Moral problems can be interpersonal or personal. Problems are interpersonal when there are disagreements between or between two or more people and personally when a person is uncertain. But what is the nature of this disagreement or uncertainty? This is the question to which Stevenson organizes all his work in ethical theory and with which he begins both ethics and language (1944) and Facts and Values (1963a). Stevenson aims to clarify ethical language by using «tools» of analysis. One tool That Stevenson will not use to clarify ethical language is the definition tool, at least in the sense of «definition,» which involves «finding synonymous with synonymous» because he believes that ethical notions are indefinable because of their emotional significance (1944, 82). On the contrary, Stevenson`s option analysis tool is a set of models. The models highlight the respective elements of disposition (i.e. elements of meaning) of ethical language which, by their use, are to varying degrees in the linguistic game (1944, 82-83). When ideas conflict, there are differences of opinion.
If you want to go to an action movie, but your friend wants to go to a romantic comedy, that`s a disagreement. Statements, opinions and assertions may also be contradicted. When I say that my grandmother was a cute woman, and you say she was a horrible person, that`s a disagreement. If the IRS finds a disagreement between your taxes and your actual income, you may get into trouble. Mr. Stevenson believes that moral judgments or thoughts are essentially made up, at least in part, by emotional attitudes, feelings or interests, those states of mind whose general character is supposed to be for or against something. In this section, «strong emotivism» refers to this metaphysical view of moral thought. Several objections to Stevenson`s theory stem from the perceived implications of a strong emotivation. According to Stevenson, it would be promising to explain an emotional and descriptive meaning in this psychological sense of «meaning» if it did not encounter an immediate problem that «has long been one of the most boring aspects of language theory» (1944, 42, 1937, 20).
The problem, as Stevenson has seen, is that the meaning of expression must be relatively stable in a wide range of social and linguistic contexts, so that the expression is not useful to our understanding of the many contexts in which the term is used; However, the psychological states associated with expression are very different in social and linguistic contexts. In a football match, for example, «Hooray!» can be shouted with grandiose excitement, but at other times with few emotions; Similarly, «Connecticut» can only cause a helping hand for a postmaster who regularly sorts mail, but for an elderly resident, he can bring a train of reminiscences» (1944, 43).