By R. M. Hare
Hare has written a transparent, short, and readable creation to ethics which seems in any respect the elemental difficulties of the topic.
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Additional info for The Language of Morals (Oxford Paperbacks)
3). 25 Prichard in effect argues that the goodness of a situation (which both he and those he is attacking regard as a fact about the situation) does not by itself constitute a reason why we ought to try to bring that situation into being; we need also what he (somewhat misleadingly) calls ‘the feeling of imperativeness or obligation which is to be aroused by the thought of the action which will originate it’. 26 But this objection applies, not only to the intuitionist theory of ‘good’, but to all who insist on the solely factual character of moral judgements; it applies to Prichard himself.
This symbol, INFERENCE 37 moreover, does not have here a special meaning different from its other uses. In somewhat the same way, ‘If you want to go to the largest grocer in Oxford, go to Grimbly Hughes’ is not an indicative; it would not be intelligible to someone who had learnt the meaning of indicative verb-forms but not that of imperative verb-forms; and the latter do not have in it a special meaning. The best way of describing the matter has been suggested by Kant: the imperative element in a hypothetical imperative is analytic (‘Who wills the end .
17 Now the word ‘all’ and other logical words are used in commands, as in statements. It follows that there must also be entailment-relations between commands; for otherwise it would be impossible to give any meaning to these words as used in them. If we had to ﬁnd out whether someone knew the meaning of the word ‘all’ in ‘Take all the boxes to the station’, we should have to ﬁnd out whether he realized that a person who assented to this command, and also to the statement ‘This is one of the boxes’ and yet refused to assent to the command ‘Take this to the station’ could only do so if he had misunderstood one of these three sentences.