Volume 50, Issue 3, Fall 2020
Oliver Thomas Spinney
Bradley and Moore on Common Sense
It is well appreciated that Moore, in the final years of the nineteenth century, emphatically rejected the monistic idealism of F. H. Bradley. It has, however, been less widely noticed that Moore’s concern to defeat monism remained with him well into the 1920s. In the following discussion I describe the role that Moore’s adoption of a ‘common sense’ orientation played in his criticisms of Bradley’s monism. I begin by outlining certain distinctive features of Bradley’s sceptical methodology, before describing the contrasting approach of Moore as it appears in 1910-11 and 1925. I bring these methodological differences into relief by assessing the status of common sense claims in the work of each figure. I show that Moore’s common sense methodology was employed against Bradley’s monistic conclusions, and that it was adopted with Bradley squarely in mind.