Ethical Language

Ethical Language

  • Submitted By: kryptical
  • Date Submitted: 10/06/2014 11:26 AM
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Words: 453
  • Page: 2
  • Views: 1

The Philosopher R.M. Hare came up with the idea of prescriptivism and what he meant by this basically was that other people should agree with a statement and follow it due to ethical statements having an intrinsic sense. The role of ethical statements is to say what ‘ought’ to be done and such prescriptions are moral because they are universal. Hare then goes on to talk about the word ‘good’ and that we should always link it in relation to a set of standards, and this therefore means it has a descriptive meaning, however if we use the word ‘good’ in a moral sense it also has a prescriptive meaning. Hare is saying that there is a difference between a descriptive and prescriptive meaning, but when we use words with an ethical meaning, we use them prescriptively. However there are criticisms to Hare’s theory like you should put yourself in another person’s shoes before making a judgement as one person’s preferences may be different from another person.

On the other hand philosopher G.E. Moore came up with the idea of intuitionism and he said that the word ‘good’ was indefinable and one prime example he used was that we know what ‘yellow’ is and can recognise it, but we can’t actually define what it is and he also says this about the word ‘good’. Moore also said that we can still say whether a moral statement is true or false through our intuition and that we can recognise good when we see it. There are also criticisms to this in that there is no evidence, also people come to different conclusions when using their intuition.

There is also the emotivist approach you have to take into consideration when talking about ethical language. A.J. Ayer comes up with the idea of emotivism which means that moral statements are just expressions of feelings. He says that ethical statements have no facts to see if any ethical statement is true or false, so they are meaningless. Ayer comes up with the Boo/Hurrah theory which if you was to say ‘murder is wrong’, you are saying...

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