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The logical status of value theories Wheatley, Jon James 1957

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THE LOGICAL STATUS OF VALUE THEORIES by JON JAMES WHEATLEY B.A., McGill University, 1952 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of Philosophy We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October, 1957 i . ABSTRACT The aim i n t h i s thesis i s to investigate the l o g i c a l status of meta-ethical theories which attempt to analyse e t h i c a l sentences i n terms of other types of sentences or other types of human a c t i v i t y . That i s , an investigation of the log i c of statements l i k e "Value judgements are simply expressions of emotion", "Value judgements are (disguised) commands", " E t h i c a l statements are (peculiar) descriptions" i s presented. To do this., one such theory, the Emotive Theory, i s considered i n some d e t a i l . This theory was chosen above the others for more detailed treatment as i t has proved the most i n f l u e n t i a l i n the development of contemporary philosophy since the 1930s when i t was f i r s t presented. I t i s here shown that i n i t s h i s t o r i c a l l y important presentation, the Emotive Theory i s l i t e r a l l y f a l s e , although i t can be made true by suitable r e - d e f i n i t i o n . I t can then be seen that the process of making the theory true by r e - d e f i n i t i o n removes i t from the type of theory which i t i s the aim of t h i s thesis to investigate for the theory then ceases to analyse e t h i c a l sentences i n terms of other types of sentences or other types of human a c t i v i t y . Thus there i s no lengthy investigation of the theory when i t involves new d e f i n i t i o n for t h i s f a l l s outside the scope of the thesis. Having presented a detailed r e f u t a t i o n of the Emotive Theory as an attempt to analyse e t h i c a l sentences i n terms of other types of sentences or other types of human a c t i v i t y , general r e f u t a t i o n of a l l such attempts i s developed. It i shown that such statements as "Value judgements are simply expressions of emotion", "Value judgements are (disguised) commands", " E t h i c a l statements are (peculiar) descriptions" are a l l l i t e r a l l y f a l s e however much they may point up important f a c t s . This i s followed by a short discussion of the implications of the thesis i n respect to philosophical investigations of the logic of e t h i c a l statements. In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l fulfilment of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representative. It i s understood that copying or publication of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Philosophy The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver 8, Canada. Date Sept. 30, 1957 TABLE OF CONTENTS i i i . Page Introduction 1. I The Emotive Theory of Ethics . . . . 3 . I I The Logical Status of Meta-Ethical Theories 4 3 . BIBLIOGRAPHY 59. INTRODUCTION My f i r s t task i n t h i s thesis i s to discuss the Emotive Theory of Ethics on i t s merits and i n a conventional way. I consider three possible interpretations of the theory and endeavour to show that the f i r s t two, which contain what might be called.the usual interpretation of the Emotive Theory, are false but that the t h i r d , under certain conditions, i s true. Having done, t h i s , I reconsider the Emotive Theory and give a general r e f u t a t i o n of the f i r s t two interpretations. This r e f u t a t i o n , I attempt to show, i s e n t i r e l y general for the analysis of value judgements or e t h i c a l statements i n terms of other types of statements. I go on to show that under ce r t a i n conditions t h i s applies, to a l l attempts to analyse one type of sentence i n terms of other types of sentences, i . e . that "every type of statement has i t s own type of l o g i c " . I next discuss b r i e f l y the consequences of what I have said for e t h i c a l theory generally. I give notice that the points here discussed are pre-sented., with very few exceptions., i n as compact a form as possible. This i s with reason as w e l l as through, personal preference. I t i s deliberate, because though i t makes. i n i t i a l reading harder, i t presents my thesis i n a more manageable form so that the essential structure i s never hidden. That i s , I have t r i e d to avoid as far as possible the f a u l t of which Lord Russell accused William James - he said that reading James1 work was 1. 2. l i k e s i t t i n g i n a bath with the water getting hotter and never knowing when to scream. I f I have succeeded i n what I set out to do, there w i l l be no d i f f i c u l t y knowing when to scream i n what follows. 3. I THE EMOTIVE THEORY OF ETHICS 1. Professor Ayer's statement of the Emotive Theory of Ethics i s as follows. In Language, Truth and Logic he writes: "In so far as statements of value are s i g n i f i c a n t , they are ordinary ' s c i e n t i f i c 1 statements; and that i n so far as they are not s c i e n t i f i c , they are not i n the l i t e r a l sense s i g n i f i c a n t , but are simply expressions of emotion which can be neither true nor f a l s e . " ^ It i s t h i s p o s i t i o n which I wish to attack. There are other contemporary writers who have put forward theories which have also been c a l l e d 'Emotive Theories' 2 ^ of ethics - i n p a r t i c u l a r , Ogden and Richards and Dr. Stevenson. 1 Ayer, A. J . , Language, Truth and Lofeic (1935)? New York, Dover, 1946, Ch IV,,p. 102. A l l the following quotations from t h i s work ref e r to t h i s chapter unless noted otherwise. 2. Ogden, C. K., and I. A. Richards, The Meaning of Meaning, New York, Harcourt, Brace and Co., 4th ed., 1936, 8th ed., 1946, p. 363. 3 Stevenson, Charles L., c f . i n p a r t i c u l a r Ethics and Language, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1944. 4:. I do not wish to enter here into the discussion of whether these men do hold the same theory as that held by Ayer and a l l future references to the Emotive Analysis i n what follows must be taken to refer to Ayer's theory as put forward i n Language, Truth  and Logic unless otherwise noted. 2 . When Ayer writes "Statements of value are simply expressions of emotion", t h i s i s open to three interpretations: (a) He could mean that "statement of value" and "expression of emotion" are simply d i f f e r e n t names for the same thing. Thus anything which could cor r e c t l y be ca l l e d an expression of emotion could also be cal l e d a statement of value with complete propriety and s i m i l a r l y , anything which could be correctly c a l l e d an expression of emotion could also be cal l e d a state-ment of value. (b) He could mean that the class of statements of value i s included within the class of expressions of emotion. This would imply that everything which could be corre c t l y called a state-ment of value could also be c a l l e d an expression of emotion with complete propriety but that there could be some expressions of emotion which would not be statements of value. (c) He could be intending to introduce a new technical term "expression of emotion" under which could be subsumed what we would o r d i n a r i l y c a l l expressions of emotion and what we would o r d i n a r i l y c a l l statements of value. This would be somewhat similar to the way i n which s c i e n t i s t s have introduced a 5. technical term "mammal" to cover a wide range of l i v i n g organisms. Such a position would not involve that what we o r d i n a r i l y c a l l statements of value would ever be what we o r d i n a r i l y c a l l expressions of emotion nor vice wersa but only that both what we o r d i n a r i l y c a l l expressions of emotion and what we o r d i n a r i l y c a l l statements of value would always be "expressions of emotion" as newly defined. It must be our task now to investigate Ayer's arguments for the Emotive Theory along with the three possible interpretations of the theory. 3. I t i s perhaps not u n f r u i t f u l here to discuss which of these three interpretations Ayer wishes to support and whether he i s supporting one interpretation only i n what he has written on ethics. 3.1 In Language, Truth and Logic. Ayer writes: The presence of an e t h i c a l symbol i n a proposition adds nothing to i t s factual content. Thus i f I say to someone 'You acted wrongly i n stealing that money', I am not stating anything more than i f I had simply said, 'You stole that money!1....It i s as i f I had said, 'You stole that money1, i n a peculiar tone of horror or written i t with the addition of some special exclamation marks. The tone, or the exclamation marks, adds nothing to the l i t e r a l meaning of the sentence. The s-ecomd sentence i n t h i s quotation i s highly ambiguous for he never defines •statement' 4 and i t i s therefore very d i f f i c u l t 4 I can f i n d no d e f i n i t i o n or obviously te c h n i c a l use of 'statement' i n Language, Truth and Logic. He does define the word quite c l o s e l y i n the new preface added i n 1946 but t h i s i s so he can put i t to new use. There i s no suggestion that t h i s was the d e f i n i t i o n he had i n mind while writing the o r i g i n a l work ten years before but forgot to include. 6. to know what he means by "not stating anything more". However, considering a l l Ayer has had to say of the subject of v e r i f i -cation, i t would seem l i k e l y that what he means by "not stating anything more" i s that i f we take the two separate sentences which would together imply "You acted wrongly i n stealing that money" i . e . the sentences "You stole that money" and "That action was wrong", then "That action was wrong" i s unverifiable. There i s good reason to suppose that t h i s i s what he means. For, as we see from the quotation above, as w e l l as using the d i f f i c u l t phrase "Not stating anything more" he also says i t "adds nothing to the l i t e r a l meaning of the sentence". Else-where i n Language, Truth and Logic^ he says that i f someone said something which was "not intended to express either a tautology or a proposition which was capable, at least i n p r i n c i p l e , of being v e r i f i e d , then i t follows that he has made an utterance which has no l i t e r a l significance". To return, then, i f he thinks, as he c e r t a i n l y does, that statements of value are unverifiable, then his statement, i f true, could support either interpretation (a) or (b) above for an expression of emotion, as these words are usually understood, i s c e r t a i n l y unverifiable. And i f "expressions of emotion" was redefined so that the redefined expressions of emotion were unverifiable, then i t would support interpretation (c) above at the same time. However, t h i s i s not a l l Ayer has to say. He also 5 Ayer, Op. C i t . , p. 36. 