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Review - Language of Morals (Hare) - Hare describes his...

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Hare describes his book as "an introduction to ethics" for beginners (p. v), but it is more ambitious than that. Prospective readers should not take the author's modest claim too seriously, for the book is not an "introduction." It is a perceptive contribution toward the solution of many fundamental problems of ethics. The book is very compact (the author informs us that the original material was reduced to half its length), and it deals with so many specific issues that the contents do not lend themselves to brief summary. This is especially true of Part II, called "Good," and Part III, called "Ought," where a wealth of illuminating material is laid out before the reader like so many pearls, without a thread on which they may be strung. But in the light of what Hare regards as "one of the chief purposes of ethical inquiry" (p. I97), which is to show how moral decisions are justified, this material, however valuable in its own right, may be regarded, for the purposes of a review, as serving a tactical purpose.
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