about as well as anyone can here

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NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
Does "Smith captures the tension between our reflexive selfishness and our broader moral intuitions about as well as anyone can here" mean "Smith not only captures the tension between our reflexive selfishness and our broader moral intuitions, but he also captures what anyone can capture here"?


Thanks in advance

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Smith captures the tension between our reflexive selfishness and our broader moral intuitions about as well as anyone can here. The truth about us is plain to see: most of us are powerfully absorbed by selfish desires almost every moment of our lives; our attention to our own pains and pleasures could scarcely be more acute; only the most piercing cries of anonymous suffering capture our interest, and then fleetingly.


-Sam Harris (The Moral Landscape Page 43)
 
  • NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    It means: He captures the tensions between our selfishness and our intuitions as well as anyone else could. It implies that he does it well. "As well as anyone could" is an idiomatic expression.

    Earlier threads on similar phrases:
    as good to me as anyone ever was
    as good as any

    But "as well as anyone else could" sounds anyone could do it - what you've done is as common as dirt - and thus, no one would pay attention to you - implying nothing good/well here. ;)
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    It might sound that way but that's not the intended meaning. As I said in my last post, it's idiomatic, and accepted in the meaning I provided.

    "Anyone" doesn't merely mean "Just anyone" in this context. It means "Anyone who's capable of doing the same work".
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    It might sound that way but that's not the intended meaning. As I said in my last post, it's idiomatic, and accepted in the meaning I provided.

    "Anyone" doesn't merely mean "Just anyone" in this context. It means "Anyone who's capable of doing the same work".
    :thumbsup::)
     
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