Chapter

Defence of the Enterprise

R. M. Hare

in Sorting Out Ethics

Published in print February 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250326
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597602 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198250320.003.0002
 Defence of the Enterprise

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In this chapter, conceived originally as the introduction to chapters 3 to 7, Hare shows how philosophical questions arise from the consideration of practical moral problems, such as war and euthanasia. The main task of moral philosophy, Hare argues, is to study the logical form of moral arguments and, in particular, the logical properties of moral words, such as ‘ought’, ‘right’, and ‘good’. All argument, including moral argument, depends on logic, and logical validity depends on the meaning of words. The investigation of the meaning of the words and concepts, and thus the logic, employed in moral and other value judgements is, according to Hare, the distinctive contribution of the moral philosopher to the discussion of substantive moral questions.

Keywords: concepts; ethics; euthanasia; meaning; moral philosophy; war

Chapter.  4995 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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