- Moore, George Edward
- (1873–1958)British philosopher, and one of the founders of analytical philosophy. Moore was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was a lecturer at Cambridge from 1911, professor from 1925 to 1939, and the editor of Mind from 1921 to 1947. Moore began philosophy under the influence of absolute idealism, but in the last years of the 19th century he and Russell came to break with that tradition, and to espouse various kinds of realism centred upon the possibility of relating minds to independent facts. Moore was one of the founders and most skilled practitioners of analytical philosophy . He came to wider fame with Principia Ethica (1903). In that book he (somewhat unfairly) pins the famous naturalistic fallacy on preceding moral philosophers, and advocates the view that goodness is a simple, unanalysable quality, fortunately known by intuition. This intuition enables us to see that the good things of life are certain wholes, consisting of pleasures of aesthetics and love and friendship. The doctrine was highly influential, in ways that Moore may have deplored, on the Bloomsbury group. Principia Ethica achieved its success partly because of its intense concern to set out problems with unparalleled precision, and thereby get matters exactly right, and it was this moral force in Moore as much as his philosophical intellect that exerted a profound and uplifting influence on those around him, including Russell and Wittgenstein . His mature works are famous for their defence of common sense. Moore came to believe that whenever a substantial philosophical doctrine was in conflict with common sense it was more likely that the argument had gone astray than that common sense had done so (the argument is reminiscent of Hume's argument against belief in miracles ). Although Moore was a major influence on Anglo-American philosophy for the first half of the 20th century, there now remains less confidence in the method of analysis with which he is identified. Moore's works include Ethics (1912), Philosophical Studies (1922), Some Main Problems of Philosophy (1953) and the posthumously published Philosophical Papers (1959).
Philosophy dictionary. Academic. 2011.