The doctrine that the meanings of ethical or aesthetic terms and statements are purely descriptive rather than prescriptive, evaluative, or emotive.
- That's why I don't like the standard distinction between descriptivists and prescriptivists - descriptivism is what you should do when writing a dictionary, prescriptivism when writing a style guide.
- The robust version of descriptive philosophy of science derives from, or superimposes upon, the conclusions of modest descriptivism, a theory about evaluative practice.
- In practice, dictionaries take a middle course between wholehearted descriptivism and prescriptive edicts.
- Example sentences
- It is clear that in rejecting the descriptivist assumption he rejects the conception of the mind as a domain of real ‘processes and states’ which it is the business of a scientific psychology to investigate and tell us about.
- This doesn't show that the expression is not being used emotively in the second premise; a descriptivist can agree to that.
- And the one obvious answer, which is to defer to people who create dictionaries, who are linguistic professionals, runs into the fact that they're almost all descriptivists these days.
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