7. claims that i f someone says: "Stealing money i s wrong" i t i s as i f he had said "Stealing moneyj" i n a special tone or written i t with special exclamation marks. We are caught again here by Ayer's d i s l i k e of saying precisely what he means. If we say "John h i t the boy" i t i s as i f we had said "The boy was h i t by John". The same fact has been unmistakably described. But i f we say "You pinched that can of soup" i s i t then as i f we had said "You stole that can of soup"? The same fact has been unmistakably described. The " i t " i n " I t i s as i f " pre-sumably refers to the s i t u a t i o n i n question. " I t i s as i f " means that the si t u a t i o n remains the same whether w<* say "p" or say "q". Just as the hostess who wishes to be rude to a guest behaves as i f he was not there. This implies, surely, that she behaves as she would have behaved had he not been there, her reactions to "Mr. X i s present" are i d e n t i c a l with her reactions to "Mr. X i s not present". Ayer wants us to believe that though there are obvious verbal differences between "Steal-ing money i s wrong" and "You stole that money" plus a special tone, the s i t u a t i o n would i n both cases remain unchanged. But with matters as emotionally charged as moral pronouncements, t h i s i s surely a dangerous empirical generalization. It cannot be what he i s a f t e r , his thesis i s a l o g i c a l one. He must mean then that there i s no l o g i c a l difference between saying "Stealing money i s wrong" and "You stole that money" plus a special tone -just as i t i s the same to an adding machine i f we punch "2 + 3" or "3 f 2" however much the sounds would be different i f someone 8 read out what he were doing. Ayer i s thus asserting the l o g i c a l equivalence of "Stealing money i s wrong" and "Stealing money" plus a special tone. However, there i s a further d i f f i c u l t y . Ayer leaves us i n some doubt as to whether he thinks there i s a special tone now i n existence which would make the two collec t i o n s of words l o g i c a l l y equivalent or whether t h i s i s yet to be invented. I f he would claim.that i n ordinary discourse i t i s l o g i c a l l y equivalent to say "You acted wrongly i n stealing that money" and "Stealing that money" plus a special tone, then he would seem to be supporting at least interpretation (b) above, i f not interpretation (a). That i s , i f he intends that "Stealing that money"" (which he presumably thinks of as an uncomplicated expression of emotion) should be equivalent to "You acted wrongly i n stealing that money" and, further, that t h i s i s the t y p i c a l behaviour of statements of value and expressions of emotion, then statements of value would be included within the class of expressions of emotion. I f , however, Ayer means that we could, by inventing a special tone, turn "You acted wrongly etc " into "Stealing etc....", he would seem to be implying "We can see that state-ments of value are simply what we conventionally c a l l expressions of emotion for we see that we can convert them into what are obviously expressions of emotion by inventing t h i s new tone. And i f statements of value can be so converted without a l t e r i n g t h e i r meaning, then i t follows that they were expressions of 9. emotion to begin with, however much they appear in a coat of a different colour". If Ayer wishes to claim this, then it is again interpretation (b) above which he is supporting for i f a statement of value is simply an atypical expression of emotion then it must be an expression of emotion. We may note that the position discussed above is-, I think, the position which a supporter of the Emotive Theory is usually considered to support. It is also the position I am most interested in discrediting. 3 . 2 We w i l l now consider briefly what Ayer has had to say on ethics since the f irst publication of Language, Truth and  Logic. In the new Introduction to Language, Truth and Logic he says: "The theory {the.. Emotive Theory] is here presented in a very summary way". But he does not back down from the position he has advanced, he merely.^.apologises for the refinements and arguments he has left out. Thus our analysis of what position he is putting forward in this work stands. This new Introduction was published in 1946. In -1949 he published *0n the Analysis of Moral Judgements' in Horizon.^ In this article he states his own position by saying "I s t i l l wish to hold that what are called ethical statements are not really statements at a l l , that they are not descriptive of anything, that they cannot be either true or false". To this he adds the more positive statement: "What may be described as moral attitudes consist in certain patterns 6 Ayer, A . J . , 'On the Analysis of Moral Judgements1, Horizon, vol. xx, no.117, 1949. Reprinted in Philosophical Essays p.241. 10 of behaviour, and that the expression of a moral judgement i s an element i n that pattern". This i s a very different p o s i t i o n from those discussed i n the preceeding paragraphs (interpre-tations (a) and (b))as i t merely suggests c e r t a i n properties which the lo g i c of statements, of value have without bringing i n expressions of emotion at a l l . However, i t could be con-sidered as supporting interpretation (c) above, for the very properties of statements of value he names (with perhaps, more added.) could w e l l be considered to be the defining character-i s t i c s of the newly defined "expression of emotion". Further, i n t h i s a r t i c l e , he does not argue for a po s i t i o n other than (c) i . e . he does not argue for or mention the p o s s i b i l i t y of his theory being interpretation (a) or (b) above although, as we have seen, he i s giving his support to at least (b) i n Language, Truth and Logic. He also admits that his position i n Language, Truth and Logic leaves something to be desired. He says; "To say, as I once di d , that these moral judgements are merely expressive of ce r t a i n types of f e e l i n g s , feelings of approval or disapproval, i s an ove r - s i m p l i f i c a t i o n " . In" what follows, I s h a l l go further than saying his previous p o s i t i o n was an ov e r - s i m p l i f i c a t i o n , but the important point to notice i s that although he s t i l l claims to support the Emotive Theory, he supports a different and less r a d i c a l theory than what he previously c a l l e d the Emotive Theory. The position he supports 'On the Analysis of Moral Judgements', I s h a l l c a l l i t the New Emotive Theory, w i l l be discussed below. My point here i s that 11 the New Emotive Theory i s i n important respects different from the o r i g i n a l Emotive Theory. 4. We have seen that the position which Ayer would appear to support i n Language, Truth and Logic i s at least interpre-t a t i o n (b) above and he does not say anything to rule out i n t e r -pretation (a), however u n l i k e l y i t may seem. Also, I think i t i s true to say that most philosophers consider the Emotive Theory to involve at least interpretation (b) and t h i s being the case, i t must be our business to consider i t here. I t w i l l be noticed immediately that i f (a) i s true, (b) must be true and that i f (b) i s f a l s e , (a) must be f a l s e , i. e . (a) involves that a l l expressions of emotion s h a l l be statements of value and a l l statements of value s h a l l be expressions of emotion while (b) only involves that a l l state-ments of value s h a l l be expressions of emotion. For t h i s reason i t i s my intention here to show that (b) i s false from which i t immediately follows that (a) i s f a l s e also. 5. We. must f i r s t inspect the arguments which Ayer brings i n support of t h i s i nterpretation, i . e . (b). The only 'argument' Ayer brings i s contained i n the passage quoted e a r l i e r which claims that "You acted wrongly i n , stealing that money" and "You stole that money" plus an added special tone are l o g i c a l l y equivalent. We saw also that there are two possible interpretations which can be placed on t h i s 12. passage: ( i ) that there i s presently i n currency a tone of voice i n which "You stole that money" could be given which would make these two co l l e c t i o n s of words equivalent and ( i i ) that the two col l e c t i o n s of words would be equivalent were we to invent a suitable special tone or a suitable and unique punctuation mark. We w i l l consider these two alternatives separately. 5.1 I f Ayer intends ( i ) above, i t i s not s u f f i c i e n t that he should be able to fi n d one example where i t i s plausible to maintain that a certain statement of value i s equivalent to another group of words which, he would have us believe, i s an expression of emotion for t h i s one example could be an odd case, a t y p i c a l and therefore not suitable material on which to draw a general conclusion. I do not intend here to offer comments on the equivalence i n the example Ayer offers f o r , as we s h a l l see., he chooses a very confusing example. However, for i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ( i ) to hold water every statement of value must be equivalent to some presently possible expression of emotion, i . e . an expression of emotion not delivered i n some yet-to-be-invented special tones.. In order to dispose of t h i s p o s ition we need only show that the example Ayer gives i s i n some way a t y p i c a l and f i n d a contrary case, i . e . a statement of value which c e r t a i n l y cannot be translated into an expression of emotion i n the way Ayer suggests i t can. This I s h a l l endeavour to do. 13. The example Ayer takes i s i t s e l f highly confusing. In the passage previously quoted, Ayer writes.: "The presence of an e t h i c a l symbol i n a proposition adds nothing to i t s f a c t u a l content". Thus, he implies that i n the sentence "You acted wrongly i n stealing that money" the 'et h i c a l symbol' i s "wrongly', for he refers to the exclamation "You stole that money!" as containing no e t h i c a l symbol. But, i f 'good1, 'bad', 'wrong' etc. and t h e i r derivatives are only e t h i c a l symbols, then within our society 'stealing', r l y i n g 1 , 'deceiving* etc. and t h e i r derivatives have very important s i m i l a r i t i e s of function with e t h i c a l symbols. They themselves express e t h i c a l evaluations. In any case, s u f f i c i e n t doubt can be thrown on the purely descriptive nature of such terms to consider Ayer's example a t y p i c a l . We can clear some of the confusion by taking a di f f e r e n t and less muddling example than Ayer's. Suppose someone says: "You acted wrongly i n borrowing that t i n of soup" ('wrongly* used here as a normative symbol). Then i t i s impossible to convey the same thing by saying "Borrowing that t i n of soup.'" whatever the emphasis or tone with which i t i s said, i . e . no presently current tone or exclamation mark could make "Borrowing that t i n of soup" equivalent to "You acted wrongly i n borrowing that t i n of soup" whatever might be done with s p e c i a l l y invented tones. The most accomplished actor i n the world, though he might be able to express moral disapprobabtion i n saying "Borrowing that t i n of soupI" (just as he could i n saying "UghJ"), could not unambiguously communicate moral disapprobabtion as he could 14. b y s a y i n g , " Y o u a c t e d w r o n g l y i n b o r r o w i n g t h a t t i n o f s o u p " . T h a t i s , i t i s n o t u n a m b i g u o u s l y a s i f ( t o u s e A y e r ' s p h r a s e ) h e h a d s a i d " Y o u a c t e d w r o n g l y i n b o r r o w i n g t h a t t i n o f s o u p " f o r how a r e we t o t e l l t h a t h e i s n o t , s a y , e x p r e s s i n g a c u t e a s t o n i s h m e n t a t f i n d i n g y o u h a d r u n o u t o f s o u p , o r s u r p r i s e a t f i n d i n g t h a t y o u a r e b o r r o w i n g a n d n o t b u y i n g i t . N o r c a n I i m a g i n e a n y o t h e r t y p e o f e x p r e s s i o n o f e m o t i o n w h i c h w o u l d be e q u i v a l e n t t o " Y o u a c t e d w r o n g l y i n b o r r o w i n g t h a t t i n o f s o u p " . S u p p o s i n g my i m a g i n a t i o n i s n o t a t f a u l t h e r e , t h i s i s t h e d e s i r e d c o n t r a r y c a s e . 5.2 I f A y e r i n t e n d s ( i i ) a b o v e , t h e n h i s s t a t e m e n t , e v e n i f i t i s t r u e , d o e s n o t go t o show t h e p o i n t h e w o u l d w i s h i t t o s h o w . U n d e r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ( b ) a b o v e , A y e r m u s t b e m a i n t a i n i n g t h a t a s t a t e m e n t o f v a l u e i s a n e x p r e s s i o n o f e m o t i o n i n a n u n f a m i l i a r d r e s s . I f now h e i n v e n t s a t o n e o f v o i c e so t h a t " Y o u s t o l e t h a t m o n e y " s a i d i n t h a t t o n e o f v o i c e i s e q u i v a l e n t t o " Y o u a c t e d w r o n g l y i n s t e a l i n g t h a t m o n e y " h e h a s p r e s e n t e d us w i t h a s t a t e m e n t o f v a l u e i n a n u n f a m i l i a r d r e s s . T h i s u n f a m i l i a r d r e s s m i g h t make i t l o o k a s i f i t w e r e a n e x p r e s s i o n o f e m o t i o n t o c u r s o r y i n s p e c t i o n b u t t h e p r a c t i c e o f p h i l o s o p h y h a s made u s v e r y c h a r y o f e x p r e s s i o n s w h i c h l o o k a l i k e t o c u r s o r y i n s p e c t i o n . We a l l k n o w t h a t " I saw n o b o d y o n t h e r o a d " a n d " I saw J o n e s o n t h e r o a d " , t h o u g h a l i k e t o c u r s o r y i n s p e c -t i o n , h a v e f u n d a m e n t a l d i f f e r e n c e s . T h u s , t o p r o v e h i s p o i n t , A y e r m u s t n o t o n l y show t h a t a s t a t e m e n t o f v a l u e c a n , b y a s u i t a b l e c o n v e n t i o n , b e d r e s s e d a s a n e x p r e s s i o n o f e m o t i o n b u t 15 also that t h i s mode of dress brings out the r e a l nature of statements of value and that i t does not just obscure i t . I f Ayer invents a special tone of voice which would make "You stole that money" equivalent to "You acted wrongly i n stealing that money", then the two col l e c t i o n s of words, with the special tone added to the f i r s t , are equivalent by d e f i n i t i o n . The synthetic proposition:"'You stole that money* plus the special tone, i s an expression of emotion" has had no arguments whatever brought i n i t s support. I f Ayer wishes to argue that "You stole that money" plus his special tone i s an expression of emotion i n support of interpretation (b) above he. would have to show that "You stole that money" plus the special tone i s an expression of emotion. And surely i t w i l l be easier just to show that an ordinary state-ment of value i s an expression of emotion without ever dealing with a 'special, tone' which has a l l the disadvantages of an a r t i f i c i a l language. However, whether or not inventing a special tone i s going to make Ayer's task harder and not easier, as I have suggested, the onus i s undoubtedly on Ayer to show either that "You stole that money" plus his special tone or "You acted wrongly i n stealing that money" i s an expression of emotion i f he wishes to substantiate interpretation (b) above. In as much as he has not done t h i s , he has not, anyway by t h i s argument under t h i s interpretation, shown that interpretation (b) above of his central p o s i t i o n i s correct. 