Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Moral ThinkingIts Levels, Method, and Point$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

R. M. Hare

Print publication date: 1981

Print ISBN-13: 9780198246602

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198246609.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 October 2019

Descriptivism and the Error Theory

Descriptivism and the Error Theory

Chapter:
(p.65) 4 Descriptivism and the Error Theory
Source:
Moral Thinking
Author(s):

R. M. Hare

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198246609.003.0004

Hare explicates descriptivism and J. L. Mackie's error theory and explains what is wrong with them with respect to moral disagreement and the prescriptive force of moral terms. The meaning of moral words, and their logic, lead us to believe that moral judgements are universal or universalizable prescriptions that are either overriding or related to overriding principles. When ordinary people use moral words, they are not intending to ascribe objective prescriptive properties to action. They are, in fact, intending to ascribe ordinary descriptive properties like the property of being, or the breaking of a promise. However, as a result of this state of affairs, individuals can very easily fall into the conceptual error of thinking that there are objective prescriptive properties. Hare seeks to show why philosophers make this mistake.

Keywords:   descriptivism, error theory, J. L. Mackie, moral judgement, morality

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .