2

I have problems understanding a complex sentence within a definition of a philosophical term:

relativism, is the view that truth and falsity, right and wrong, standards of reasoning and procedures of justification are products of differing conventions and frameworks of assessment and that their authority is confined to the context giving rise to them.

  1. Is "that...and that..." a sentence pattern?

  2. If so, would you say it is the key to understand the logic of this sentence?

  3. What type of grammar problem do I have in regards of understanding long/complex sentences?

3

Break the sentence down to better understand it.

It is saying that A is a view (an outlook, a way of regarding things).
This view holds that various ideas, standards and procedures are the products of B (they arise from B).
B comprises differing conventions and ways of assessing things.
The authority of these ideas, standards and conventions applies only within the context in which they are found.

You do not have a grammar problem in understanding such a long and complex sentence. Most native English speakers would also grapple with it and the content. Those without a particular interest in the definition would skip over it as not worth the trouble of understanding.

Philosophical ideas are often expressed in lengthy (sometimes convoluted) statements when they could be better explained in far more simple terms - and not only in English. Also, they are frequently intended for readers familiar with the ideas and the jargon.

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.