Moore’s proof, theory-ladenness of perception, and many proofs
I argue that if we allow that Moore’s Method, which involves taking an ordinary knowledge claim to support a substantive metaphysical conclusion, can be used to support Moore’s proof an external world, then we should accept that Moore’s Method can be used to support a variety of incompatible metaphysical conclusions. I shall refer to this as “the problem of many proofs”. The problem of many proofs, I claim, stems from the theory-ladenness of perception. I shall argue further that this plethora of proofs for incompatible positions leads to a darker form of skepticism, one which maintains that each of the dogmatic views is probably false. We will conclude by considering various ways a Moorean might respond to these difficulties.
KeywordsMoore Skepticism Proof of an external world
Thanks to Tim Cleveland, Peter Hutcheson, and Jean-Paul “Eudicus” Vessel for helpful discussion. Thanks also to an anonymous referee for this journal for some great suggestions and saving me from several embarrassing errors.
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