16 5.3 Ayer brings one other consideration to bear which we would do we l l to mention here. He writes i n Language, Truth  and Logic: "We hold that one never r e a l l y does dispute about questions of value" and goes on to support t h i s statement. I do hot here propose to go into t h i s question. I t i s perfectly true that i f interpretation (b) i s correct then dispute about questions of value would be impossible and thus he must claim that dispute about questions of value i s impossible. But i t i s p l a i n that though (b) could not be correct i f we could dispute about questions of value i n , anyway, ways i n which we cannot dispute about expressions of emotion, yet i t i s l o g i c a l l y possible that we should not be able to dispute about statements of value i n the way i n which we can not dispute about expressions of emotion and also that (b) above i s f a l s e . His arguments for our i n a b i l i t y to dispute about questions of value are thus not to the point i n proving (b). And as we are only interested i n arguments i n support of (b) at the present time, we need not consider i t here. We may thus conclude that Ayer brings no v a l i d argu-ments to support interpretation (b) above. Thus we are free to go on to consider interpretation (b) of the Emotive Theory on i t s own merits. This we s h a l l now do. 6. We must note that Ayer's position i n Language, Truth  and Logic i s a very slippery one. There would seem to be two ways to approach i t i n order to refute i t . In the f i r s t place 17. we could take an expression of emotion which i s supposed to be a value judgement and show that i t i s not a value judgement. But t h i s course i s not open to us because any expression of emotion we take may i n fact not be a disguised value judgement for under interpretation (b) i t i s only a l l value judgements which are expressions of emotion and not vice versa. Thus of any expression of emotion we might take Ayer could always say, "But t h i s i s an expression of emotion which i s not a disguised value judgement". As he t e l l s us of no distinguishing features which expressions of emotion which are disguised value judge-ments have, t h i s answer i s always available to him. In the second place we could take a value judgement and show that i t cannot be translated into an expression of emotion, i . e . that for any given value judgement "V" there i s no expression of emotion "E" which can be substituted for i t so that when we say "V" i t i s as i f we had said "E" i n an appropriate s i t u a t i o n . However, t h i s door i s also closed to us. Ayer distinguishes between normative and descriptive e t h i c a l symbols. At l e a s t , what he r e a l l y does i s t e l l us that there i s a d i s t i n c t i o n to be drawn between them without ever t e l l i n g us how i n any par t i c u l a r case we may decide. He writes: I t i s advisable here to make i t p l a i n that i t i s only normative e t h i c a l symbols, and not descriptive e t h i c a l symbols, that are held by us to be indefinable [ i . e . expressions of emotion]. There i s a danger of confusing these two types of symbols, because they are commonly constituted by signs of the same sensible form. Thus a complex sign of the form "x i s wrong" may constitute a sentence which expresses a moral judgement concerning a certain type of conduct, or i t may constitute a sentence which states that a c e r t a i n type of conduct i s repugnant to the moral sense of a p a r t i c u l a r society. 18 "There i s a danger of confusing these two types of symbols". There i s Indeed. There i s more here than a danger, there i s a f i r e escape. For having stated his b e l i e f i n such a d i s t i n c t i o n and said that he i s only r e f e r r i n g to normative e t h i c a l symbols i n his own analysis, Ayer can now say of any par t i c u l a r value judgement which, i t i s claimed, i s not an expression of emotion nor translatable into one, that i n fact i t was not a value judgement at a l l , i . e . the e t h i c a l symbol i t contains i s not normative but descriptive. Therefore unless Ayer presents us with a sentence which i s c e r t a i n l y a normative value judgement or t e l l s , us the distinguishing marks by which we ourselves can f i n d one, t h i s answer i s always open to him whatever case allegedly contrary to his analysis we attempt to bring. We might almost conclude our examination of Ayer's version of the Emotive Theory here for the phrase "normative e t h i c a l symbol" with the proviso that such must appear i n a value judgement for i t to be a value judgement i s such a w e l l lubricated weasel that we might claim that further inspection of the Emotive Theory was pointless. For Ayer has boldly asserted that a l l value judgements are simply expressions of emotion but he has not even attempted to show that there are any value judgements at a l l once we force his conditions of what a value judgement must be to be a value judgement onto ordinary discourse. The sharp l i n e he attempts to draw between "descriptive e t h i c a l symbols" and "normative e t h i c a l symbols" i s c e r t a i n l y s u f f i c i e n t l y unobvious to require some expansion and discussion. The ODD says "normative" means "Establishing 1 9 . a norm or standard". Thus Ayer's non-descriptive normative, symbol comes pe r i l o u s l y close to a contradiction i n terms using the. conventional meaning of "normative" "for i t i s hard to see how a standard i s to be set without description. Thus the simplest procedure would be to challenge Ayer to produce a true value judgement ( i . e . one containing a normative e t h i c a l symbol). We would then be i n a position to know whether his propositions about the logic of value judgements are i n fact concerned with what we would o r d i n a r i l y c a l l e t h i c a l pro-nouncements and, i f they are, to assess t h e i r v a l i d i t y . However, I do not propose to leave the examination of inter p r e t a t i o n (b) of the Emotive Theory here partly because i t has proved f a r too powerful a theory to convict on a t e c h n i c a l i t y and pa r t l y because i t seems l i k e l y that a good part of the support i t has received stems from the s i m i l a r i t y which undoubtedly exists between emotional outpourings and value judgements - a s i m i l a r i t y which the temper of t h i s century has been happy to emphasize. I t i s therefore my intention to analyse some aspects of expressions of emotion and value judgements to show that they do have most important differences. 6 . 0 1 We have seen that there i s no easy refutation of i n t e r -pretation (b) of the Emotive Theory. We have seen t h i s i s the ease because the obvious way to refute i t would be to produce a sentence which under the interpretation should not be contradictory and i s or produce a sentence which should be contradictory and i s 20. not. We cannot do t h i s because whatever sentence we produce as a statement of value Ayer can claim that i t i s i n fact not a statement of value at a l l , that the e t h i c a l symbol i s not nor-mative but descriptive. As Ayer does not give us the c r i t e r i a to d i s t i n g u i s h between what i s a normative" symbol and what i s not, we have no come-back to t h i s assertion. Nor, as we have seen, does the dictionary give us any help Sere (nor, i n c i d e n t a l l y , does Ayer's use of the word 'normative' elsewhere for he i s vastly sparing with i t ) . And though i f Ayer were forced to t h i s expedient often enough we might begin to suspect his position i s vacuous, t h i s procedure i s not open to us and we must there-fore adopt another approach. 6.1 My aim now w i l l be to show that the logic of expressions of emotion and the logic of statements of value are d i f f e r e n t . In p a r t i c u l a r , I wish to show that there i s a certain consistency i n our use of value judgements which the lo g i c of those state-ments require and which the logic of expressions of emotion does not require. As i t stands, t h i s i s too vague a thesis for detailed discussion. I w i l l therefore say I wish to develop t h i s thesis: That a value judgement carries with i t implications for the future that an expression of emotion does not carry. That i s , i f Mr. A. i n his right mind, not drunk, not i n love, not starving, etc. says "x i s good" t h i s carries with i t implications as to his future conduct which his saying "Damni" or "Ugh!" does not carry. To t h i s end, I s h a l l bring several d i f f e r e n t considerations. We have already seen that there 21 i s no easy, cut and dried r e f u t a t i o n of (b) and my aim now must therefore be to demonstrate my point by a number of con-siderations rather than one decisive argument. 6.11 The f i r s t point I wish to make i s one which Ayer himself makes i n 'On the Analysis of Moral Judgements'. He writes: "What i s approved of or disapproved of i s something repeatable. In saying that Brutus or Raskolnikov acted r i g h t l y , I am giving myself and others leave to imitate them should similar circumstances a r i s e . I show myself to be favourably disposed towards actions of that type". This i s , I suspect, intended to be at variance with what he wrote e a r l i e r i n Language, Truth and Logic though i t i s hard to say so d e f i n i t e l y because his analysis i s conducted i n d i f f e r e n t terms. However, whether or not he i s knowingly offering an alternative analysis to that i n Language, Truth and Logic and i n pa r t i c u l a r i n t e r -pretation (b), he i s offering support for my contention that the logic of value utterances requires a c e r t a i n consistency i n the use of such utterances. His statement i s s u f f i c i e n t l y interesting to merit further discussion. It i s undoubtedly correct that we often judge actions as being of a c e r t a i n type when we judge morally. The reason we t r y to persuade others that t h e i r moral evaluations are incorrect i s not, most of the time, so that we can have the pleasure of hearing them retract but so that i n the future they w i l l judge morally, and act, d i f f e r e n t l y . But we do not 22. argue about the future. We argue about t h e i r past, about Brutus or about Raskolnikov. I t i s not that there i s any p r a c t i c a l considerations at stake as regards these s i t u a t i o n s , for they can never now be affected by our argument. The p r a c t i c a l considerations are that our opponents present moral convictions may lead him i n the future to assassinate, say, the President of the United States for s i m i l a r reasons to those which influenced Brutus or might lead him to murder an old woman as he has the greater r i g h t to l i v e or might lead him to injure us i n some way. We go through t h i s frequently heated argument about un-changeable past situations just because we recognise that from a man's past moral judgements we can infe r his future moral judgements and perhaps his future actions. I f i t was not that our future moral judgements are i n part anyway a function of our moral judgements about situations past, present or imaginary, the whole f a b r i c of.moral argumentation would be-a ludicrous game having no possible end but the present enjoyment we get from the argument. To hold that i t i s such a game i s to me p l a i n l y r i d i c u l o u s . Gr, i f you l i k e , i t i s the game of l i f e played i n t o t a l desperation except for the hope that the future w i l l have some of the fear of the unknown wrested from i t by a present guarantee of future happenings, a game with high stakes and the players vainly asking for a hint of what cards another holds i n his hand. Our moral arguments are no more a game and just as much a game as a man's defence at a murder t r i a l i s a game. We l i v e and die, sometimes, owing to others' moral 23. judgements and. our moral arguments before t h i s s i t u a t i o n arises are our l i f e insurance, the hedges we place on the gamble of l i f e . 