The Moral Foundation of Politics by Ian Shapiro

Can someone explain what does this part:

as distinct from what their bases in reason may or may not be alleged to be.

means? I don't understand what does "what" belongs to. I have two variants:

1 - what their bases in reason may or may not be

2 - what their bases in reason alleged to be

But in either case I don't understand the full meaning of the sentence. If my question is not clear please ask me to make it more clear.


Your phrase (2) doesn't make sense. What something is alleged to be means what people claim that it is. So the meaning of the passage that puzzles you is:

as distinct from what people may or may not claim that their bases in reason are.

their referring to identification and commitment (I think! It's quite a difficult sentence even for a native speaker to follow).

  • I see it does fit to the context. Thank you very much. – Abbas Mübariz May 15 '20 at 11:05

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