On the one hand... on the other

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Sextus

Senior Member
Spanish
"To prove his point, he draws a comparison between natural selection, on the one hand, and imaginary belief pills whose ingestion is the only reason a person is disposed to form beliefs involving a given concept, on the other."

Well used?
 
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Not bad, Sextus. Just a couple of suggestions to make the sentence a bit easier to digest:
    To prove his point he draws a comparison between natural selection on the one hand, and, on the other, imaginary belief pills whose ingestion [etc.]
    (It just keeps your on the one hand and your and on the other closer together: in your sentence the on the other is left rather 'dangling' at the end.)
     

    Sextus

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Yes, that's the reason I asked: as the second element of the comparison is very long, "on the other" is very far away from "on the one hand". Your version is much better. Thanks.
     

    GamblingCamel

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Imaginary belief pills is a very cool phrasing, Sextus.
    If that's your own creation, you're definitely in command of the English language ! :)

    I suspect that you are referring to Richard Joyce's The Evolution of Morality.
    ( heck, all I know is that I was born naturally moral :p)

    I agree with Ewie about word placement.

    However, I'd like to add that if you were to remove one hand/other hand from the sentence,
    it might in fact be easier for the reader to concentrate on the meaning of the concepts.
     
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