Sorting Out Ethics by R. M. Hare

By R. M. Hare

Checking out Ethics is a regularly lucid and vigorous survey of rival moral theories through essentially the most influential ethical philosophers of the century. It additionally constitutes a definitive precis of Hare's personal basic moral position.


"...the e-book is intensely powerful: written with frequent readability and vigor, and succinctly summarizing and cross-referencing the argument of the sooner works, it's going to substitute them on studying lists as a student's first publicity to Hare's views."--Times Literary complement

"...the ebook is warmly to be urged. scholars, specially, will have fun with its critical part, during which advancements in ethical philosophy through the current century are traced with unprecedented clarity."--International Philosophical Quarterly

"...the publication is very powerful: written with typical readability and power, and succinctly summarizing and cross-referencing the argument of the sooner works, it may substitute them on examining lists as a student's first publicity to Hare's views."--Times Literary Supplement

"...the publication is warmly to be urged. scholars, specifically, will relish its principal part, during which advancements in ethical philosophy in the course of the current century are traced with unheard of clarity."--International Philosophical Quarterly

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Moral philosophers have so often attempted similar tricks that one is right to be suspicious. 6). 1. 8 PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE IN ETHICS 25 language considerations to an account of substantial morality. Here we must simply note that formal considerations are only one element in moral arguments. ). Let us try out this essentially Kantian method more clearly, and relate it to its basis in philosophy of language. If moral judgements are prescriptive, as has been argued, then in making one, I am asking that it be acted on, and, if sincere, must will this.

This involves saying what I mean by 'Ethical Theory', and what I mean by 'Taxonomy'. The first is the more difficult task, because the expression 'Ethical Theory' has been used, and abused, in so many different ways. I am going to use it a good deal more narrowly than many writers—otherwise it would become a subject that could not be covered in five lectures. 1 our use of the moral words—if you like, of their meaning in a broad sense, or of what we are doing when we ask moral questions. ), an important part, at least, of the meaning of all words, including moral words, is determined by their logical properties, this study of meanings leads inescapably to the study of those logical properties.

If we want to be realists about the prescriptive element, we can if we wish speak of real prescriptive properties in actions; but that is simply not illuminating. I shall be using the expression 'ethical theory', then, in the narrow sense of 'theory about the meaning and logical properties of the moral words'. I have already said why I think that it is a necessary study if we are to distinguish good from bad arguments about moral questions. g. Rawls 1971: 51), One reason why people say this may be the following.

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