What is the meaning of "ones with a claim ..." ?

The sentence is here

For the balance of Book II I shall explore this difficulty and examine the uses of this narrower class of ethical arguments, ones with a claim to be derived from constitutional rather than moral conventions.

Thank you

  • Required More contexts.
    – Sam
    Sep 22 at 7:17
  • Jason, replace "ones" with "those arguments"
    – Fattie
    Sep 22 at 14:33

1 Answer 1


The author refers to 'a narrower class of ethical arguments' and then goes on to specify what this 'narrower class' is - '[arguments] with a claim to be derived from constitutional rather than moral conventions'.

Using ones is a common way of avoiding repetition in a sentence.

There were lots of geranium plants on sale, but I chose the ones with the most flowers.

  • 1
    Personally, I think the cited usage looks a bit sloppy / colloquial. In a more formal context, I'd expect those with a claim... Plus I'd use a semicolon (perhaps a dash) rather than a comma, but maybe that's because I'm an old fuddy-duddy. It's commas all the way down these days. Sep 22 at 12:47
  • Just as Fumble says. It's basically a typo for "those ...", any editor would change it.
    – Fattie
    Sep 22 at 14:33
  • @FumbleFingers Semi-colon doesn't work, the part beginning with "ones" is not a complete clause (it has no verb). It's just a noun phrase describing the "narrower class".
    – Barmar
    Sep 22 at 14:39
  • @Barmar: I don't really care about punctuation marks, since real language is spoken anyway. The important point is I'd much prefer the word "those" over "ones" in the cited context (where "those ones" is overkill, and plain "ones" is a bit casual). But maybe you wouldn't cavil at an actual colon. Sep 22 at 15:05
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers I think this is a perfect case for a colon, as it's introducing a definition or explanation of what went before it.
    – gidds
    Sep 23 at 11:00

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