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descriptive meaning


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It may seem plausible to split the meaning of some terms into two components, descriptive and evaluative. Saying that someone is courageous or temperate would partly be describing them, and partly offering a positive evaluation of what is described. The two-part analysis is, however, controversial, partly because it proves hard to separate out the descriptive meaning in the absence of the evaluation, and partly because often one side or the other seems not to be fixed as part of the conventional meaning of the term, but more by a moral consensus. See also thick terms.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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