s'inscrire au sein d'un argument

Habituellement

Senior Member
Bonjour.

J'écris actuellement un article académique en anglais, et je rencontre une difficulté. Voici le contexte.

Mon article décrit la philosophie de l'histoire développée par H. Spencer (un philosophe britannique). Spencer affirme que les institutions du capitalisme ont été progressivement sélectionnées au cours d'un processus d'évolution qui ressemble beaucoup à un processus de type darwinien. Les communautés qui ont adopté les institutions du capitalisme ont connu une croissance économique et une croissance démographique sans précédent, tandis que les autres communautés ont, elles, stagné économiquement et démographiquement. De cette manière, les institutions du capitalisme se sont de plus en plus répandus sur la planète.
Dans mon article, je souhaite dire que
Spencer donne une certaine interprétation (ressemblant beaucoup à une explication de type darwinien) de l'histoire des institutions capitalistes. Chez Spencer, cette interprétation de l'histoire s'inscrit dans (ou s'inscrit au sein de, ou entre dans, peut-être que "s'inscrit au sein de" est le meilleur terme) un argument [un syllogisme comme disent les philosophes, par ailleurs très contestable] qui peut être décrit ainsi :
L'évolution historique s'oriente toujours dans la bonne direction ;
Les institutions du capitalisme ont été sélectionnés au cours de l'évolution ;
Donc, les institutions du capitalisme sont bonnes.
I would like to know whether it is correct to say that
this interpretation of history lies within [or comes within] an argument which can be described as follows:
Or does it exist a better verb than "to lie within" to convey the idea that I want to develop here?

Thank you very much for your help.
Regards.
 
  • Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Falls under, perhaps, or is consistent with.

    (edit: I'd also consider using falls with Itisi's suggestion, falls within the scope.)
     

    analect

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    "Is consistent with" and "is in line with" seem to me to suggest weaker claims than the one I take you to be making, Habitullement. If I undestand the gist of your idea, you seem to be directing a critique at Spencer: you're not just saying that his interpretation is consistent with this simplistic-reductivist argument; you're saying it boils down to that argument, or at least that it springs directly from it.

    "Boils down to" would imply (which sounds accurate from the context) that Spencer's argument is really just the reductive syllogistic argument with a bunch of added details to flesh it out. "Springs directly from" would imply that there may be some real substance to Spencer's argument not already contained in the syllogistic argument, but that nonetheless Spencer's argument is based very directly on that syllogistic argument, which supplies its basic form & structure. I would recommend "boils down to" but you could go with "springs directly from" if you want to take a softer approach.

    Hope this is helpful.

    (Sorry for writing entirley in English. It's the end of the evening around here, and I doubt I could do this justice in French any time of day.)
     

    analect

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Hm... actually... thinking this over, I guess Spencer's argument doesn't really boil down to the syllogistic one. Spencer's (from what you've told us) is in essence descriptive; the syllogistic one is in essence normative. But if that's so "is in line with"/"is consistet with" aren't quite right either, and anyhow I still think they're too gentle. What about something like this:

    "Behind this interpretation of history lies an argument that can be described as follows:"
     

    Habituellement

    Senior Member
    Hm... actually... thinking this over, I guess Spencer's argument doesn't really boil down to the syllogistic one. Spencer's (from what you've told us) is in essence descriptive; the syllogistic one is in essence normative. But if that's so "is in line with"/"is consistet with" aren't quite right either, and anyhow I still think they're too gentle. What about something like this:

    "Behind this interpretation of history lies an argument that can be described as follows:"
    Thank you for all your answers, I appreciate very much.
    Analact, I did not know the verb "to boil down". According to Theasurus, it means "to be simplifiable or summarizable as; lead to the conclusion that".
    As you said, Spencer's description of history is descriptive, hence it is different from the syllogistic argument, which is normative.
    Maybe your suggestion "behind ... lies" would correspond to what I am searching for.
    Actually, at first, I have thought to write that Spencer's description of history serves to defend an argument which can be described as follows, but I was not very satisfied with this formulation.
     

    Itisi

    Senior Member
    English UK/French
    'is in line with'? (#3) Edit - No, not that one!

    'upholds'? 'supports'?

    'furthers'? 'is grist to the mill for'?
     
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    lentulax

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I don't think you can say that an interpretation subscribes to an argument.
    Really? Why not?

    Whether it exactly conveys the idea of 's'inscrit dans' is another matter - but I don't think any of the other (alternative word/phrase) suggestions does either. I think the idea is along the lines of 'this interpretation can be considered as part of the argument...', so if you recast the whole sentence, I think analect's suggestion (#12) "Behind this interpretation of history lies an argument that can be described as follows:" is the best so far.
     

    analect

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Really? Why not?

    Whether it exactly conveys the idea of 's'inscrit dans' is another matter - but I don't think any of the other (alternative word/phrase) suggestions does either. I think the idea is along the lines of 'this interpretation can be considered as part of the argument...', so if you recast the whole sentence, I think analect's suggestion (#12) "Behind this interpretation of history lies an argument that can be described as follows:" is the best so far.
    @lentulax, je suppose qu'on pourrait dire "this interpretation subscribes to that argument," mais je crois que c’est une phrase étrange. Est-ce que vous ne trouve pas que, normalement, on utilise "subscribe" quand le sujet est une personne ou une groupe des personnes, e.g. "Spencer appears to subscribe to the argument that..." or "Most contemporary economics departments subscribe to the notion that..." etc.? Il me semble que c'est parce-que le verbe "subscribe" implique une état mental/intellectuel: If one subscribes to an idea/argument/etc., this means that one believes in that idea/argument/etc. An interpretation, being a thought but not itself having a mind, cannot strictly speaking subscribe.
     

    analect

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    @Habituellement,

    Vous avez raison: Boils down to n'est pas approprié dans cette contexte. Comme j'ai écrit, c’était le fin de mon soir quand j'ai composé ce post, mais votre fil m’intéressait; ainsi, j'ai répliqué précipitamment sans penser suffisamment. En fait, je crois que votre idée original, serves to defend, n'est pas mal.

