lending a somewhat different shape to the democratic theory it yields

primroseheel

Senior Member
korean-korea
Liberalism can provide a foundation for democracy, though one can reach democratic conclusions from other foundations, each lending a somewhat different shape to the democratic theory it yields.

what does "each" refer to? each foundation?
Can I assume the word "lending" as giving helpfully? And "yields" as produces?
I'm not sure what the sentence exactly means. This is partly becuase I'm ignorant with this kind of topic.
Can someone paraphrase the sentence so that I can understand clearly? :(

Source:
The Morality of Freedom
Joseph Raz
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    You have hit on the correct meanings. Paraphrased:

    "Liberalism can provide a foundation for democracy. But democracy can be built on other foundations too. The shape of the democratic theory you finally come to depends on which foundation you started from."
     

    primroseheel

    Senior Member
    korean-korea
    You have hit on the correct meanings. Paraphrased:

    "Liberalism can provide a foundation for democracy. But democracy can be built on other foundations too. The shape of the democratic theory you finally come to depends on which foundation you started from."
    Thank you!
    One more question
    Does the sentence below have the same meaning as the original text?

    Though one can reach democratic conclusions from other foundations and each lends a somewhat different shape to the democratic theory it(= the foundation) yields, liberalism can provide a foundation for democracy.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The sentence isn’t particularly well written to begin with (does yielding a democratic theory mean the same as reaching a democratic conclusion, and does either of those make sense anyway?). So twisting it around like that is no improvement. It would be better to leave it as it was with maybe just a couple of refinements for the sake of clarification.

    Liberalism can provide a foundation for democracy, but one can reach democratic conclusions from other foundations, each of which lends a somewhat different shape to the democratic theory it yields.
     

    primroseheel

    Senior Member
    korean-korea
    The sentence isn’t particularly well written to begin with (does yielding a democratic theory mean the same as reaching a democratic conclusion, and does either of those make sense anyway?). So twisting it around like that is no improvement. It would be better to leave it as it was with maybe just a couple of refinements for the sake of clarification.

    Liberalism can provide a foundation for democracy, but one can reach democratic conclusions from other foundations, each of which lends a somewhat different shape to the democratic theory it yields.
    Thank you!!
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Here are some definitions of lend from the WR dictionary.

    to give, confer, furnish, or impart (a quality) to something :[~ + object + to + object]A fireplace lends coziness to a room.[~ + object + object]The use of a warm color there lends the room cheeriness.

    to furnish or impart: Distance lends enchantment to the view.

    (transitive) to impart or contribute (something, esp some abstract quality): her presence lent beauty


    I think those definitions are closer to the meaning in that sentence than "giving helpfully" - that meaning is more about a person lending another person money, for instance.

    In the OP sentence, lending is a way of saying each foundation has its own particular influence on the result. Each foundation imparts a different quality to the resulting democratic theory, because each foundation is different.

    a somewhat different shape = somewhat different characteristics
     

    primroseheel

    Senior Member
    korean-korea
    Here are some definitions of lend from the WR dictionary.

    to give, confer, furnish, or impart (a quality) to something :[~ + object + to + object]A fireplace lends coziness to a room.[~ + object + object]The use of a warm color there lends the room cheeriness.

    to furnish or impart: Distance lends enchantment to the view.

    (transitive) to impart or contribute (something, esp some abstract quality): her presence lent beauty


    I think those definitions are closer to the meaning in that sentence than "giving helpfully" - that meaning is more about a person lending another person money, for instance.

    In the OP sentence, lending is a way of saying each foundation has its own particular influence on the result. Each foundation imparts a different quality to the resulting democratic theory, because each foundation is different.

    a somewhat different shape = somewhat different characteristics
    Thanks for the clarification.
     
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