more from G.E. Moore

Single Idea 6349

[catalogued under 11. Knowledge Aims / B. Certain Knowledge / 2. Common Sense Certainty]

Full Idea

I can prove now that two human hands exist. How? By holding up my two hands, and saying, as I make a certain gesture with the right hand, 'Here is one hand', and adding, as I gesture with the left, 'and here is another'.

Gist of Idea

I can prove a hand exists, by holding one up, pointing to it, and saying 'here is one hand'


G.E. Moore (Proof of an External World [1939], p.1)

Book Reference

'Epistemology - An Anthology', ed/tr. Sosa,E. /Kim,J. [Blackwell 2000], p.24

A Reaction

The words need to be spoken, presumably, so that what he is doing fits into the linguistic conventions of what will normally be accepted as a proof. In fact, just holding the hand up seems enough. The proof begs the question of virtual reality.

Related Idea

Idea 19505 Moore begs the question, or just offers another view, or uses 'know' wrongly [Pritchard,D, by PG]