 3. 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
I can prove a hand exists, by holding one up, pointing to it, and saying 'here is one hand'
19. Language / E. Propositions / 1. Propositions
Hegelians say propositions defy analysis, but Moore says they can be broken down
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 2. Goodness / a. Goodness
The naturalistic fallacy claims that natural qualties can define 'good'
Can learning to recognise a good friend help us to recognise a good watch?
It is always an open question whether anything that is natural is good
We should ask what we would judge to be good if it existed in absolute isolation
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 2. Goodness / b. Candidates for the Good
The three main values are good, right and beauty
22. Metaethics / B. Basis of Ethics / 6. Right
'Right' means 'cause of good result' (hence 'useful'), so the end does justify the means
For Moore, 'right' is what produces good
22. Metaethics / B. Basis of Ethics / 7. Moral Motives
Moore cannot show why something being good gives us a reason for action
22. Metaethics / C. Sources of Ethics / 3. Intuitionism
Moore's combination of antinaturalism with strong supervenience on the natural is incoherent
Moore tries to show that 'good' is indefinable, but doesn't understand what a definition is
23. Ethics / E. Utilitarianism / 1. Utilitarianism
Relationships imply duties to people, not merely the obligation to benefit them