    En realité, je crois qu'il y a deux affirmations similaire mais pas exactement pareilles que vous pouvez faire:
    (1) Que l’interprétation de Spencer est consistant avec l'argument syllogistique est qu'on peut utilise l'un pour supporter l'autre (mais peut-être ce n’était pas l'intention de Spencer).
    (2) Que l'interprétation de Spencer est formulé en service a l'argument syllogistique, que évidement cette position normative a inspiré l’interprétation de Spencer.

    Dans le cas 1, on pourrait dire "is in line with" ou "falls in line with" ou une phrase comme ça. Mais ceux n'ont pas beaucoup de force rhétorique.

    Dans le cas 2, on pourrait dire "serves to defend" ou "is designed to support" ou "behind this interpretation lies"... ou peut-etre:

    Behind Spencer's apparently descriptive interpretation lies a set of normative commitments, which take the form of a syllogistic argument:

    J'ecris commitments, parce-que il me parait que l'engagement en faveur de ces idées normatives précède n'importe quel argument, et voila la problème avec eux et avec l'argument syllogistique.

    À propos, je ne connais pas la phrase "s'inscrit au sein de" mais il y a une phrase en anglais "is at the heart of" pas totalement inapproprié ici mais: on peut dire "At the heart of Spencer's interpretation is [or lies] an argument..." mais (passant a anglais pour être sûr que j’écris ce que je veux dire) it seems to me that this phrasing would imply that Spencer's interpretation depends on that argument. Logically this isn't so: Spencer's interpretation can be formulated without any reference to that argument... but the phrasing does sound nice in this context and gives the rhetorical force that I think you want.
     

    broglet

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Bonjour Habituellement. What I think you are saying is "This interpretation of history might be expressed as a [faulty] syllogism in the following form .... "
     
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    analect

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Bonjour Habituellement. What I think you are saying is "This interpretation of history might be expressed as a [faulty] syllogism in the following form .... "
    That's along the lines of what I was thinking at first, Broglet, but on closer examination, it seems that the syllogistic argument is not a rephrasing of Spencer's nor an equivalent kind of argument. The relationship is subtler: Spencer's interpretation (which only seeks to describe a historical process) seems to dovetail with and lend support to the syllogistic argument (which does not describe any specific historical process but makes claims about whether the process of history and the institutions of capitalism are good or bad), by way of a Darwinist ethics that implicitly grants moral rightness to the process of natural selection.
     

    lentulax

    Senior Member
    UK English
    An interpretation, being a thought but not itself having a mind, cannot strictly speaking subscribe
    I see your point, and one can't argue with the logic, but many usages don't have a strict regard for logic. Perhaps my post should have exceeded two words (but the OP didn't translate 'Chez Spencer' (I assumed to focus on the key phrase)); so would it avoid weirdness if I'd said, 'In this interpretation, Spenser subscribes to...' ? In fact , since an 'interpretation' inevitably implies an 'interpreter' (interpreters) in whose mind the interpretation has formed, it doesn't seem sound weird to me to use it as I did - 'This interpretation of Spenser's subscribes to...', or 'In Spencer's case, this interpretation subscribes to...'; of course, if it does sound weird to most people, then I'm wrong.
     

    Habituellement

    Senior Member
    Itisi, lentulax, analect and broglet, again thank you for all your answers!
    Could you tell me what does "to fall in line with" mean? Is it synonymous with "to be in line with", which, I believe, means "to correspond"? I do not know this expression.
    Maybe I will choose "behind this interpretation ... lies".
    Thank you, I do appreciate your help.
     

    analect

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    @Habituellement , Il n'y a pas beaucoup de différence entre "to be in line with" et "to fall in line with." Le premier et plus commun, je crois. Je dirai, que tous les deux, dans cette contexte, veut dire "to be consistent with," plutôt que "to correspond to." Mais le dernier se rappelle à une autre expression "to fall in line" dont le sens est très différent: cette phrase veut dire "to become obedient;" je crois que ça viens d'une contexte militaire, et le sens et celle d'une groupe de soldats, qui est un peu désorganisé maintenant mais qui va à, ou qu'on le donne l'ordre de, former une file droite. Quoique c'est clairement une autre expression avec une origine distincte que celle de "to fall in line with," il me semble que la similarité entre les deux donne a l'une un vague soupçon de l'autre. Je parle d'un effet assez subtil.
     

    analect

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Thank you, analect, for these clarifications.
    Je suis heureux d'être d'assistance.

    (Your French is very good, by the way, albeit not perfect.:))
    Have a good day and thank you for your help.
    Merci bien! Je soupçonnes que mon français parait meilleur qu'il est: j'ai recours à WF quand je suis mis en doute comment m'exprimer. Comme je dis dans mon "signature," si vous voulez corriger quelques erreurs, je serais très reconnaissant. Éviter les gros erreurs grammatical est seulement une question de soin, mais éviter écrire phrases qui paraissent étranges ou maladroits, c'est à dire m'exprimer dans une manière qui parait naturel à les oreilles français... c'est bien difficile!
     
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