6.12 I wish now to inspect the sort of considerations we bring to bear i n a discussion on moral matters. Let us say that Mr. A. and Mr. B. disagree morally about an actual act 'x' of A's, i.e . A says "x was r i g h t " and B. says "x was wrong". I am not here concerned with whether or not they are formally contra-di c t i n g one another. They disagree i n the way i n which many of us disagree every day. A. i s maintaining that, his act was r i g h t , B. that i t was not. To j u s t i f y himself, A. says, "I think a l l acts of type X are r i g h t . My action x was of type X and I therefore regard i t as r i g h t . I f I had the opportunity to do another act of type X and a l l else was equal, I would do i t " . Now A. i s claiming i n his defence just that property of moral judgements we have been discussing. He i s saying that he has not been inconsistent, ( i . e . he has been consistent with h i s own past value judgements.) with perhaps the added challenge that t h i s i s the only ground we could take against him. The fact that A., and a l l of us, do sometimes make t h i s type of defence, shows that we recognise t h i s property of moral language i n our use of i t . I f B. agrees that actions of type X are r i g h t , then he w i l l either t r y to show that the action x was not of type X or he w i l l agree that A.was right i n doing x. I f he disagrees, says that a l l actions of type X are wrong, i t i s very d i f f i c u l t for A. to go on arguing except by ref e r r i n g to yet more in c l u s i v e types of action. Faced with the s i t u a t i o n i n which our opponent 24. h a s a c o m p l e t e l y s e l f - c o n s i s t e n t m o r a l s y s t e m w i t h w h i c h we d i s a g r e e we h a v e n o a n s w e r . T h e s o r t o f c o n s i d e r a t i o n we u s u a l l y b r i n g i s t o s a y " Y o u a g r e e y i s b a d , z i s b a d , e t c , how c a n y o u s t i l l s a y x i s g o o d f o r t h e y a r e a l l a c t i o n s o f t h e same t y p e " . T h e s o r t o f a n s w e r we b r i n g t o t h i s i s n o t t o s a y : " I d o n ' t c a r e i f y a n d x a r e a c t i o n s o f t h e same t y p e , I s t i l l s a y y i s b a d a n d x g o o d " b u t t o t r y t o show t h a t x a n d y a r e a c t i o n s o f d i f f e r e n t t y p e s , u s u a l l y b y b r i n g i n g f o r w a r d t h e p a r t i c u l a r c i r -c u m s t a n c e s w h i c h make x d i f f e r e n t f r o m y a n d z. T h i s i s t h e w a y we a r g u e . T h e o n l y p o i n t o f t h e o t h e r d e v i c e s we s o m e t i m e s u s e i n a n e n d e a v o u r t o s w a y o t h e r s m o r a l l y , i . e . t h e q u o t i n g o f t h e m o r a l o p i n i o n s o f o t h e r s , t h e s t o r i e s we t e l l a b o u t s h e p h e r d s w i t h t h e i r f l o c k s , t h e man who f e l l among t h i e v e s o r A l b i o n a n d t h e F u r n a c e s o f L o s , i s o u r h o p e t h a t s e e i n g t h e r i g h t s a n d w r o n g s o f t h e m a t t e r i n t h i s s i m p l i f i e d f o r m o u r o p p o n e n t w i l l b e a b l e t o a p p l y t h e g e n e r a l p r i n c i p l e t o t h e m a t t e r now u n d e r d i s c u s s i o n . I f o u r o p p o n e n t i s u n w i l l i n g t o b e p e r s u a d e d , h i s s t a n d a r d r e p l y , a s we a l l k n o w , i s " A h , b u t t h i s i s d i f f e r e n t " . He i s s a y i n g t h a t h i s own o p i n i o n i s n o t i n c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e p r i n c i p l e e x e m p l i f i e d i n t h e g e n e r a l m o r a l command " T h o u s h o u l d s t l o v e t h y n e i g h b o u r a s t h y s e l f " o r t h e s t o r y o f t h e g o o d S a m a r i t a n . T o c o n s t r u c t e v e n a n i m a g i n a r y a r g u m e n t w h i c h i s n o t p r e l i m i n a r y d i s c u s s i o n l e a d i n g t o a g r e e m e n t a s t o b e l i e f a b o u t t h e f a c t s w i t h o u t u s i n g t h e c e r t a i n c o n s i s t e n c y d e m a n d e d b y t h e l o g i c o f o u r u s e o f m o r a l l a n g u a g e , i s i m p o s s i b l e . 6.13 I w i s h now t o i n s p e c t t h e s o r t o f c o n s i d e r a t i o n s w h i c h 25. lead us to say that a man "does not r e a l l y mean i t " when he makes a moral judgement. We frequently do do t h i s . Of the drunk we say "He knows perfectly w e l l he ought not to drink too .: much, that i t i s disgusting" i n spite of the drunk's protes-tations that "Drinking i s the fine s t thing, everyone ought to be drunk at least once a week". Of the lover we say "He doesn't r e a l l y think that free-love i s good - he's not himself now". Or of the starving man we say "He knows stealing i s wrong what-ever he says now, hungry and broke". We do not say "He does not r e a l l y mean i t " of a man who, drunk or sober, year i n and year out, and i n good f a i t h declares drinking too much i s the highest aim i n l i f e . We may regard his moral views as reprehensible, we may argue with him, but i n good f a i t h we do not say "He does not r e a l l y mean i t " . But we do say i t of the book-keeper of exemplary character who l i v e s just down the street and now, at an o f f i c e party, has for the f i r s t time imbibed too f r e e l y or made a f a l t e r i n g attempt to hold one of the t y p i s t ' s hands. We say "He does not r e a l l y mean i t , pay no attention" because he i s now "not himself", because i t i s inconsistent with his past value judgements. We say t h i s because we know that i n the past his statements that excessive drinking i s disgusting, wrong are not remarks intended to convey only his present, spontaneous reactions but one exemplification of the general moral p r i n c i p l e s which run, probably, through his whole l i f e . To quote from the same a r t i c l e by Ayer again: "An 26 action or a s i t u a t i o n i s morally evaluated as an action or a s i t u a t i o n of a certain type". This point i s l o g i c a l l y bound up with the question of consistency i n moral judgements. For once we admit that we do at least sometimes morally evaluate situations of a certain kind, we must also admit that there i s a l o g i c a l requirement for consistency i n our moral evaluation. For i f we deny t h i s consistency, there would be no point i n evaluating situations of a certai n kind. There would be no point because i t would serve no useful function to do so. I f our moral evaluation of a s i t u a t i o n was merely the emotion we express faced d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y by that s i t u a t i o n , there would be no use i n language for statements l i k e "To k i l l i s e v i l " . In as much as there are many such sentences i n the language and they are frequently used, they have a use. 6 . 2 We have been investigating one aspect of the logic of value judgements. But we w i l l not have completed the case against interpretation (b) u n t i l we have shown that expressions of emotion do not exhibit the same l o g i c . This we s h a l l now attempt to do. Consider the sort of things which are pretty undoubtedly expressions of emotion. A scream, a blush, the spontaneous curses when we h i t our thumb with a hammer, the "Ugh!" as we drink sour beer, the flood of tears which so surprises both the onlooker and, often, the person crying. One feature appears immediately, the spontaneous nature of these expressions. When 27. someone Ohs and Ahs i n front of a picture we f e e l sure he does not appreciate we say, " I t i s just an act, i t i s not spontaneous he doesn't r e a l l y f e e l that way". We mean that what has been said i s not a function of that person's feelings about the picture but of something else. A spontaneous reaction i s not necessarily one which arises unbidden to the l i p s but one which i s purely a response to what i s presented. This i s i n dir e c t c o n t r a d i s t i n c t i o n to the previous case of the book-keeper. We do not doubt that after twenty years of abstention his sudden declaration for the primacy of booze i s purely a response to the present s i t u a t i o n . I t i s precisely because his reaction i s spontaneous that we say "He doesn't r e a l l y mean i t " . I f i t had not been spontaneous, i f , say, the book-keeper had i n fact been thinking deeply about the moral aspects of drinking and come to the conclusion that he should be less sober and t h i s was the f i r s t sign of his inner thought, we would have to say "Here i s a moral conversion". So long as we think t h i s i s not the case, we say "He doesn't r e a l l y mean i t " . Nor should we be confused by the fact that for some things we undoubtedly continue to express the same emotion time after time. A man who has consistently expressed horror of spiders i n the past w i l l probably continue to do so. But t h i s i s for psychological reasons rather than a requirement of the logic of expressions of emotion. A man who Is consistent i n his emotional response spiders may not be i n his response to beer or caviar - for today he reacts favourably and tomorrow he 28. throws i t unobtrusively into the garbage can. We are surprised when a man does not s t i c k to what seems to be a usual emotional reaction to a c e r t a i n s i t u a t i o n but there are equally other situations where we are not the s l i g h t e s t degree surprised i f the reaction changes from day to day. But with value judge-ments we do not expect them to change from day to day. We have seen that some sort of arguing on moral matters i s possible past the stage of agreement as to b e l i e f about the facts. There are considerations which can be brought and which we hope w i l l lead our opponent to change his mind, say "x i s not good but bad". We saw also that the very basis of the p o s s i b i l i t y of t h i s arguing was the consistency demanded by the logic of moral language i n anyone's use of i t . But i t makes no sense whatever to argue with a blush or an exasperated "Damn"". It makes no sense because the basis for argument on moral matters i . e . the 'certain consistency' of moral language, i s lacking. A past expression of emotion i s gone and done with, leaving behind i t , perhaps, a nasty taste i n the mouth but no l o g i c a l i m p l i -cations for the future. With t h i s we complete our discussion of interpretation (b), and of (a) also. We saw that for (a) or (b) to be true every statement of value had to be an expression of emotion. We have shown above that statements of value carry with them c e r t a i n l o g i c a l implications for the future which expressions of emotion do not carry and i t i s therefore impossible that any given value judgement should be an a t y p i c a l expression of emotion, i . e . 29 impossible that i f we say "E" i t i s as i f we had said "V". We therefore conclude that both interpretations (a) and (b) are f a l s e . 