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Coliva, Annalisa. Moore and Wittgenstein: Scepticism, Certainty, and Common Sense
2010, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
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Added by: Jie Gao

Publisher’s Note: Does scepticism threaten our common sense picture of the world? Does it really undermine our deep-rooted certainties? This book offers an answer to these questions through a comparative study of the epistemological work of two key figures in the history of analytic philosophy: G. E. Moore and Ludwig Wittgenstein. While historically accurate and engaging with scholarly work in this area, the book also puts forward novel interpretations of their works and brings out their relevance to present-day debates both in epistemology and philosophy of language.

Comment: This book is a useful and sustained examination of a variety of themes in Wittgenstein's On Certainty, the very late compilation of remarks inspired by G.E. Moore's engagement with scepticism and idealism in "A Defence of Common Sense," "Proof of an External World" and a few other papers. Among the topics considered are the strategies of Moore's arguments, ordinary and philosophical uses of language, differing interpretations of Moore, externalism, internalism and contextualism, Wittgenstein's objections to Moore, meaning and use, language games, Cartesian and Humean sceptical arguments, the epistemic and semantic status of so-called "hinge" propositions, epistemic relativism, and a comparison of Wittgenstein's and Moore's views with those of subsequent philosophers. It thus constitutes a very good reading or even central text for a course on Moore's epistemology, Wittgenstein's epistemology and external world skepticism.

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Vavova, Katia. Evolutionary Debunking of Moral Realism
2015, Philosophy Compass 10(2): 104-116
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Lisa Bastian

Abstract: Evolutionary debunking arguments move from a premise about the influence of evolutionary forces on our moral beliefs to a skeptical conclusion about those beliefs. My primary aim is to clarify this empirically grounded epistemological challenge. I begin by distinguishing among importantly different sorts of epistemological attacks. I then demonstrate that instances of each appear in the literature under the ‘evolutionary debunking- title. Distinguishing them clears up some confusions and helps us better understand the structure and potential of evolutionary debunking arguments.

Comment: This is a great paper to read in an introductory yet challenging metaethics course: it is accessible enough to be read by students with little background knowledge but is also interesting to read in that it puts forward an argument and is a good example of current research in the field.

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