Analytic Philosophy

Analytic Ethics

Who was R. Hare?

Richard Mervyn Hare (1919–2002) was a professor of moral philosophy at Oxford University, and he later taught at the University of Florida. In his The Language of Morals (1992) he argued for the prescriptive nature of moral judgments and their “universalizability,” or ability to be generalized.

In Freedom and Reason (1963) and Moral Thinking, Its Levels, Method, and Point (1981), Hare held that ethical concepts are used according to logical rules that support the truth of utilitarianism. The utilitarianism propounded by Hare was “two-tier,” providing for both act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. Act utilitarianism requires that we do singular actions that will result in the best consequences, whereas rule utilitarianism requires that we follow rules that will result in the best consequences.


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