An Overview of R. M. Hare’s Moral Philosophy
3. The non-logical ingredients of moral argument 69
3. The non-logical ingredients of moral argument 3.1 Introduction As we have seen, Hare's main thesis, is that one cannot answer or even attempt to answer moral questions unless one makes sure that one understands the mean- ing of the words used and the logic of the terms in which these questions occur. Analysing the meaning of moral terms and understanding the logical properties they possess is for Hare the necessary starting point for answering moral ques- tions and for settling moral disagreements. But now we are in a position to add that this is only part of his central claim. For Hare also argues that moral prob- lems normally come to us in a bunch of three different kinds of question.1 We have first of all logical questions which concern the analysis of the meaning of the moral terms involved and the logical limitations which such an analysis im- plies. We have secondly pure questions of fact which help us to distinguish the relevant facts of the situation and to determine, between the sets of conse- quences which alternative courses of action have, which one we would like to bring about. And finally, there are the irreducibly evaluative, moral and pre- scriptive questions which, after we have studied the logic of the moral terms and become clear about the facts of the situation, will enable us to decide whether what we wanted to do is right and thus solve the existing moral disagreement. Hare's point is that these three...
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