irrelevant order of events

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In order to change the ironic glances of his
contemporaries back into stares of open admiration, he created texts
that worked to undo the damage to his reputation which the story of
his children had wrought. The "true" explanation of his actions (refers to Rousseau abandon his 5 children )was
the one which, at a given moment, would staunch the flow of
criticism, not one which corresponded to some externally perceived
and hence irrelevant order of events
. --from <Rousseau and the Republic of Virtue>by CAROL BLUM
Does the last sentence means "the effective explanation was the one whichwould staunch the flow of criticism,not one which corresponded to some external criticism"?
I espcially have no idea of the meaning of the "some externally perceived and hence irrelevant order of events". Can anybody help me? many thanks.
 
  • Zamda

    New Member
    English
    Hmm, I guess that you could use effective, because the way this is presented (with "true" in quotation marks) it seems like this explanation is valid to Rousseau, but may not be the true (exact) series of events presented in an unbiased way. So, you could use "effective", because the explanation would be effective in stopping the criticism.

    "Some externally perceived and hence irrelevant order of events" is to do with other people's interpretation of the events that occurred, which Rousseau seems to think aren't accurate or relevant. Instead of "Not one which corresponded to some external criticism", it would be more like "not one which agreed with the criticisms of a biased/false interpretation of events"
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    Externally perceived = as seen for the vantage point of an outsider.


    hence = therefore


    irrelevant order of events = an order of events which was not pertinent to a "true" explanation of his actions



    the answer to your question is 'yes' and 'no'.

    I agree with your recasting "true" as effective, in this case.

    The second recasting ("...to some externally perceived and hence irrelevant order of events" = "...to some external criticism"), I would argue, is something of an oversimplification, though it is essentially correct.
     
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