... given that the latter, though also desirable, must be subject to the limits imposed by ...

tesoke

Senior Member
USA
Persian
Hi, would you please explain the meaning the red part of the following sentence, from an English test. Tanks a lot.

Individual freedom of thought should be protected more absolutely than individual freedom of action, given that the latter, though also desirable, must be subject to the limits imposed by the rights and freedom of others.
 
  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The sentence from given is an absolute construction. It means roughly: The reason for this is that law, manners and so on must limit people's freedom to act in order to protect the freedoms of other people; there is no similar reason to limit people's freedom to think as they will.
     

    tesoke

    Senior Member
    USA
    Persian
    I am not sure if I got the the meaning or not? So, I am trying to explain it based on my reception, and you say if it is true or not. Thanks.

    Individual freedom of thought should be protected more absolutely that individual freedom of action, given (after it is given) that (referring to freedom of thought) the latter (freedom of action), which is also desirable, must be based on the limits imposed by the rights and freedom of others.

    2) What you mean about "absolute construction"?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    (I don't think it is an absolute construction, teddy. "Given" here is a preposition having the force of a conjunction, and it's followed by a "that clause".)

    "Given that" means "considering that", or "since".
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    To my way of thinking, "given" is not a preposition (*), but I do agree that the word pair "given that" here means "because" and therefore functions as a conjunction.
    I like to think of "given (that)" as short for "assuming we are given the premise (that)".

    (*) I'm aware that there is a school of linguistics that seeks to reinterpret all manner of word forms as prepositions. I'm too long in the tooth to accord this far-fetched idea any respect, whether it deserves it or not.
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    Individual freedom of thought should be protected more absolutely that individual freedom of action, given (after it is given) that (referring to freedom of thought) the latter (freedom of action), which is also desirable, must be based on the limits imposed by the rights and freedom of others.
    "Individual freedom of thought should be protected more absolutely than individual freedom of action, given (after it is given) that (referring to freedom of thought) because the latter (freedom of action), which is also desirable, must be based on the limits imposed by the rights and freedom of others."
     

    tesoke

    Senior Member
    USA
    Persian
    Thank you. Why "given that" means "because"?! Is it an idiom or anything? Would you please exemplify it with another example? Thanks.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    It means "considering that", or "when you take into consideration the fact that..."

    In your sentence, it can be replaced by "since(because)" without loss of meaning, I think.
     
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