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22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / i. Prescriptivism

[morality is our assertion of universal duties]

14 ideas
Moral approval and disapproval concerns classes of actions, rather than particular actions [Ayer]
In primary evaluative words like 'ought' prescription is constant but description can vary [Hare, by Hooker,B]
Hare says I acquire an agglomeration of preferences by role-reversal, leading to utilitarianism [Hare, by Williams,B]
If we have to want the preferences of the many, we have to abandon our own deeply-held views [Williams,B on Hare]
If morality is to be built on identification with the preferences of others, I must agree with their errors [Williams,B on Hare]
Descriptivism say ethical meaning is just truth-conditions; prescriptivism adds an evaluation [Hare]
If morality is just a natural or intuitive description, that leads to relativism [Hare]
If there can be contradictory prescriptions, then reasoning must be involved [Hare]
An 'ought' statement implies universal application [Hare]
Prescriptivism sees 'ought' statements as imperatives which are universalisable [Hare]
Prescriptivism implies a commitment, but descriptivism doesn't [Hare]
The weakness of prescriptivism is shown by "I simply don't like staying at good hotels" [Williams,B]
Critics of prescriptivism observe that it is consistent to accept an ethical verdict but refuse to be bound by it [Blackburn]
Prescriptivism says 'ought' without commitment to act is insincere, or weakly used [Hooker,B]