An analysis of the ethical language of William James



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It was the purpose of this study to show the effect of language on philosophy and that the language of ethics can simultaneously have more than one of the four functions of evaluative, emotive, prescriptive, and descriptive language.
The methods used to fulfill the purpose involved an analysis of the language of moral judgements used by William James in three of his most representative essays on ethics: " Is Life Worth Living?" " The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life", and "On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings."
From the evidence presented in this study the following recommendations appear to be in order: 1. It should be recognized that the language of ethics can have more than one function simultaneously, which is a recognition at variance with some linguists of philosophy. 2. It should be recognized that the meaning of philosophical writings, in this case ethical contexts, can be made clearer through the analysis of the language used.



James, William, lanuage of ethics, moral judgements