[FOM] Moore on modality

Richard Heck rgheck at brown.edu
Tue Oct 12 07:41:13 EDT 2010

On 10/11/2010 06:42 PM, Bob Clark wrote:
> The best place for reference to this is probably Tom Baldwin's 'Selected
> Writings' (of Moore), P. 207ff, which has a footnote giving (postulated)
> sources and further references. The version Baldwin includes is, he
> says, 'an untitled and incomplete manuscript from the Moore papers in
> the University Library, Cambridge. ...'
> Michael Carroll wrote:
>> I believe G.E. Moore, perhaps in one of his essays, remarks that "It is
>> raining, and it's possible that it isn't" is logically odd, or words to that
>> effect. Unfortunately I've lost track of the reference, and can't seem to
>> locate it. Can anyone supply it? Thanks.
I was wondering if anyone would come up with a reference for this. As 
has been pointed out, it is close to Moore's paradox, which concerns 
statements of the form, "p, but I do not believe that p".

If Moore did consider modal versions, then he was presumably thinking of 
the modality as what we would now call "epistemic", e.g.: It is raining, 
but it might not be raining; as opposed to: It is raining, but it might 
not have been raining.

Richard Heck

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