Logic of Moral Concepts
DOI link for Logic of Moral Concepts
Logic of Moral Concepts book
In the construction of a logical system, the relations of key concepts, no less than of key propositions, to each other need to be specified. Simplicity in the system is contributed by defining some of the concepts in terms of others, which are then the basic or ‘primitive’ concepts of the system. The ‘meaning’ or connotation of ethical terms can only be expressed in the ethical language. It may well be that the denotation of such words can be correctly described, but with a different force of connotation, in non-ethical language; it may well be that the meaning of, say, ‘object of desire’, runs parallel with the meaning of ‘good’. The so-called categorical use of the word ‘ought’ likewise has a peculiarly ethical connotation and cannot be translated, by non-ethical terms. In what is called the hypothetical use of the word ‘ought’, people are often willing to allow that their meaning can be translated by non-ethical terms.