Tuesday, January 16, 2007

G. E. Moore responds to Arthur Balfour: A precursor to the Lewis-Anscombe controversy

When I was researching my dissertation on Lewis's argument against naturalism, my advisor, Hugh Chandler, found this essay in a volume of G. E. Moore's early essays. It is available online through the JSTOR service if your library subscribes, but the essay is entitled "The Value of Religion." It came out in the International Journal of Ethics in 1901. In it is included a rebuttal to Balfour's argument from reason, which is found in The Foundations of Belief. Dr. Chandler noticed a similarity between Balfour's argument and Lewis's, and he also noticed a similarity between Moore's rebuttal and Anscombe's. Nowadays, Balfour's influence on Lewis is widely recognized.

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