Commending and Choosing

R. M. Hare

in The Language of Morals

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

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Value‐words have their peculiar combination of descriptive and prescriptive meaning, Hare argues, because they are used for a specific purpose—to commend. To commend is not, however, to say something about a particular class of objects, but to make known to someone a standard for judging objects in this class in general—i.e. to guide her choice about objects in this class. Put in terms of Part I, to commend is to teach or decide on principles of choosing between objects of a certain class. Consequently, value‐judgements share the characteristics of universal imperative sentences.

Keywords: decisions of principle; descriptive meaning; evaluative meaning; prescriptive meaning; universal imperative; value‐judgements; value‐words

Chapter.  3637 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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