Recent Seminars and Lectures
Andy Hamilton (Durham). 'Moore and Wittgenstein on the Insulation of Scepticism from Everyday Life.'
Seminars begin at 11.30am unless stated otherwise. Tea and coffee will be served at 11 am and speakers usually join us for lunch (or dinner).
For full details of all other seminars, see the events listing.
This paper arises from work on Wittgenstein's On Certainty, and my underlying concern is as much with Wittgenstein's response to Moore's Proof, as with the latter's viability. In elucidating the Proof, one must consider two opposed accounts of the relation of scepticism and everyday belief. The first, which underlies the received interpretation of Moore as a dogmatic proponent of commonsense, places sceptical and everyday practice on the same level. The second account - apparently advocated, for instance, by Stroud - insulates scepticism and everyday belief from each other. Each of these opposed positions is implausible, I will argue. Scepticism and everyday doubt and belief are not insulated from each other, but neither do they operate on the same level. The difficulty is to nuance their relationship correctly. Although Moore is not a naïve dogmatist, his way of showing how scepticism relates to everyday belief is unsatisfactory. My view, following Baldwin, is that there is interaction but non-equivalence between these practices. However, I argue that Baldwin is too uncritical of Moore, and neglects an interesting analogue, in the case of knowledge, of Moore's paradox concerning belief.