Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Moore’s Refutation of Idealism

In his essay, “The Refutation of Idealism,” G. E. Moore notes that the claim esse is percipi is essential to the idealist view of the world. 

He does not attack the idealist notion that reality is spiritual (or to be is to be perceived)—instead, he shows that the arguments that the idealists use to support the claim esse is percipi lead to a contradiction and hence are flawed. He comes to the conclusion that idealism violates the law of non-contradiction. 

Moore’s essay is not a defense of realism—the positions of both the realist and the idealist can be challenged by two central claims of skepticism: first, it is possible for appearances to differ from reality; second, the veridical experiences can be indistinguishable from the non-veridical experiences.

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