The Language of Ethics

The Language of Ethics

The Language of Ethics

The Language of Ethics

Excerpt

This book is a considerably revised version of my doctoral dissertation. It is only fitting, therefore, that I begin by acknowledging my indebtedness to my two thesis advisors, Professors C. I. Lewis and Morton White. That I ever reached the point where I was able to undertake such a project successfully I owe to the stimulating guidance of all my Harvard professors. A particular debt of gratitude is due to Professors Aiken and Bugbee under whom I took courses in ethics. It is also appropriate to mention the very helpful discussions I was privileged to have with Professors Broad, Wisdom, and von Wright as well as Doctor Ewing while my ideas were germinating in the fruitful atmosphere of Cambridge.

Once my ideas had grown into their written form, I received both aid and comfort from the two readers known officially only to the press; their suggestions have been of great help in improving the manuscript. The friendly and expert efforts of all those connected with the Harvard University Press who have guided this work from manuscript to book have been invaluable. Finally, let me thank Mrs. Ruth Lesselyong, whose prompt and efficient typing has reproduced my ideas stage by stage.

The subject of this book is the meaning of ethical sentences, a subject which belongs to the epistemology of ethics. It will be apparent that my general epistemological viewpoint owes more to the thought of C. I. Lewis than to any other. At the same time, my approach to language has been deeply affected by the writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein. In addition, of course, I have . . .

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