Ross’s Foundations of Ethics contains what will perhaps prove to have been the last systematic exposition of pure intuitionist doctrine. When it was published in 1939 there had already begun to emerge the view, or family of views, which was shortly to succeed that doctrine in the centre of the stage. This congeries of views, which is commonly and conveniently labelled ‘emotivism’, certainly breaks sharply away from the intuitionist point of view; and it was thought for some years, by very many, to have brought great illumination to the study of ethics. It is, perhaps, a desirable thing in itself to change one’s point of view from time to time; but it is not really clear that, in any other respect, the new point of view was much of an advance on the old one. It brought some points into prominence that had previously been much neglected; but it imported also some new confusions that had not previously been made.
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