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By Annalisa Coliva (auth.)

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In contrast, according to Moore, these expressions can’t be equivalent because he doesn’t buy into Kantian transcendentalism, either 26 Moore and Wittgenstein about empirical objects, or about space. Moore’s discussion is then very convoluted and at times not entirely coherent. But, given our purposes, it is enough to notice the following. First, that according to him, (E) doesn’t entail (D), although (D) entails (E). For there may be things which are presented in space and yet can’t be met within it.

For, in order to have an ordinary experiential warrant for its first premise, one would already need to have warrant for its conclusion. Since no such independent warrant could be gotten either by assembling evidence or through a priori reasoning, at least not by beings like us, a Humean sceptic concludes that such a belief remains unjustified. Hence neither the general belief in the existence of an external world nor any of our specific beliefs about given physical objects could amount to knowledge.

In fact, according to him, we must have had this kind of evidence for them, if we can now sensibly say that we know them. Moore’s position can seem ironical: he is saying that he knows these propositions because he has known other propositions which were 24 Moore and Wittgenstein evidence for them, though – alas – he can’t produce such evidence. I think most of us would, in contrast, quite unhesitatingly say that, for instance, we know that there is, at present, a human body which is our body because we see and feel it; or that we know that the earth has existed for a very long time before our birth because of testimonies about our ancestors, and historical and geological studies.

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