RULES, PRINCIPLES, AND LAWS
1. In the last two chapters I have put forward the view that the necessary propositions of logic, mathematics, and philosophy are really linguistic rules. What exactly is a rule? Is a rule of language a 'rule' in the same sense as a rule of morality? In the following pages I shall examine those sentences which would ordinarily be said to convey moral rules or applications of moral rules; and judgments about moral value and ethical and aesthetic value. What are such sentences used for? Do they convey information, and, if so, what about?
First of all I wish to exclude from consideration certain groups of sentences which may perhaps look as though they ought to be considered here, but which obviously do not mean moral, ethical, or æsthetic judgments. (a) Such sentences as: "The right act is that which involves as consequences the least evil or the most good." "The supreme good for man is happiness." "Virtue consists in acting in accordance with reason." All these are clearly intended as definitive propositions and they may best be regarded as attempts to determine the structure of a part of our language --that part commonly used in the discussion of moral, ethical, or æsthetic judgments. Kant (for example) makes various attempts to define what we mean by saying" so and so is my duty"; and in each case he tries to show that the analysis offered does coincide with current usage: that (e.g.) we should not say a man was doing his duty if he showed benevolence simply because he enjoyed being benevolent.
(b) Such sentences as "I like this place", "I want to become a doctor", "I approve of that suggestion", "I feel