7. We have now rejected interpretations (a) and (b) of the Emotive Theory as f a l s e . There remains interpretation (c) which i s yet to be investigated. Before we go on to consider (c) i n any d e t a i l i t i s important to r e a l i z e the nature of such a position. Interpre-t a t i o n (c) states that there i s some way i n which "expression of emotion" can be redefined so that both value judgements and expressions of emotion are covered by the d e f i n i t i o n . I t i s important to note that because "expression of emotion" can be ..redefined, t h i s does not involve any p a r t i c u l a r correspondence between expressions of emotion and value judgements. Inter-pretation (c) could be true and yet completely vacuous and uninteresting. Suppose we were to redefine "expression of emotion" to mean every exclamation we would o r d i n a r i l y c a l l an expression of emotion and every pronouncement we would o r d i n a r i l y c a l l a value judgement. To say then that statements of value are simply "expressions of emotion" as newly defined i s true, vacuous and uninteresting. I f , to be true, interpretation (c) has to be of t h i s nature then, though i t would be incorrect to say i t i s f a l s e , i t deserves only to be ignored. However, there are c e r t a i n l y more interesting ways i n which "expression of emotion" can be redefined. But i n a l l 30. o u r c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n we m u s t b e a r i n m i n d t h a t i t i s n o t i n t h e s l i g h t e s t d e g r e e s u r p r i s i n g t h a t a new d e f i n i t i o n o f " e x p r e s s i o n o f e m o t i o n " c a n b e f o u n d w h i c h m a k e s ( c ) t r u e . O n c e we h a v e f o u n d a s u i t a b l e d e f i n i t i o n we m u s t t e s t i t a t t h e b a r , n o t o f t r u t h o r f a l s i t y f o r i f we h a v e d o n e o u r w o r k w e l l i t w i l l c e r t a i n l y make i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ( c ) t r u e , b u t o f w h e t h e r o r n o t i t i s m i s l e a d i n g , o f w h e t h e r o r n o t we s h o u l d u s e t h e w o r d s " e x p r e s s i o n o f e m o t i o n " a n d n o t a m o r e n e u t r a l a n d a r t i f i c i a l f o r m o f t e r m i n o l o g y s u c h a s " v a l u e e q u a t i o n " o r " v a l u e i n d i c a t i o n " o r " e v a l u a t i v e r e s p o n s e " o r s o m e t h i n g s i m i l a r . 7.1 I do n o t p r o p o s e h e r e t o l o o k f o r j u s t a n y d e f i n i t i o n o f " e x p r e s s i o n o f e m o t i o n " w h i c h w o u l d make i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ( c ) t r u e f o r s u c h a s e a r c h l i e s o u t s i d e t h e s c o p e o f t h i s t h e s i s . H o w e v e r , we do h a v e a d e f i n i t i o n r e a d y t o h a n d f r o m A y e r ' s ' O n t h e A n a l y s i s o f M o r a l J u d g e m e n t s ' . I n t h e p a s s a g e p r e v i o u s l y m e n t i o n e d , h e w r i t e s : " W h a t a r e c a l l e d e t h i c a l s t a t e m e n t s a r e n o t s t a t e m e n t s a t a l l , . . . t h e y a r e n o t d e s c r i p t i v e o f a n y t h i n g , . . . t h e y c a n n o t b e e i t h e r t r u e o r f a l s e . " We m i g h t t h e n d e f i n e a n e x p r e s s i o n o f e m o t i o n a s : A s o u n d u t t e r e d b y a human b e i n g o r a g e s t u r e made b y o n e o r a c o m b i n a t i o n o f t h e s e w h i c h a r e n o t s t a t e m e n t s , n o t d e s c r i p t i v e o f a n y t h i n g , n o t s u s c e p t i b l e o f b e i n g e i t h e r t r u e o r f a l s e . I t h i n k i t i s p l a u s i b l e t o m a i n t a i n t h a t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n 31. (c) with "expression of emotion" defined as above i s a sort of minimum pos i t i o n Ayer wishes to maintain i n 'On the Analysis of Moral Judgements'. By t h i s I mean that though he probably wishes to maintain more about moral judgements than that they are "expressions of emotion" as defined above - for there are traces of an "attitude" and "avowal" theories i n the Horizon a r t i c l e - he would ce r t a i n l y not wish to maintain less. He would probably repudiate i t precisely because i t i s only a "minimum pos i t i o n " but i t at least provides us with a d e f i n i t i o n to discuss. 7.2 Although we might be prepared to admit that statements of value as o r d i n a r i l y conceived are "expressions of emotion" according to the new d e f i n i t i o n as i t stands, there are important respects i n which t h i s i s not good enough. Our new d e f i n i t i o n i t s e l f requires some discussion before we can discuss i t s s u i t -a b i l i t y and i t s p o t e n t i a l i t i e s or lack of them to mislead us or others. The key to the new d e f i n i t i o n i s that a statement of value i s unverifiable - i t i s round t h i s point that Ayer's discussion of i t turns. He would not i n the slightest mind admitting, presumably, that statements of value described some-thing i f we knew what i t was they described. For once we knew what was being predicated of the subject, we could go on to investigate whether or not the subject d i d , i n f a c t , have t h i s property. And because he can f i n d nothing v e r i f i a b l e which i s "32. being predicated of the subject, he says nothing i s being pre-dicated of the subject, i . e . the subject i s not being described at a l l . What he i s r e a l l y saying i n answer to Moore's statement that e t h i c a l properties are non-natural properties i s that a property to be a property must be a property which we can, anyway i n theory, check on. S i m i l a r l y , he would say a statement was not a statement i f i t i s not susceptible of being either true or f a l s e , i . e . v e r i f i e d , and thus that statements of value are not statements at a l l . He f u l l y r e a l i s e s that i n saying t h i s he i s using "description" and "statement" d i f f e r e n t l y from the way we would o r d i n a r i l y use them i n conversation, but used i n his sense what he says i s correct. My point here i s that his use of "description" and "statement" i n the d e f i n i t i o n we are considering has i t s foundations on the question of whether or not an utterance i s v e r i f i a b l e and thus his central character-i z a t i o n of statements of value i s that they are unverifiable. From which follows the three properties he attributes, to state-ments of value, the three properties we have taken as the defining c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of our newly defined "expression of emotion". Let us for the moment grant Ayer h i s use of words by which a statement of value does become an "expression of emotion" as newly defined, a use of words which he j u s t i f i e s at the bar of c l a r i t y and, I think, j u s t i f i e s cogently. Let us allow that expressions of emotion as o r d i n a r i l y conceived are also included within the sense of "expressions of emotion" according to the new d e f i n i t i o n . This l a s t i s an important point for i f conventional 33 expressions of emotion did not f a l l under our newly defined "expression of emotion" the new d e f i n i t i o n would already have lost a l l contact with the conventional use of the words, which would m i l i t a t e against the new use being anything but misleading. We are now i n a p o s i t i o n to assess the value of t h i s new d e f i n i t i o n as misleading or enlightened and revealing. 7.3 Consider the following sentence from the outside of a t i n to be bought i n most grocery stores: "To 5 gallons of b o i l i n g water add 2& lbs. OGL HOP FLAVOURED MALT EXTRACT, 2% lbs. Demerara Sugar, 1 oz. Gelatine and s t i r .... etc". This sentence states nothing, i . e . i n Ayer's sense of the word i t i s not a statement, i t describes nothing unless we use the word "describe" far more loosely than Ayer would allow i n 'On the Analysis of Moral Judgements' and i t i s unverifiable, i . e . i t can no more be true or false than can "Damn"". Thus i t i s an "expression of emotion" i n the new sense. So, also, are a l l questions. Or consider the sentence "The stars are lamps to l i g h t us home" or "Every woman i s a foreign land". Anyone who, doubting the truth of these statements, was to consult books on Astronomy or the Kinsey Report would have undoubtedly misunder-stood the logic of the o r i g i n a l sentences. Only i n the loosest sense, disallowed by Ayer, could these sentences be said to describe anything, nor do they state anything i n Ayer's use of words, nor can they be true or f a l s e . They also, then, are expressions of emotion. 34. .Or consider the sentence "Not the earth but the sun i s the hub of the solar system, the point about which the planets turn." Too much has been written on t h i s question^ for me to go into i t i n any d e t a i l for I am only using i t as an i l l u s t r a t i o n . But one upshot of what has been written i s that the sentence i s the expression of a certain way of looking at the solar system, often a highly p r o f i t a b l e way, but not one which describes anything, states anything or i s capable of being true or false i n Ayer's use of these words. I t also, then, must be an expression of emotion. 7.4 There i s nothing l o g i c a l l y the matter with a l l these statements and ones l i k e them being "expressions of emotion" i n the new sense. As Ayer says i n 'On the Analysis of Moral Judgements' while discussing uses of the word "f a c t " , "The only relevant consideration i s one of c l a r i t y " . Very w e l l , w i l l t h i s r e d e f i n i t i o n make matters, previously obscure, as clear as may be? I think here we can step out of the p h i l -osophers usual habit of discussing every aspect of a question before stating a conclusion to say simply that to redefine "expression of emotion" to include a l l the sorts of sentences discussed i n para. 7.3 i s highly misleading, to muddy the water of philosophic discussion hugely and unnecessarily. I t might have been useful to group value statements with questions, commands and exclamations l i k e "Damn!" etc. once, useful 6 cf p a r t i c u l a r l y : Wisdom, John, 'Philosophy, Metaphysics and Psychoanalysis', Philosophy and Psycho-analysis, Oxford, Blackwell, 1953, pp. 248 - 282. 35. when an antidote was needed to t a l k of non-natural properties, but no longer useful, now only confusing. Further, doubly confusing to c a l l questions, commands, instructions for making beer, the Copernican Hypothesis, etc. expressions of emotion. Undoubtedly value judgements do have some properties i n common with these types of sentence, have important s i m i l a r i t i e s to questions, commands, sentences l i k e "The stars are lamps'* to l i g h t us home" etc. which i t i s ce r t a i n l y worth while to point out in some way, but to c a l l them a l l expressions of emotion, though true as the term i s redefined, i s almost l i k e suddenly to c a l l a l l bonds "money" and a l l wives "untaxed luxuries" by a suitable emendation of d e f i n i t i o n s . We have been considering interpretation (c) of the Emotive Theory. We have seen that there are ways i n which "expression of emotion" could be redefined to make the sentence "Statements of value are simply expressions of emotion" true. We also took a r e d e f i n i t i o n of "expression of emotion" and saw that using t h i s r e d e f i n i t i o n interpretation (c) i s true. But we also t r i e d to show that i t would be considerably misleading as the d e f i n i t i o n would include many types of sentences which would be ill-grouped with statements of value and conventional expressions of emotion. It i s , of course, open to anyone to disagree with the statement that the r e d e f i n i t i o n i s highly misleading (or to invent a new d e f i n i t i o n ) but so long as he appreciates the reasons I bring to show i t i s misleading and I appreciate the points he would bring to show i t i s not mis-leading, then our f i n a l difference i s unimportant. For to c a l l 36. the r e d e f i n i t i o n "misleading" or "enlightened" i s , i n Ayer's words, "not to say any more about [what i s the casej ; i t does not add a further d e t a i l to the story". 