-1

I feel that sometimes what you say is so vague and imprecise that "in" and "among" may not make any difference, but is it always the case? Would you argue that it's the same in philosophical discourses?

For example:

The modes of being in humans are fundamentally different from modes of being in non-conscious objects.

The modes of being among humans are fundamentally different from modes of being among non-conscious objects.

  • Please don't edit your questions in a way that invalidates answers. In reading the existing answer, it says that is is wrong—and also says that human should be pluralized. But none of that makes sense in relation to the question as it currently reads. (So, if I hadn't investigated further, I might have easily been tempted to downvote the answer as nonsensical.) But you did say both of those things at one point. You only edited your question after the answer was given. If you do that, you should add a note saying what it had originally said, so that the answer makes sense. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Apr 13 at 21:56
3

You may find this question could be better answered by a specialist in Heideggerian philosophy at https://philosophy.stackexchange.com/, but from a purely linguistic point of view:

Neither "The modes of being in human is..." nor "The modes of being among human is..." read correctly (without the context of a philosophical text using the term 'human' differently to normal English usage). I see a few ways of correcting the grammar of the sentence:

Firstly, is is wrong; are agrees in number with modes.

Secondly, since in normal English usage human is a countable noun, it will need to be pluralised or have an article. Since it's being compared with a plural (non-conscious objects), we would choose a plural.

The modes of being in humans are fundamentally different from modes of being in non-conscious objects.

The same construction would apply with either preposition in or among.

The modes of being among humans are fundamentally different from modes of being in non-conscious objects.

As for whether there's a meaningful difference between in and among in this case, well, I really think that's a philosophical question, not a linguistic one. Depending on what flavour of philosopher they are, they might give you an answer framed in set theory, or group membership, or any number of other frames, but since your example sentence appears (to my non-philosopher's eye) to be Heideggerian, perhaps that's the place to start.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.