Objective Prescriptions, and Other Essays

By R. M. Hare | Go to book overview

8
INTERNALISM AND EXTERNALISM IN ETHICS

8. 1. I MUST start by distinguishing the use of these terms 'internalism' and 'externalism' in ethics from their use in the theory of meaning. So far as I can see, the two uses have not much to do with each other, and the use of these same terms in the two fields may be fortuitous. The dispute in the theory of meaning is, to speak roughly, between those who think that what someone means by what he (or she) says depends entirely on factors internal to him, and those who think that it is affected by external factors, i.e. by what the words mean in the language. This in turn depends on how other people use them. To take a well-known example, if someone says 'I have arthritis in my thigh', the externalist will say that he cannot mean 'in my thigh', because 'arthritis' means 'a pain in a joint', and the thigh is not a joint. But the internalist will say that he may be giving his own meaning to the words, dependent on what he is thinking.

On the face of it (though I am not an expert in the theory of meaning) this dispute does not look too difficult to resolve, if we distinguish between speaker's meaning and meaning in a language. The speaker's meaning may be what would be more correctly expressed by saying 'I have a pain in my thigh similar to what one has when one has arthritis in a joint', or possibly 'I have arthritis in one end of my thigh, namely in my hip'; the meaning in the language is such that what he says, taken literally, is a self-contradiction. But I shall not be concerned with this dispute.

In ethics, the dispute between internalists and externalists has been formulated in different ways, and some of the differences are very important. I shall myself use the terms in the following way. An internalist is someone who thinks that one cannot make a moral judgement sincerely (i.e. think something moral) without being motivated in some way towards actions in accordance with it (by oneself

____________________
"'Internalism and Externalism in Ethics.'" From J. Hintikka and K. Puhl, eds., Proceedings of the 17th International Wittgenstein Congress ( Vienna: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky, 1996).

-96-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Objective Prescriptions, and Other Essays
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 234

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.