8. At t h i s point I propose to leave interpretation ( c ) . Logically speaking there are an i n f i n i t y of ways i n which "expression of emotion" could be redefined and even p r a c t i c a l l y the number of possible and p o t e n t i a l l y suitable d e f i n i t i o n s i s very large. I t must be real i z e d that a l l the value In t h i s interpretation rests on the r e d e f i n i t i o n . For to claim that interpretation (c) i s correct without giving the d e f i n i t i o n gets us no where at a l l f o r , as we have seen, "expression of emotion" can be so defined as to make (c) vacuous and uninter-esting, i f true. Further, once we have invented a d e f i n i t i o n which leaves (c) true and meaningful, our choice between t h i s d e f i n i t i o n and alternative d e f i n i t i o n s , the c r i t e r i a by which we judge, are not l o g i c a l c r i t e r i a but c r i t e r i a of s u i t a b i l i t y , being misleading etc. And for the present I wish to s t i c k as closely as possible to problems where our f i n a l conclusion i s reached as far as possible on l o g i c a l grounds only. But there are other grounds which w i l l shortly come to l i g h t for saying, as I did e a r l i e r , that I do not think hunting for a suitable d e f i n i t i o n of "expression of emotion" i s a profi t a b l e task. Further, i t could well be argued that the task of finding a suitable d e f i n i t i o n for "expression of emotion" belongs to sympathizers with the theory - which I am not. It i s hardly the 37. job of one who feels that the whole Emotivist approach to ethics i s misguided to search for the d e f i n i t i o n to make the theory true. And I do disagree with t h i s approach i f for no other reason than the use of the word "emotive" in'the theory, a use of terms which, however much the theory might be made true by suitable d e f i n i t i o n , emphasizes the emotive part of our e t h i c a l usage as opposed to the i n t e l l e c t u a l part - i n p a r t i c u l a r , the "certain consistency" i n our use of moral language. However, i t i s important to notice here that though we have rejected interpretations (a) and (b) of the Emotive Theory as f a l s e and shown that interpretation (c) as yet lacks suitable d e f i n i t i o n of "expression of emotion", t h i s i s no reason for concluding that the theory served no useful purpose. It would not be necessary to emphasize t h i s point were i t not the case that some philosophers t a l k as i f a rejected phi l o -sophical theory wastes everyone's time. 8.1 I t i s perhaps worthwhile to look a l i t t l e more closely at the effects of the Emotive Analysis on the philosophic community. I t i s my b e l i e f that very few philosophers ever took interpretations (a) and (b) very seriously for although i t can be very d i f f i c u l t to prove that they are f a l s e , i t seems to me f a i r l y obvious that something i s wrong somewhere. The process of introspection, however much i t may be of no o f f i c i a l interest to philosophers, must convince us that there i s an important 38 difference i n kind between our attitude towards honesty or truth t e l l i n g and our reactions to a loud bang or a body i n the l i b r a r y . However, I do not think that philosophers who took the theory seriously were anyway consciously taking i t as interpretation (c) f o r , i f they did so, we would surely have had more published attempts at a d e f i n i t i o n of "expression of emotion". Rather, I suspect, philosophers gave credence to the statement "Value judgements are simply expressions of emotion" i n much the same way as some people give credence to the state-ment of Colette's that "Bach i s an inspired sewing machine". Whether or not my suppositions as to the way philosophers took t h i s theory are correct, i t i s perhaps interesting to discuss just how i t makes a great deal of sense to take the statement "value judgements are simply expressions of emotion" i n t h i s way. We must note immediately that the statement "Bach i s an inspired sewing machine", though f a l s e (for Bach was a man not a sewing machine) i s not nonsense. In f a c t , once we free ourselves from the tyranny of too d e f i n i t e a copula, we might even be w i l l i n g to say i t was true i n a mataphorical way. Supposing we substitute " i s l i k e " for " i s " , which i s no more than transforming a metaphore into the more prosaic s i m i l e , so that the statement reads, "Bach i s l i k e an inspired sewing machine". But t h i s has r a d i c a l l y altered the l i t e r a l character of the statement, for now-we see i t has s i m i l a r i t i e s with state-ments l i k e "She looks l i k e a clown" and "She looks l i k e a princess". Both these statements could be made about one other person where 39. neither speaker was stating a deliberate falsehood. In f a c t , i n Ayer's use of the term, we would say that neither statement was a "statement", that both express an attitude i n the speaker. They have made these statements, not to t e l l us anything new, not to inform us of a f a c t , but to draw to our attention facts which we already know. And not only to draw certain facts to our attention but also to suggest an evaluation of these f a c t s . But surely we can decide where ju s t i c e l i e s . I f A. says "She looks l i k e a clown" and B. says "She looks l i k e a princess" surely one must be right and the other wrong, for clowns and princesses are much unlike. A s c i e n t i f i c study of clowns, princesses and the g i r l i n question should reveal that one was wrong and the other r i g h t . But we can see that t h i s i s not the point at issue for i t i s e n t i r e l y possible that even after the closest s c i e n t i f i c scrutiny, A. and B. would continue to disagree. Nor could we say that one of them at least was using language oddly i n the way we would i f A. and B. disagreed over whether a certain f r u i t was an apple or an orange and s c i e n t i f i c enquiry showed i t to be an apple. We could never show conclusively that A. or B. was mistaken about the way the g i r l i n question looks. We could only say that we our-selves disagree. Certainly the statement "Value judgements are simply expressions of emotion" could be taken i n t h i s way. I t i s extremely u n l i k e l y that Ayer. intended i t to be taken i n t h i s way when he wrote i t but I do not think I am wrong i n supposing 40 that many philosophers have taken i t i n t h i s way, perhaps not aware of what they were doing. And taken i n th i s way, the statement has had a b e n e f i c i a l effect on the body philosophic. At f i r s t sight t h i s may seem an odd assertion, for why should philosophers be interested i n or enlightened by Ayer's attitude towards statements of value. But as well as expressing an attitude towards something, such statements bring to our attention other facts which may have escaped us previously. The statement "She looks l i k e a clown" brings to our attention the brig h t l y coloured dress where before we had concentrated on the imperiousness i n the eye. And t h i s i s a function of such state-ments that i t i s very hard to overrate as to importance. Almost a l l philosophical controversy within the l a s t half century con-sisted i n bringing to others' attention facts of language which have been over-looked or ignored. There i s , I think, a bias i n favour of doing t h i s e x p l i c i t l y but who i s to say that other methods are not as good. This way of taking the statement "Value judgements are simply expressions of emotion" i s a v a r i a t i o n of interpretation (c). For under interpretation (c) "expression of emotion" i s redefined so that the statement i s true. That i s , "expression of emotion" i s defined i n terms of cha r a c t e r i s t i c s which express-ions of emotion and value judgements have i n common and t h i s r e d e f i n i t i o n therefore draws attention to those characteristics which they have i n common. S i m i l a r l y , the way of taking "Value judgements are simply expressions of emotion" which I 41. have discussed above has the effect of drawing attention to the cha r a c t e r i s t i c s which value judgements and expressions of emotion have i n common, for these are the previously ignored facts which the statement emphasizes. 8.2 To sum up, the value of the Emotive Theory i s the value i n interpretation (c) as I have shown interpretation (a) and (b) to be f a l s e . And the value of interpretation (c) i s that i t turned our attention away from the seeking of a non-natural property of 'goodness' and demanded, instead, that we recognize that there i s a greater s i m i l a r i t y than we had pre-viously recognized between saying "x i s good" and a scream of delight. It may also bring to our notice another f a c t , that the sort of s i t u a t i o n i n which value judgements are usually delivered as a part of everyday l i v i n g i s f a r more frequently the sort of s i t u a t i o n where we and others might have given vent to an expression of emotion than i t i s the sort of s i t u a t i o n where we and others might have given vent to a statement about pure q u a l i t i e s or even, on many occasions, a command. The Emotive Analysis (c) thus directed our attention towards certain features of moral language which had previously been ignored or over-looked. In as much as i t also expressed an attitude i t suggested an evaluation of the importance of these frequently over-looked features i n our discussions about e t h i c a l language as i t implied that the only important features of a value judgement were the emotive response features. 42. L o o k e d a t i n t h i s w a y , t h e E m o t i v e T h e o r y a n d d i s c u s s i o n r o u n d i t h a s b e e n a n e x c e l l e n t p h i l o s o p h i c t h e r a p e u t i c - h o w e v e r m u c h t h e c o n c e p t o f ' i m p o r t a n c e ' may seem f o r e i g n i n a p h i l o -s o p h i c a l e n q u i r y . I t w a s a t h e r a p e u t i c a s i t p r o v i d e d a c o u n t e r b a l a n c e t o t h e t h e o r i e s o f t h e p a s t . B u t l i k e many f o r m s o f t h e r a p e u t i c a d m i n i s t e r e d h a p h a z a r d - o r a n y w a y w i t h o u t r e a l i s i n g t h a t i t i s a t h e r a p e u t i c w h i c h i s b e i n g a d m i n i s t e r e d - i t w a s o v e r - a d m i n i s t e r e d . N o t u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e l o g i c o f a t h e r a p e u t i c t h e o r y , we t a k e i t l i t e r a l l y a n d s e r i o u s l y , a s I h a v e t a k e n i t i n t h e e a r l i e r p a r t o f t h i s p a p e r w h e r e a s i t s h o u l d b e t a k e n i n a n e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t w a y . I n t h e n e x t s e c t i o n I s h a l l d i s c u s s t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a n d t h e v a l u e o f t h e r a p e u t i c t h e o r i e s . 43. I I THE LOGICAL STATUS OF META-ETHICAL1 THEORIES 9. My next task w i l l be to discuss d i r e c t l y the status of most l i n g u i s t i c meta-ethical^" theories, i . e . theories l i k e : 'value judgements are simply expressions of emotion', 'value judgements are descriptions', 'value judgements are simply (disguised) commands', i n an effo r t to see the correct method of dealing with such theories and of id e n t i f y i n g t h i s type of theory. 10. I propose now to go back to the beginning again with the Emotive Theory to bring somewhat di f f e r e n t considerations to bear. These considerations were not brought e a r l i e r f o r , before I had completed the above discussion I was afraid of 1 I take the word "meta-ethical" from Ayer i n 'On the Analysis of Moral Judgements'. He says, " A l l moral theories, i n t u i t i o n -i s t , n a t u r a l i s t i c , o b j e c t i v i s t , emotive and the rest ... belong to the f i e l d of meta-ethics, not ethics proper". He says also that he i s speaking t e c h n i c a l l y there. But so am I here. 44. b e i n g m i s u n d e r s t o o d a n d a s a r e s u l t m y s e l f b e i n g a c c u s e d o f t h e c r a s s e s t s t u p i d i t y , t h e g r o s s e s t m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e E m o t i v e T h e o r y . F o r my s t a n d h e r e i s t h a t t h e p r o p o s i t i o n " S t a t e m e n t s o f v a l u e a r e s i m p l y e x p r e s s i o n s o f e m o t i o n " i s o b v i o u s l y f a l s e . T h a t i s , o b v i o u s l y f a l s e u n l e s s we p o s i t a new d e f i n i t i o n f o r " e x p r e s s i o n o f e m o t i o n " o r " v a l u e j u d g e m e n t " o f w h i c h t h i s p r o p o s i t i o n g i v e s n o t t h e s l i g h t e s t h i n t . F o r t h e p r e s e n t we w i l l i g n o r e t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y , I w i s h o n l y t o s a y t h a t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s (a.) a n d ( b ) a r e o b v i o u s l y f a l s e , f o r t h e s e a r e t h e o n l y t y p e o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s I s h a l l b e i n t e r e s t e d i n d u r i n g w h a t f o l l o w s . 