Doubts about ordinary language in ethics

Inquiry 3 (1-4):270 – 277 (1960)
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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DOI 10.1080/00201746008601313
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References found in this work BETA
Norman Malcolm (1951). Philosophy for Philosophers. Philosophical Review 60 (3):329-340.
Gilbert Ryle (1953). Ordinary Language. Philosophical Review 62 (2):167-186.

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