Moore"s Proof of an External World. Just Begging the Question

Coliva, Annalisa (2003) Moore"s Proof of an External World. Just Begging the Question. In: UNSPECIFIED Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, pp. 94-96.


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The aim of this paper is to assess Moore"s Proof of an external world, in light of recent interpretations of it, namely Crispin Wright"s (1985) and James Pryor"s (unpublished). In the first section I will present Moore"s original proof and claim that, despite Moore"s intentions, it can be read as an anti-sceptical proof. In the following two sections I will present Wright"s and Pryor"s interpretations of it. Finally, I will claim that if we grant some of Pryor"s intuitions, it is true that the proof does not exhibit what Wright calls "transmission-failure� and Pryor misleadingly presents as a case of question-begging argument. I will then offer my own interpretation of what a question-begging argument is. On that basis, I will claim that, contrary to what Pryor maintains, Moore"s proof is not just wanting because of a generic dialectical shortcoming, but because it begs the question after all.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: External World Proof; Moore, G.E.; Pryor, J.; Wright, C.
Subjects: Philosophie > Philosophische Journale, Kongresse, Vereinigungen > Wittgenstein Symposium Kirchberg, Pre-Proceedings > Kirchberg 2003
Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Ontologie
Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Metaphysik
Depositing User: Stefan Köstenbauer
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2007
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2011 18:52

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