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CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF GEORGE EDWARD MOORE’S DIRECT REALIST EPISTEMOLOGICAL ACCOUNT OF COGNITION

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Abstract

George Edward Moore, in his quest to establish a direct realist account of cognition and to refute skepticism and absolute idealism, which is a brand of metaphysical monism, argued that at least some of our beliefs about the world are absolutely certain. Moore argues that these beliefs are ‘commonsense’. All the arguments put forth by G.E. Moore in his classic works; A Defense of Commonsense, Proof of An External World, The Nature of Judgment, Refutation of Idealism and A Reply to My Critics are all in a bid to prove the existence of an absolute external world whose existence is perceivable (knowable) via the ‘Commonsense’ understanding of reality (actuality). Although, Moore’s direct realist account of cognition states that perception or cognition of the external world is gained via the senses directly unmediated, such that there is no gap between the human mind and external world objects. However, it was discovered that the relationship between the distal stimulus and its percept was indirect; though for Moore the relationship between the distal stimulus and its percept is direct. Moore’s ontological account of cognition was quite unique and illuminating; however his ontological account of cognition was inadequate. The tenability of Moore’s position is questionable because it can only be sustained on the basis of naturalization of all epistemological account of cognition in relation to a given consensual language domain.