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Moral ThinkingIts Levels, Method, and Point$
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R. M. Hare

Print publication date: 1981

Print ISBN-13: 9780198246602

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198246609.001.0001

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The Archangel and the Prole

The Archangel and the Prole

(p.44) 3 The Archangel and the Prole
Moral Thinking

R. M. Hare

Oxford University Press

The relation between the two levels of moral thinking, and how we know when to think at one level and when to think at the other is best explained in terms of our use of critical thinking to select the best set of prima facie principles for use in intuitive thinking. Critical thinking has epistemological priority over, and governs, the intuitive level. In moral reasoning, we need to select moral principles before we can establish substantial criteria of relevance for the principles—it is the principle that determines what is relevant. Hare argues that in addition to the properties of universalizability and prescriptivity for moral judgements, an additional distinguishing property of overridingness is required to differentiate evaluative judgements from moral judgements.

Keywords:   moral judgement, moral principles, moral reasoning, prescriptivism, universalizability

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