Moore was born in
Upper Norwood, Croydon, Greater London, on 4 November 1873, the middle child of seven of Dr Daniel Moore and Henrietta Sturge. His grandfather was the author
Dr George Moore. His eldest brother was
Thomas Sturge Moore, a poet, writer and engraver.
He was educated at
 and in 1892 went up to
Trinity College, Cambridge to study
 He became a Fellow of Trinity in 1898, and went on to hold the
University of Cambridge chair of Mental Philosophy and Logic, from 1925 to 1939.
Moore is best known today for his defence of
ethical non-naturalism, his emphasis on
common sense in philosophical method, and the
paradox that bears his name. He was admired by and influential among other philosophers, and also by the
Bloomsbury Group, but is (unlike his colleague Russell) mostly unknown today outside of academic philosophy. Moore's essays are known for their clear, circumspect writing style, and for his methodical and patient approach to philosophical problems. He was critical of modern philosophy for its lack of
progress, which he believed was in stark contrast to the dramatic advances in the
natural sciences since the
Renaissance. Among Moore's most famous works are his book
 and his essays, "The Refutation of Idealism", "
A Defence of Common Sense", and "A Proof of the External World".
He was president of the
Aristotelian Society from 1918-19.
Paul Levy wrote in Moore: G. E. Moore and the Cambridge Apostles (1979) that Moore was an important member of the secretive
G. E. Moore died on 24 October 1958; he was cremated at Cambridge Crematorium on 28 October 1958 and his ashes interred at the
Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in
England; his wife, Dorothy Ely (1892-1977) was buried there. Together they had two sons, the poet
Nicholas Moore and the composer Timothy Moore.