Moore, George

Moore, George

Moore, George, 1852-1933, English author, b. Ireland. As a young man he lived in Paris, studying at various art schools. Inspired by Zola, Flaubert, Turgenev, and the 19th-century French realists, Moore turned to writing, publishing his first novel, A Modern Lover, in 1883. A Mummer's Wife (1885), in portraying the degradation of a woman through alcohol, introduced naturalism into the Victorian novel. Moore's most famous novel, Esther Waters (1894), poignantly relates the poverty and hardships valiantly endured by a religious girl. Included among his other works are the novels Confessions of a Young Man (1888), Evelyn Innes (1898), Sister Teresa (1901), The Brook Kerith (1916), and Héloise and Abelard (1921); and the volumes of short stories Celibates (1895) and The Untilled Field (1903), the latter reminiscent of Dostoevsky. About 1900, Moore returned to Ireland and became associated with William Butler Yeats, George Russell (A. E.), and others in the Irish literary renaissance. His famous three-volume semi-autobiographical work, Hail and Farewell (1911-14), is a highly entertaining account of his experiences in Ireland.

See his letters, ed. by H. E. Gerber (1968); biographies by S. L. Mitchell (1916), J. Hone (1936, repr. 1973), and A. Frazier (2000); studies by J. Egleson (1973), R. A. Cave (1978), J. E. Dunleavy, ed. (1983), and J. Egleson, ed. (1983).

(born Nov. 4, 1873, London, Eng.—died Oct. 24, 1958, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire) British philosopher, one of the founders of analytic philosophy. While a fellow at the University of Cambridge (1898–1904), he published two influential papers, “The Nature of Judgment” (1899) and “The Refutation of Idealism” (1903), that did much to break the hold of absolute idealism on British philosophy. Also published during this period was his major ethical work, Principia Ethica (1903), in which he argued that “good” is a simple and unanalyzable quality that is knowable by direct apprehension. His intuitionism was the dominant metaethical position in Britain for the next 30 years, and it exerted considerable influence within the Bloomsbury group of artists and intellectuals. In epistemology, Moore is remembered for his “common sense” philosophy, according to which human beings know to be true many propositions about themselves and the world that are inconsistent with idealist and skeptical doctrines (e.g., “The Earth has existed for many years”). His general position was that, because no argument for idealism or skepticism is as certain as the commonsense view, idealism and skepticism can be rejected out of hand. He was professor of philosophy at Cambridge from 1925 to 1939. From 1921 to 1947 he edited the journal Mind.

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