10.1 T h e E m o t i v e T h e o r y w a s p u t f o r w a r d a s a l o g i c a l t h e s i s a n d we t h e r e f o r e h a v e t h e r i g h t t o a s s u m e t h a t i t d o e s n o t embody a s u g g e s t i o n b u t t h a t , i f c o r r e c t , i t e x p l i c i t l y ; / ' s t a t e s s o m e t h i n g w h i c h i s t r u e . W h a t i t s t a t e s i s t h a t v a l u e j u d g e m e n t s a n d e x p r e s s i o n s o f e m o t i o n a r e s i m p l y o n e a n d t h e same f o r t h e w h o l e c l a s s o f v a l u e j u d g e m e n t s , i . e . t h e c l a s s o f v a l u e j u d g e m e n t s i s c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n t h e c l a s s o f e x p r e s s i o n o f e m o t i o n . B u t i f t h e y a r e o n e a n d t h e s a m e , s u r e l y we w o u l d h a v e b e e n e n j o y i n g some c o n s i d e r a b l e v e r b a l c o n f u s i o n i n t h e p a s t , n o t i l l u s i v e p h i l o s o p h i c c o n f u s i o n , b u t t h e s o r t o f e v e r y d a y c o n f u s i o n w h i c h w o u l d a r i s e i f M r . X . , who r e g u l a r l y u s e s t h e a l i a s ' M r . Y . ' , i s b e i n g t a l k e d a b o u t b y t w o s e t s o f p e o p l e o n e o f w h i c h know h i m a s M r . X . a n d t h e o t h e r a s M r . Y . T h i s w o u l d b e t h e same s o r t o f c o n f u s i o n a s w o u l d a r i s e i f o n e g r o u p o f p e o p l e u s e s t h e t e r m 45. 'mammal' for a l l mammals where another ca l l e d them by t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r names, not knowing the meaning of 'mammal'. Then confusion would arise i f someone from the f i r s t group said "A mammal entered the room"and someone from the second said "A cat entered the room". They might think they were contra-di c t i n g each other u n t i l someone else explained "A cat i s a mammal". But as regards expressions of emotion and value judgements there has been no such confusion, we do not use the terms to apply to the same things not r e a l i s i n g that they are the same i n both cases. We did not experience the muddle which would have resulted and remained through recorded history u n t i l Ayer put pen to paper. My point i s : I f a company of non-philosophers hear a scream they are i n no doubt that i t i s an expression of emotion; i f the same company hears "The degree of c i v i l i z e d c u l t i v a t i o n achieved by the aristocracy of Ancient Greece has never been exceeded", they are i n no doubt that they have heard a value judgement. I f people w e l l conversant with the language can dist i n g u i s h between the two without doubt, then there must be some difference, i . e . value judgements are not the same as expressions of emotion. There i s no need even, except perhaps for the i n t r i n s i c interest i n the task, to fi n d what the difference i s - we have positive evidence to show that there i s a very d e f i n i t e difference. I do not think any supporter of the Emotive Theory would deny t h i s . But as this i s a fact which any supporter of the theory knows as wel l as we do, his b e l i e f i n the Emotive Theory 46. i s obviously not touched by i t . But i t i s at t h i s point that we r e a l i s e that his use of "the same" i s not as clear as i t might be or, when he says that value judgements are simply expressions of emotion, his use of the copula i s hot to show simple i d e n t i t y . The copulative term designates some connection, some relationship between value judgements and expressions of emotion, but not one of simple i d e n t i t y . 10.2 E a r l i e r we talked as though the d i f f i c u l t i e s i n discussing the Emotive Theory were bound up exclusively i n the def i n i t i o n s and properties of "expression of emotion" and "value judgement". But both these words are, at any rate i n part or as having a precise denotation, a r t i f i c i a l , philosophical terms which can be defined more or less as we wish. Thus they can be defined to make the proposition true or f a l s e as we wish and the chief consideration then i s whether the words as defined cover a l l the expressions which, from the standpoint of ordinary speech, i t i s plausible to maintain are expressions of emotion or value judgements and few of the expressions which i t i s not plausible to maintain are expressions of emotion or value judgements. 10.21 It i s at t h i s point that our in q u i r i e s become so badly entangled. On the one hand we have the a r t i f i c i a l , philosophic terms "expression of emotion" and "value judgement" and on the other screams, gurgles, blushes, exclamations l i k e "Damn.1" etc. and statements l i k e ' x i s good", "y i s the highest of i t s kind" etc. 47. I f we l e t " e x p r e s s i o n o f e m o t i o n " mean j u s t a n d o n l y s c r e a m s , g u r g l e s , b l u s h e s a n d e x c l a m a t i o n s l i k e " D a m n . " 1 , a n d " v a l u e j u d g e m e n t s " mean j u s t a n d o n l y s t a t e m e n t s l i k e " x i s g o o d " , " y i s t h e h i g h e s t o f i t s k i n d " , e t c . we w o u l d h a v e g a i n e d n o t h i n g b u t a f o r m o f s h o r t h a n d . F u r t h e r , a m i s l e a d i n g s h o r t -h a n d f o r i t i s so d i f f i c u l t t o k e e p i n m i n d a l l t h e s e t e r m s m u s t c o v e r . We g a i n n o t h i n g f o r i f s c r e a m s , g u r g l e s , b l u s h e s , e x c l a m a t i o n s l i k e " D a m n . " ' , e t c . a r e n o t t h e same a s s e n t e n c e s l i k e " x i s g o o d " , " y i s t h e h i g h e s t o f i t s k i n d " , e t c . ( a s , i n t h e c a s e o f t h e E m o t i v e T h e o r y , t h e y a r e n o t , a s we h a v e s e e n i n p a r a . 10.1), t h e n e q u a l l y i t m a k e s no d i f f e r e n c e w h a t g y r a t i o n s we p e r f o r m , o u r s h o r t h a n d t e r m s c a n n o t l o g i c a l l y be t h e s a m e , i . e . t h e p r o p o s i t i o n " V a l u e j u d g e m e n t s a r e s i m p l y e x p r e s s i o n s o f e m o t i o n " c a n n o t b e t r u e so l o n g a s t h e s e d e f i n i t i o n s s t a n d . 10.22 On t h e o t h e r h a n d , we may d e f i n e o u r p h i l o s o p h i c t e r m s s o t h a t t h e y r e f e r t o a b s t r a c t i o n s f r o m t h e s c r e a m s , g u r g l e s , b l u s h e s , e x c l a m a t i o n s l i k e " D a m n J " , e t c . a n d f r o m " x i s g o o d " , " y i s t h e h i g h e s t o f i t s k i n d " , e t c . T h a t i s , i f ( s a y ) s c r e a m s , g u r g l e s , b l u s h e s , e x c l a m a t i o n s l i k e " D a m n J " , e t c . a l l h a v e t h e p r o p e r t i e s a , b , c , d , e a n d f , we m i g h t d e f i n e " e x p r e s s i o n o f e m o t i o n " a s a n y t h i n g h a v i n g t h e p r o p e r t i e s a , b , c , a n d d . A n d s i m i l a r l y f o r " x i s g o o d " , " y i s t h e h i g h e s t o f i t s k i n d " , e t c . T h e n o u r n e w l y d e f i n e d a b s t r a c t i o n s " v a l u e j u d g e m e n t " a n d " e x p r e s s i o n o f e m o t i o n " m i g h t b e i d e n t i c a l . B u t f r o m t h i s i t 48. w o u l d n o t f o l l o w t h a t " x i s g o o d " , " y i s t h e h i g h e s t o f i t s k i n d " e t c . w e r e t h e same a s o r e q u i v a l e n t t o s c r e a m s , g u r g l e s , b l u s h e s , e x c l a m a t i o n s l i k e " D a m n . " ' e t c . , i . e . t h e p r o p o s i t i o n " V a l u e j u d g e m e n t s a r e s i m p l y e x p r e s s i o n s o f e m o t i o n " w o u l d , i n i s o l a t i o n , s t i l l n o t b e t r u e - i t w o u l d o n l y be t r u e i f i t r e a d " V a l u e j u d g e m e n t s a r e s i m p l y e x p r e s s i o n s o f e m o t i o n w h e n • v a l u e j u d g e m e n t s ' a r e d e f i n e d t h u s a n d ' e x p r e s s i o n s o f e m o t i o n 1 d e f i n e d t h u s " . T h u s we b a r e l e f t w i t h t h e s i t u a t i o n w h i c h n a i v e ( i . e . u n p h i l o s o p h i c ) i n s p e c t i o n s h o u l d h a v e g i v e n us i n t h e f i r s t p l a c e : t h a t t h e p r o p o s i t i o n " V a l u e j u d g e m e n t s a r e s i m p l y e x p r e s s i o n s o f e m o t i o n " i s f a l s e u n l e s s " v a l u e j u d g e m e n t " a n d " e x p r e s s i o n o f e m o t i o n " a r e s o d e f i n e d a s t o make i t t r u e - w h i c h i s t h e c a s e w i t h a n y f a l s e p r o p o s i t i o n w h a t e v e r , i . e . t r u e o f t h e p r o p o s i t i o n " M e n a r e s i m p l y f i s h w i t h l e g s " o r t h e p r o p o s i t i o n " A t o m s a r e s i m p l y v e r y s m a l l g o l f b a l l s " . 1 0 . 3 T h u s we a r e l e f t w i t h t h i s d i c h o t o m y . E i t h e r i t i s t r u e t o s a y t h a t v a l u e j u d g e m e n t s a r e s i m p l y e x p r e s s i o n s o f e m o t i o n w i t h t h e p r o v i s o t h a t " v a l u e j u d g e m e n t " a n d " e x p r e s s i o n o f e m o t i o n " a r e d e f i n e d i n s u c h a way t h a t t h e s e t e r m s d e n o t e s o m e t h i n g l i k e , o r d e n o t e a n a b s t r a c t i o n h a v i n g p r o p e r t i e s i n common w i t h , s e n t e n c e s l i k e " x i s g o o d " , " y i s t h e h i g h e s t o f i t s k i n d " , e t c . a n d s c r e a m s , g u r g l e s , b l u s h e s , e x c l a m a t i o n s l i k e " D a m n . " ' , e t c . r e s p e c t i v e l y . Or i t i s n o t t r u e t o s a y t h a t v a l u e j u d g e m e n t s a r e s i m p l y e x p r e s s i o n s o f e m o t i o n w h e r e t h e s e t e r m s s t a n d f o r s e n t e n c e s l i k e " x i s g o o d " , " y i s t h e h i g h e s t o f i t s 49. kind", etc. and screams, gurgles, blushes and exclamations l i k e "Damn."' respectively, but i t i s true to say that value judgements are something l i k e expressions of emotion or value judgements have properties i n common with expressions of emotion. (But we must remember that a Coral snake i s something l i k e a twig and that a whale has properties i n common with a ca t ) . Ror i s there any way out of t h i s dichotomy. 1 1 . I am i n considerable fear at t h i s point that what I have said with i t s inevitable complexity and r e p e t i t i o n w i l l be misunderstood. In t h i s paragraph I s h a l l put the same point i n jargon. This, I hope, w i l l have the effect of making what I mean quite clear even i f more d i f f i c u l t to follow. 1 1 . 1 I s h a l l use the symbol 1 G 1 to denote inclusion, i . e . * i f 'aQb' i s true, then every 'a.1 i s a 'b 1, though every 'b' need not necessarily be an 'a* i. e . 'cat S mammal1 i s true. I s h a l l use ' ^ ' to mean " i s something l i k e " or "has properties i n common with". I s h a l l use 1 1 to denote equivalence i ; e . i f "a<-»b" i s true, then every 'a' i s a 'b' and every 'b' i s an 'a 1. I s h a l l use the symbol * V 1 to denote sentences of the form "x i s good", "y i s the highest of i t s kind", etc. and * Vd ' to denote everything covered by the d e f i n i t i o n of the term "value judgement" however i t might be defined. S i m i l a r l y , I s h a l l use ' E 1 to denote screams, gurgles, blushes, exclamations l i k e "Damni" etc. and 1 Ed 1 to denote everything covered by the d e f i n i t i o n of the term "expression of emotion" however i t might be defined. 50. Then, from para. 10.1, we can see V C E i s false ( i ) but that V ^ E i s true ( i i ) Then, i f E ^  Ed ( i i i ) V ^ V d (iv) and V d Q E d (v) there i s no v a l i d conclusion which can be drawn other than to restate the premisses. We can continue to assert E ( i i ) but we can do no more. Alt e r n a t i v e l y , i f by a process of d e f i n i t i o n we make E Ed (vi) and V Vd true ( v i i ) we know i t i s useless to even t r y to show that Vd S. Ed i s true ( v i i i ) as we already know that V Q E i s fa l s e ( i ) from which, and (vi) and ( v i i ) , i t follows that Vd & Ed i s fa l s e ( i x) 51. There are more variations than those given here ( i . e . i n the f i r s t example, (iv) could have read V <r* Vd without a l t e r i n g the conclusion), but the ones given are, I think, the most important. 11.2 The preceeding paragraphs, are, then, a symbolic demonstration that interpretations (a) and (b) of the Emotive Theory can never be true so long as we admit, as we must admit, that the log i c of value judgements and the logic of expressions of emotion are not the same, however small the discrepancies may be (cf 10.1). S i m i l a r l y , our positive statement ( i . e . V ^  E ) i s true for i t i s quite certai n that value judgements and expressions of emotion do have something i n common, however rudimentary t h i s may be. Thus the only thing i n a precise, l o g i c a l sense which the Emotive Theory could contribute to our knowledge of the nature of value judgements i s a statement of what the relationship 1 actually i s i . e . the d e f i n i t i o n of "expression of emotion" under interpretation ( c ) , i . e . the designation of those properties which value judgements have i n common with expressions of emotion. And, as we s h a l l see i n paragraph 12.2, even t h i s i s not s u f f i c i e n t i f we are to under-stand the log i c of value judgements. 