Subjunctive: "He insists that the case for individual liberty rest(s) on ..." ?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by stenka25, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. stenka25 Senior Member

    South Korea, Han-gul
    The paragraph is below from “Justice: What’s the right thing to do?”

    Mill’s principle of liberty would seem to need a sturdier moral basis than Bentham’s principle of utility. Mill disagrees. He insists that the case for individual liberty rests entirely on utilitarian considerations: “It is proper to state that I forego any advantage which could be derived to my argument from the idea of abstract right, as a thing independent of utility.”

    In that sentence the verb ‘insist’ expresses the idea that something is important and desirable, and in that case GRAMMAR says that we can use “subjunctive” in American English, that is, ‘rest.’

    What do you think of my reasoning?
     
  2. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    This is 'insist' in the sense of 'to contend' (or 'to maintain'), and not in the sense of 'to urge' (or 'to demand'), thus no subjunctive here, for me.
     
  3. stenka25 Senior Member

    South Korea, Han-gul
    Thanks, Beryl.
     
  4. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    No problem. But I'd just like to add that it makes me a little nervous when foreros return and say 'thank you' as if the matter is settled, especially when there has been only one response, and more especially when I am that sole respondent. I deal in opinions and not facts (it says 'for me'). Come back and say 'thanks' when others have rubbished my answer; then I'll be happier.
     
  5. stenka25 Senior Member

    South Korea, Han-gul
    I say thank you because your opinion makes a complete sense to me.
    Thanks again for your humble advice.
    I’ll wait for more respondents next time, though^^
     

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