Charles Stevenson  

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Charles Leslie Stevenson (June 27, 1908 – March 14, 1979) was an American analytic philosopher best known for his work in ethics and aesthetics.

He was a professor at Yale University from 1939 to 1946, but was denied tenure because of his defense of emotivism. He then taught at the University of Michigan from 1946 to 1977. He studied in England with Wittgenstein and G. E. Moore. Among his students was Joel Feinberg.

He gave the most sophisticated defense of emotivism in the post-war period. In his papers "The Emotive Meaning of Ethical Terms" (1937) and "Persuasive Definitions" (1938), and his book Ethics and Language (1944), he developed a theory of emotive meaning; which he then used to provide a foundation for his theory of a persuasive definition. He furthermore advanced emotivism as a meta-ethical theory that sharply delineated between cognitive, scientific uses of language (used to state facts and to give reasons, and subject to the laws of science) and non-cognitive uses (used to state feelings and exercise influence).

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