First of all, I would like to point out that Moore’s essay consists of two parts. The main idea of the first part is a contradiction between Kant’s observations and Moore’s philosophy. Thus, Kant states that people can rely only on their faith to believe into the existence of an external world. He says that there is no evidence to prove the existence of things in such a world.
Moore states that he can provide people with certain facts that things outside of us exist; however, he wants to clarify the meaning of the existence of an external world. Moore says that Kant, and many other philosophers didn’t understand the above-mentioned expression.
They thought that “things outside of us, external things, things which are external to our minds, things which can be met in space and things presented in space” were all the same things. In other words, they understood the expressions as the synonyms (Coliva 1).
However, Moore doesn’t agree with the opinion. He rejects Kant’s transcendentalism. For this reason, he states that “things presented in space do not entail things which can be met in space, although things which can be met in space entail things presented in space” (Coliva 1).
On the other hand, “things which are external to our minds do not entail things which can be met in space, although those, met in space entail those which are external to our minds” (Coliva 1).
The thesis statement
The main aim of Moore’s essay is to explain that if there are some reasons not to believe that external objects exist; the author is to convince people of physical things existence before they understand that there is a certain evidence of the external world.
The body: the argument vs. the conclusion
While speaking about the definition of external objects, one is to keep in mind that “Moore claims that these are things whose existence is not dependent upon our experience” (Baldwin 1). In other words, external objects exist independently of our knowledge about them.
Thus, Moore’s proof is related to the hands; he makes the gestures with both hands; the hands are recognized to be physical objects; so, he proved the existence of an external world. Let’s suppose that Moore’s premise was only there is an external world. Some people may ask me about the conclusion I made when analyzing a previous expression. The fact I want to highlight is that there is no conclusion concerning such an argument.
I’ll explain. So, taking into account the fact that I use the argument to learn the conclusion means that I am familiar with the premise. For this reason, one may affirm that my conclusion is to be based on a previous statement; however, as far as I know an assertion of my argument, there is no necessity to rely on it to make a conclusion, as I know the conclusion too (an external world exists).
So, relying on Moore’s investigations, I can state that my argument is considered to be a circular argument. On the other hand, let’s consider Moore’s true premise – hands are external objects. It is obvious, that the premise differs from a conclusion an external world exists; thus, according to Moore, we are to rely on logical evidence to make a conclusion. In other words, we are to define the causes and consequences of various assumptions.
Taking into account the premise of Moore’s article, it is evident that the fact or the conclusion that an external world exists should follow from an assertion of the argument. As far as Moore’s premises are true (hands are external things), the conclusion that external world exists is also a reality. In other words, the statement is not false.
Baldwin, Tom. George Edward Moore, 2004. Web. 07 Feb. 2012.
Coliva, Annalisa. Scepticism and Knowledge: Moore’s Proof of an External World, n.d. Web. 07 Feb. 2012.