prescriptivism


prescriptivism
pre·scrip·tiv·ism (prĭ-skrĭpʹtə-vĭz'əm) n.
The support or promotion of prescriptive grammar.
  pre·scripʹtiv·ist adj. & n.

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In metaethics, the view that moral judgments are prescriptions and therefore have the logical form of imperatives. Prescriptivism was first advocated by Richard M. Hare

born 1919

in The Language of Morals (1952).

Hare argued that it is impossible to derive any prescription from a set of descriptive sentences, but tried nevertheless to provide a foothold for moral reasoning in the constraint that moral judgments must be "universalizable": that is, that if one judges a particular action to be wrong, one must also judge any relevantly similar action to be wrong. Universalizability is not a substantive moral principle but a logical feature of the moral terms: anyone who uses such terms as "right" and "ought" is logically committed to universalizability.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • prescriptivism — pre*scrip tiv*ism, n. The doctrine that acceptable grammatical rules should be prescribed by authority, rather than be determined by common usage. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • prescriptivism — noun 1. (ethics) a doctrine holding that moral statements prescribe appropriate attitudes and behavior • Topics: ↑ethics, ↑moral philosophy • Hypernyms: ↑doctrine, ↑philosophy, ↑philosophical system, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Prescriptivism (philosophy) — meta ethical theory about the semantical content of moral statements, introduced by the philosopher R. M. Hare in his book The Language of Morals. It holds that moral statements functions similarly to imperatives. For example, according to… …   Mini philosophy glossary