Meaning and Criteria

R. M. Hare

in The Language of Morals

Published in print March 1963 | ISBN: 9780198810773
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597619 | DOI:
 Meaning and Criteria

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Hare argues that ‘good’ is not a simple property as e.g. ‘red’, for unlike ‘red’, ‘good’ does not always refer to a common (non‐evaluative) property whenever it is applied. The same holds for ‘instrumentally good’. At the same time, though, we are able to learn the use of ‘good’ without being taught what in a particular class of objects entitles us to apply ‘good’ to a member of that class. Hence, Hare claims, all uses of ‘good’ must have a common meaning, but different criteria of application (depending on the class of objects it is applied to).

Keywords: criteria of application; good; instrumental good; meaning

Chapter.  6246 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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