...itself an implausible hypothesis...

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orchard

Senior Member
Turkish

Hi All,

What does the "itself" refer to in the following sentence, and what does the sentence in parentheses mean in this context?

Many thanks in advance.
"Unless all forms of instrumental rationality are rigidly excluded (itself an implausible hypothesis if the theory is to be genuinely practical), it is very difficult to see why consequences will not play, at least on occasions, play a decisive role in selecting or shaping the principles to be followed."
 
  • Aidanriley

    Senior Member
    English
    The 'itself' refers to the antecedent, like this:
    Unless all forms of instrumental rationality are rigidly excluded, which is not possible if the theory is supposed to be genuinely practical (and would not be practical if one had to rigidly exclude all forms of instrumental rationality), it is very difficult to see why consequences will not occasionally play a decisive role in selecting or shaping the principles to be followed.

    This is very difficult to explain in simpler words..sorry. Hopefully I did something more than simply arrange confusing words into equally confusing phrases.
     

    orchard

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    The 'itself' refers to the antecedent, like this:
    Unless all forms of instrumental rationality are rigidly excluded, which is not possible if the theory is supposed to be genuinely practical (and would not be practical if one had to rigidly exclude all forms of instrumental rationality), it is very difficult to see why consequences will not occasionally play a decisive role in selecting or shaping the principles to be followed.

    This is very difficult to explain in simpler words..sorry. Hopefully I did something more than simply arrange confusing words into equally confusing phrases.
    Your reformulation is very helpful to me, Aidanriley, thank you. I wasn't sure what the "itself" exactly refered to, and now with your explanation it is clear enough.
     
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