An Analytical Model

R. M. Hare

in The Language of Morals

Published in print March 1963 | ISBN: 9780198810773
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597619 | DOI:
 An Analytical Model

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Hare clarifies the relation between value‐words and the imperative mood by showing how, through the combination of non‐evaluative words and the imperative mood, we can establish an artificial terminology that could fulfil the same function as our value‐words do now. He does so by first defining the artificial concepts ‘right’ and ‘better than’ (which is substituted for ‘good’) in terms of the word ‘ought’, and then defining an artificial concept ‘ought’ in terms of the imperative mood, enriched so as to be capable of framing sentences in all persons and all tenses. This artificial concept ‘ought’ is then shown to fulfil the prescriptive function of the value‐word ‘ought’, though it is not capable of also fulfilling all its descriptive functions.

Keywords: descriptive function; good; imperative mood; ought; prescriptive function; right; value‐words

Chapter.  6579 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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