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The Lewd, the Rude and the Nasty
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The Lewd, the Rude and the Nasty: A Study of Thick Concepts in Ethics

Pekka Vayrynen


In addition to “thin” concepts like the good, the bad and the ugly, our evaluative thought and talk appeals to “thick” concepts like the lewd and the rude, the selfish and the cruel, the courageous and the kind—concepts that somehow combine evaluation and nonevaluative description. Thick terms and concepts are almost universally assumed to be inherently evaluative in meaning or content. And many philosophers have claimed them to have deep and distinctive significance for many general issues in moral philosophy, including the distinction between “facts” and “values,” objectivity in ethics, the ... More

Keywords: Ethics, moral language, semantics, pragmatics, thick concepts, thin concepts, evaluation, fact–value distinction, objectivity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199314751
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199314751.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Pekka Vayrynen, author
University of Leeds