12. I wish now to return to what was said i n paragraph 11.1. The r e s u l t s achieved there are completely general so 52. long as the o r i g i n a l postulates are f u l f i l l e d . The present i s not the time to go into the discussion of these postulates i n general terms to express a general abstract proposition. I t would i n any case be my contention that to do so would serve only very limited purposes and none whatever which would be pertinent to my limited aim i n t h i s t hesis. But we are now i n a position to test any p o s i t i o n by what has been said there merely by seeing i f the p o s i t i o n under consideration f u l f i l l s the o r i g i n a l conditions. Before we do apply i t , however, there are some remarks which may be made about the symbol 1 Er 1 . Which i s to remark, as a general empirical observation, that few i f any philosophic propositions which make any s t i r are propositions of t h i s type -for such a proposition i s usually obvious i f i t concerns matters of language with which we are at a l l f a m i l i a r . And philosophers usually reserve t h e i r pronouncements about current language for propositions that do not seem to be obvious at f i r s t sight. I f we are completely f a m i l i a r with the character and a c t i v i t i e s of Mr. X. who goes by the a l i a s "Mr. Y.", we are i n no doubt that "Mr. X." and "Mr. Y." denote the same man. The only point of using an a l i a s i s when many people are not f a m i l i a r with a l l or most of our a c t i v i t i e s which i s never the case as regards language  i n everyday use. The whole point of our discussions about everyday language i s that we are a l l e x c e l l e n t l y versed i n i t . As Wisdom says i n 'Philosophy, Anxiety and Novelty', "Every philosophical question i s r e a l l y a request for a description of 53. a c l a s s o f a n i m a l s - o f a v e r y f a m i l i a r c l a s s o f a n i m a l s . T h a t i s my p o i n t , t h a t t h e c l a s s e s o f a n i m a l s a r e v e r y f a m i l i a r t o u s a l l . C o n s e q u e n t l y p h i l o s o p h i c a l a n s w e r s a r e d e s c r i p t i o n s p o f v e r y f a m i l i a r c l a s s e s o f a n i m a l s . " 1 2 . 1 I n t h e l i g h t o f t h e a b o v e c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , i t i s c l e a r t h a t o u r a n a l y s i s i n p a r a g r a p h 11 a p p l i e s t o a l l p r o p o s i t i o n s l i k e " V a l u e j u d g e m e n t s a r e ( d i s g u i s e d ) c o m m a n d s " , a n d " V a l u e j u d g e m e n t s a r e d e s c r i p t i o n s " ( i . e . " g o o d n e s s " i s a p u r e , u n a n a l y s a b l e q u a l i t y l i k e y e l l o w ) , " V a l u e j u d g e m e n t s a r e s i m p l y e x p r e s s i o n s o f e m o t i o n " , " V a l u e j u d g e m e n t s a r e s c i e n t i f i c s t a t e m e n t s o f f a c t " , e t c . a n d , o f c o u r s e , o t h e r t y p e s o f p r o -p o s i t i o n t h a n m e t a - e t h i c a l p r o p o s i t i o n s , t h o u g h t h e e t h i c a l p r o p o s i t i o n s a r e a l l we a r e i n t e r e s t e d i n h e r e . I f t h e s y m b o l f o r d e s c r i p t i v e s e n t e n c e s i s ' D ' , f o r commands i s ' C , f o r s c i e n t i f i c s t a t e m e n t s o f f a c t i s ' S ' , t h e n i t i s c l e a r t h a t : V C D ( x ) V S C ( x i ) a n d V S S ( x i i ) a r e a l l f a l s e . E q u a l l y V ^ ± D ( x i i i ) V ^ C ( x i v ) V ? ± S ( x v ) 2 W i s d o m , J o h n , ' P h i l o s o p h y , A n x i e t y a n d N o v e l t y 1 , P h i l o s o p h y  a n d P s y c h o - A n a l y s i s , O x f o r d , B l a c k w e l l , 1 9 3 5 , p . 1 1 2 . 54. are a l l true - just as we saw that though V c: E i s f a l s e , ( i ) V E i s true ( i i ) for *V', fD', 'C, 1S* have something i n common, however elementary i t may be. Further, as an empirical observation, i t seems most unli k e l y , especially i n view of the other empirical observations discussed i n paragraph 12, that any proposition of the form V S P (xvi) where 'P' i s a type of sentence ( i . e . a description, command, question, etc.) i s ever l i k e l y to be true as we would surely have noticed i t by now i f t h i s were the case. Or, to look at i t i n another way, we would hardly have bothered to name them as different types of sentences i f they were i n fact the same type of sentence, i t seems most unlikely that we would have done so. 12.2 From which I conclude: "Every type of statement has i t s own type of l o g i c " . That i s : every type of sentence i s unique and unanalysable i n terms of other types of sentences, although very suggestive s i m i l a r i t i e s can be pointed out to the general p r o f i t of the philosophic community. To i t s general p r o f i t because, though i n most cases philosophers w i l l not believe the propositions i n which the analysis i s suggested, they w i l l 55. t a k e a c c o u n t o f w h a t h a s b e e n s a i d i n d e f e n c e o f s u c h p r o -p o s i t i o n s , a s we saw i n t h e c a s e o f t h e E m o t i v e T h e o r y i n p a r a g r a p h 8.1. T h i s p r o c e s s o f ' t a k i n g a c c o u n t o f i s a v e r y u s e f u l p h i l o s o p h i c t h e r a p e u t i c a n d i f we u n d e r s t a n d t h e l o g i c a l s t a t u s o f t h e t h e o r i e s we a r e d i s c u s s i n g we o u r s e l v e s c a n g u a r d a g a i n s t t o o m u c h t h e r a p y . T h u s a l t h o u g h m u c h o f w h a t h a s b e e n s a i d a l o n g t h e l i n e s o f v a l u e j u d g e m e n t s b e i n g c o m m a n d s , e x p r e s s i o n s o f e m o t i o n , d e s c r i p t i o n s , e t c . may h a v e b e e n u t t e r n o n s e n s e o n l o g i c a l g r o u n d s ( o n l y 'may h a v e b e e n ' f o r i t w o u l d n o t b e n o n s e n s e i f t h e p r o p o n e n t o f t h e t h e o r i e s r e a l i s e d t h e l o g i c a l n a t u r e o f t h e t h e o r y a n d t o o k a c c o u n t o f t h i s i n h i s s t a t e m e n t o f i t -a s A y e r seems t o b e d o i n g , a n y w a y i n p a r t , i n ' O n t h e A n a l y s i s o f M o r a l J u d g e m e n t s ' ) , t h e s e t h e o r i e s w e r e m o s t r e v e a l i n g n o n s e n s e . I t a i d e d i n w h a t I s u p p o s e i s a n y w a y p a r t o f t h e p h i l o s o p h e r s ' t a s k o f s e e i n g t h e l o g i c o f o u r l a n g u a g e r i g h t l y . 13. We m u s t g r a n t , I t h i n k , t h a t p o s i t i o n s l i k e : v a l u e j u d g e m e n t s a r e c o m m a n d s , e x p r e s s i o n s o f e m o t i o n , d e s c r i p t i o n s , e t c . h a v e b e e n r e v e a l i n g b e c a u s e t h e y h a v e p o i n t e d up s i m i l a r -i t i e s a n d p r o p e r t i e s w h i c h we h a d n o t b e f o r e n o t i c e d . B u t t h i s i s n o t t h e l a s t w o r d , n o t b y a n y m e a n s . A t t h e e n d o f a n a n a l y s i s o f o n e o f t h e s e p o s i t i o n s we a r e l e f t w i t h a p r o p o s i t i o n o f t h e f o r m V ^ P ( x v i i ) w h i c h i s t r u e . B u t t h i s i s e n t i r e l y i n s u f f i c i e n t a s a f i n a l 56. p h i l o s o p h i c p o s i t i o n f o r t h e s y m b o l f 1 i s s o v e r y v a g u e . G r a n t e d t h a t t h e a r g u m e n t s b r o u g h t i n s u p p o r t o f V S . P ( x v i ) t h o u g h t h e y do n o t s u c c e e d i n p r o v i n g I t , g i v e us f a r m o r e p r e c i s e i n s i g h t i n t o t h e l o g i c o f v a l u e j u d g e m e n t s , b u t e v e n t h i s i s p r o b a b l y i n s u f f i c i e n t . P r o b a b l y i n s u f f i c i e n t b e c a u s e a f e w c r u c i a l a r g u m e n t s o r s t a t e m e n t s a r e o f t e n c o n s i d e r e d s u f f i c i e n t t o p r o v e t h e p o i n t d e s i r e d ( c f A y e r ' s o r i g i n a l a r g u m e n t i n L a n g u a g e , T r u t h a n d L o g i c f o r t h e E m o t i v e T h e o r y ) w h e r e t o d i s c o v e r t h e e x a c t s i m i l a r i t i e s a f a r l o n g e r , m o r e e x h a u s t i v e a p p r o a c h i s r e q u i r e d . One w a y i n w h i c h t o d o t h i s i s t o g i v e a l l t h e _ p r o p e r t i e s t h e l o g i c o f t h e t w o t y p e s o f ^ s t a t e m e n t ^ i n q u e s t i o n h o l d i n common a s p e c i a l name ( e . g . i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ( c ) o f o u r o r i g i n a l a n a l y s i s o f t h e E m o t i v e T h e o r y ) w h e n t h e p r o c e s s o f d e f i n i n g t h e s p e c i a l name w i l l l i s t a t l e a s t some o f t h e l o g i c a l p r o p e r t i e s o f v a l u e j u d g e -m e n t s . T h i s w o u l d p r o v i d e a p a r t i a l a n s w e r t o t h e demand f o r a n a n a l y s i s o f v a l u e j u d g e m e n t s . B u t i t w o u l d n o t b e a f u l l a n s w e r f o r i t w o u l d n o t p r e c l u d e t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f f i n d i n g ( o t h e r ) l o g i c a l p r o p e r t i e s w h i c h v a l u e j u d g e m e n t s h o l d i n common w i t h o t h e r t y p e s o f s t a t e m e n t a n d g i v i n g t h e m a s p e c i a l n a m e . T h e s e t w o p o s i t i o n s , w e r e t h e y p u t f o r w a r d , w o u l d b e n o n -c o n t r a d i c t o r y i f t h e p h i l o s o p h e r s m a k i n g t h i s a n a l y s i s knew t h e i r b u s i n e s s a n d made n o l o g i c a l s l i p s . I f we s e t d o w n t h e p r o p e r t i e s w h i c h v a l u e j u d g e m e n t s h e l d i n common w i t h e v e r y o t h e r 57 type of sentence, we would have a f a i r l y complete analysis. But not a complete one. For i t i s possible, I would say l i k e l y , that value judgements have some properties which they hold i n common with no other types of statement and under t h i s type of analysis these properties would remain forever hidden. However, there i s another approach, psychologically speaking a very d i f f i c u l t approach for the philosopher concerned. Once we have reached the stage of naming the properties which value judgements hold i n common with other types of statement, the whole business of finding those properties which value judgements have i n common with other types of statements becomes a useless trapping. As a psychologically necessary " s t a r t e r " or a " l o g i c a l pump primer" i t may be desirable, but i t holds no necessary place i n a discussion of the logic of value judge-ments. In other words, i n so far as we wish to set down the logic of value judgements, we should set out a process of description, describing and d e t a i l i n g the properties which value judgements-possess. After t h i s process i s complete we might wish, as an educational a i d , to put the matter more graphically by pointing out that value judgements hold these properties i n common with commands, these with expressions of emotion, these with descriptions and so on; and perhaps that, say, commands, value judgements and expressions of emotion a l l have t h i s and that property i n common. I do not think that for philosophers to perform such a task would be en t i r e l y desirable. I am personally not at a l l 58. s u r e t h a t p h i l o s o p h e r s a r e n o t b e t t e r o f f d o i n g w h a t t h e y a r e d o i n g now i n t h e i r e t h i c a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n s . B u t I t h i n k i t i s s u r e t h a t b y s u c h a p r o c e s s a s I h a v e s u g g e s t e d i m m e d i a t e l y a b o v e we m i g h t e v e n t u a l l y t u r n e t h i c a l p h i l o s o p h y o f t h i s t y p e i n t o a n i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f t h e l o g i c a l g e o g r a p h y o f o u r l a n g u a g e a n d t h u s j u s t i f y t h e p h i l o s o p h e r s who h a v e b e e n s a y i n g f o r s o l o n g t h a t t h i s i s j u s t a n d o n l y w h a t i t i s . BIBLIOGRAPHY Ayer, A. J. Language, Truth and Logic (1935)» New York, Dover, 1946. 'On the Analysis of Moral Judgements; Horizon, Vol. xx, No. 117, 1949. Reprinted i n Philosophical Essays, p. 241. Ogden, C.K., and I.A. Richards, The Meaning of Meaning, New York, Harcourt, Brace and Co., 4th ed., 1936, 8th ed., 1946. Stevenson, Charles L., Ethics and Language, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1944. Wisdom John, 'Philosophy, Metaphysics and Psychoanalysis', Philosophy and Psycho-analysis, Oxford, Blackwell, 1935, p. 24H7" , 'Philosophy, Anxiety and Novelty', Philosophy and Psycho-analysis, Oxford, Blackwell, 1935, p. 112. 

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