Doubts about ordinary language in ethics

Inquiry 3 (1-4):270 – 277 (1960)
Abstract
Many writers assume one of the major functions (if not the major function) of ethical theory is to analyze the “ordinary language”; of moral discourse. This paper argues that different social groups develop quite different concepts of values; that there are many “ordinary languages.”; What analysts often in practice arc concerned with is middle-class ethical usage. In addition, it is argued that widely accepted moral usages may be incorrect because they are based on faulty empirical generalizations, pre-scientific opinions, or socially-determined prejudices. “Ordinary language”; needs to be viewed critically, therefore, rather than to be assumed as correct.
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References found in this work BETA
P. L. Heath (1952). The Appeal to Ordinary Language. Philosophical Quarterly 2 (6):1-12.
Norman Malcolm (1951). Philosophy for Philosophers. Philosophical Review 60 (3):329-340.
Joseph Margolis (1957). On Value Theory, by Way of the Commonplace. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 17 (4):504-515.

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