Vayrynen, Pekka. The lewd, the rude, and the nasty: a study of thick concepts in ethics

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Author: A.L. Morton
Date: Apr. 2014
Publisher: American Library Association CHOICE
Document Type: Book review; Brief article
Length: 224 words
Lexile Measure: 1130L

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Vayrynen, Pekka. The lewd, the rude, and the nasty: a study of thick concepts in ethics. Oxford, 2013. 270p bibl index afp ISBN 9780199314751,599.00



2013-2344 CIP

Thick concepts are those that involve, in some essential manner, both evaluative and descriptive content. THUS, "rude" is typically thought to designate a thick concept because it describes the behavior at hand while simultaneously providing a negative assessment of the behavior it describes. One prominent line of thinking about thick terms and concepts holds that they carry evaluative and descriptive contents because these contents are essential features of their semantic content. Vayrynen (Univ. of Leeds, UK) sets out to undercut this semantic view of thick terms, arguing instead for a pragmatic understanding of the evaluative dimension of thick terms and concepts. Using the resources of linguistics and the philosophy of language, the author provides a cautious and thorough analysis of how thick terms function in the communicative enterprise. The result is a novel view of the evaluative contents of thick terms and concepts that dislodges them from the semantic content. Vayrynen's analysis undermines much of the philosophical significance historically attributed to thick terms. Consequently, it will be necessary reading for anyone working with the "thick" in ethics or in the philosophy of language. SummingUp: Highly recommended. *** Graduate students and researchers/faculty.--A. L. Morton, Saint Xavier University

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A363515537