University of Cambridge, 4 Mill Ln, Cambridge CB2 1RZ
Ascension Parish Burial Ground Cambridge, City of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
George Edward Moore OM FBA (4 November 1873 – 24 October 1958), usually cited as G. E. Moore, was an English philosopher. He was, with Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and (before them) Gottlob Frege, one of the founders of analytic philosophy. Along with Russell, he led the turn away from idealism in British philosophy, and became well known for his advocacy of common sense concepts, his contributions to ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics, and "his exceptional personality and moral character". Moore was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, highly influential among (though not a member of) the Bloomsbury Group, and the editor of the influential journal Mind. He was elected a fellow of the British Academy in 1918. He was a member of the Cambridge Apostles, the intellectual secret society, from 1894 to 1901, and chairman of the Cambridge University Moral Sciences Club from 1912 to 1944. A humanist, he served as President of the British Ethical Union (now known as Humanists UK) from 1935 to 1936.
Moore was born in Upper Norwood, in south-east London, on 4 November 1873, the middle child of seven of Dr Daniel Moore and Henrietta Sturge. His grandfather was the author Dr George Moore. His eldest brother was Thomas Sturge Moore, a poet, writer and engraver. He was educated at Dulwich College and in 1892 went up to Trinity College, Cambridge to study classics and moral sciences. He became a Fellow of Trinity in 1898, and went on to hold the University of Cambridge chair of Mental Philosophy and Logic, from 1925 to 1939. Moore is best known today for his defence of ethical non-naturalism, his emphasis on common sense in philosophical method, and the paradox that bears his name. He was admired by and influential among other philosophers, and also by the Bloomsbury Group, but is (unlike his colleague and admirer Russell, who, for some years thought he fulfilled his "ideal of genius") mostly unknown today outside of academic philosophy. Moore's essays are known for their clear, circumspect writing style, and for his methodical and patient approach to philosophical problems. He was critical of modern philosophy for its lack of progress, which he believed was in stark contrast to the dramatic advances in the natural sciences since the Renaissance. Among Moore's most famous works are his book Principia Ethica, and his essays, "The Refutation of Idealism", "A Defence of Common Sense", and "A Proof of the External World". Moore was an important and much admired member of the secretive Cambridge Apostles, a discussion group with members drawn from the British intellectual elite. At the time another member, a 22-year-old Bertrand Russell, wrote “I almost worship him as if he were a god. I have never felt such an extravagant admiration for anybody.” From 1918-19 he was president of the Aristotelian Society, a group committed to the systematic study of philosophy, its historical development and its methods and problems. G. E. Moore died at the Evelyn Nursing Home on 24 October 1958; he was cremated at Cambridge Crematorium on 28 October 1958 and his ashes interred at the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge; his wife, Dorothy Ely (1892-1977) was buried there. Together they had two sons, the poet Nicholas Moore and the composer Timothy Moore.
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