Authors
Wim Vanrie
University of Ghent
Abstract
I defend an account of Moore’s conception of Common Sense – as it figures in 'A Defence of Common Sense' – according to which it is based in a vision of the community of human beings as bound and unified by a settled common understanding of the meaning of our words and statements. This, for Moore, is our inalienable starting point in philosophy. When Moore invokes Common Sense against idealist (and skeptical) philosophers, he is reminding them that they too are bound by this common understanding, which cannot just be left behind or overcome, as they confusedly believe. On Moore’s conception, Common Sense becomes nothing other than the affirmation that there is Common Sense, i.e. that there is such a common understanding. This yields a principled account of Common Sense as common knowledge that moves beyond a mere tallying of what we all contingently happen to believe. Moore’s attempts to further characterize our common knowledge show him struggling to apply his internalist predilections to Common Sense. Although his final position is confused, it reveals two further important points. First, our having Common Sense knowledge is not, for Moore, an introspectable mental state. Second, the Common Sense truths, on Moore’s view, acquire a liminal status between being analytic and synthetic, conceptual and empirical.
Keywords G.E. Moore  Ludwig Wittgenstein  Common Sense
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References found in this work BETA

What's Wrong with Moore's Argument?James Pryor - 2004 - Philosophical Issues 14 (1):349–378.
A Reply to My Critics.George Edward Moore - 1942 - In Paul Arthur Schilpp (ed.), The Philosophy of G. E. Moore. Open Court.
The Perils of Dogmatism.Crispin Wright - 2007 - In Nuccetelli & Seay (eds.), Themes from G. E. Moore: New Essays in Epistemology. Oxford University Press.

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