An Overview of R. M. Hare’s Moral Philosophy
7. From Theory to Practice 195
7. From Theory to Practice 7.1 Introduction Even though many philosophers have undertaken the study of moral philosophy out of an interest to find out how moral terms like "good", "right" and "ought" behave and in what respects their logical behaviour is similar to or different from that of the terms "red", "yellow" or "green", Hare, as has repeatedly ar- gued, decided to engage in the study of moral philosophy with a view to con- tributing to the solution of the practical problems that worry us most of the time.1 In fact he has admitted that it was the atrocities that he himself experi- enced during the Second World War that led him to think that it was only by studying the logic of the terms in virtue of which the moral problems are ex- pressed that we can clarify them, understand them and then proceed to solve them.2 So really he is an ardent adherent of the practical relevance of philosophy and he has not spared the time and trouble to bring this out on various occasions. And this is in spite of the fact that he is in entire agreement with his other fel- low-philosophers, and especially the Descriptivists, that the role of the twentieth century moral philosophy is not to answer questions of the form, "Is torturing animals wrong?" or "Is experimenting on human embryos right?" but rather to deal with the questions, "What do we mean by the term 'wrong'?" or "What is the logic of...
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