The Lewd, the Rude and the Nasty: A Study of Thick Concepts in Ethics by Pekka VayrynenThe Lewd, the Rude and the Nasty: A Study of Thick Concepts in Ethics by Pekka Vayrynen

The Lewd, the Rude and the Nasty: A Study of Thick Concepts in Ethics

byPekka Vayrynen

Paperback | September 15, 2015

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In addition to thin concepts like the good, the bad and the ugly, our evaluative thought and talk appeals to thick concepts like the lewd and the rude, the selfish and the cruel, the courageous and the kind -- concepts that somehow combine evaluation and non-evaluative description. Thickconcepts are almost universally assumed to be inherently evaluative in content, and many philosophers claimed them to have deep and distinctive significance in ethics and metaethics. In this first book-length treatment of thick concepts, Pekka Vayrynen argues that all this is mistaken. Throughdetailed attention to the language of thick concepts, he defends a novel theory on which the relationship between thick words and evaluation is best explained by general conversational and pragmatic norms. Drawing on general principles in philosophy of language, he argues that many prominentfeatures of thick words and concepts can be explained by general factors that have nothing in particular to do with being evaluative. If evaluation is not essential to the sort of thinking we do with thick concepts, claims for the deep and distinctive significance of the thick are undermined. TheLewd, the Rude and the Nasty is a fresh and innovative treatment of an important topic in moral philosophy and sets a new agenda for future work. It will be essential reading to anyone interested in the analysis and the broader philosophical significance of evaluative and normative language."Vayrynen presents an extremely well researched, highly innovative, and yet very careful and highly polished treatment of an extremely hot area in philosophy. The book is tightly argued but engagingly written. I would hold it up as a model philosophy monograph. There is no doubt in my mindwhatsoever that this book will be widely influential and admired. Indeed, it could easily become a classic." - Brad Hooker, University of Reading"For the past few decades thick concepts have much attention in metaethical discussions, but Vayrynen's book is the first comprehensive treatment of the subject. Vayrynen skillfully uses tools from philosophy of language in order to sharpen and advance the discussion of thick concepts. The book willbe essential reading not only to anyone interested in the specific topic of thick concepts but also to anyone who is concerned with the analysis of normative language generally. It is a very good paradigm of linguistically informed metaethics." - Matti Eklund, Cornell University
Pekka Vayrynen is Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Leeds
Title:The Lewd, the Rude and the Nasty: A Study of Thick Concepts in EthicsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.09 × 5.91 × 0.79 inPublished:September 15, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190262176

ISBN - 13:9780190262174

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Table of Contents

Contents1. Why Thick Concepts Matter1.1 A Brief Preview1.2 The Intuitive Distinction1.3 Two Questions about the Thick1.4 Thick Matters1.5 Looking Ahead2. Thick Concepts, Meaning and Evaluation2.1 What is Evaluation?2.2 What is Meaning?2.3 What Count as Thick Terms and Concepts?2.4 Global vs. Embedded Evaluations3. Against the Semantic View I: The Data3.1 Methodology: A Quick Overview3.2 Objectionable Thick Terms and Concepts3.3 Evaluations and Projection3.4 Evaluations and Deniability3.5 Conclusion4. Against the Semantic View II: Against Rival Explanations4.1 Three False Starts4.2 Unwanted Implicatures?4.3 Empty Thick Concepts?4.4 Inverted-Commas Uses of Thick Terms?4.5 Deniability and Metalinguistic Negation4.6 Conclusion5. In Defense of the Pragmatic View5.1 T-Evaluations and Implicature5.2 T-Evaluations and Conventions of Use5.3 T-Evaluations and Presupposition5.4 T-Evaluations and Pragmatic Not-At-Issue Content5.5 Conclusion6. Thick Pragmatics6.1 T-Evaluations and Parochiality6.2 T-Evaluations and Communicative Interests6.3 Three Objections6.4 More on Parochiality6.5 The Scope of the Pragmatic View 6.6 Conclusion7. Thick Concepts and Underdetermination7.1 Disagreement and Extension7.2 Underdetermination and Evaluation7.3 Underdetermination and Gradability7.4 Explaining Underdetermination7.5 Conclusion8. Shapelessness, Disentanglement and Irreducible Thickness8.1 The Shapelessness Thesis8.2 Shapelessness and Outrunning8.3 The Inseparability Thesis8.4 Irreducibly Thick Evaluation?8.5 Conclusion9. Thick Concepts and Variability9.1 The Variability Argument9.2 Variability and Comparative Constructions9.3 Variability in the Positive Form?9.4 Variability and the Semantic View 9.5 Variability and Specificity9.6 Conclusion10. Thick Concepts: Deflating Significance10.1 Fact-Value Distinctions10.2 Normative Reasons10.3 Reflection and Objectivity10.4 Beyond the Thick/Thin Distinction10.5 A Final SummaryAppendix A: A List of Named ThemesBibliography

Editorial Reviews

"...articulates and defends a novel view of thick concepts extremely carefully and rigorously...makes considerable advances not only in the thick concepts debate but in metaethics and metanormative philosophy in general."-Debbie Roberts, Ethics