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To begin, then, with G.E.Moore. It will be remembered that in his famous A Defence of Common Sense Moore asserted that he, and very many other people as well, knew with certainty a number of propositions regarding which some philosophers had held that they were not, and could not be, known with certainty.

[P. F. Strawson, Scepticism and Naturalism: Some Varieties]

Why does the author use the word "regarding" in the text? I feel like I still get the text without that word. Is it a redundancy? Please help me explain.

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It's not a redundancy, because if you took the word away the sentence would not read correctly.

Although the text seems a little long and flowery, removing the word in question and simplifying the clause that follows may change the meaning from what the writer intended.

A clause that follows 'which' normally tells us additional information about the subject. The subject is the "propositions" that Moore knew "with certainty". If we were to whittle down the sentence as follows...

Moore asserted that he, and very many other people as well, knew with certainty a number of propositions which some philosophers held were not, and could not be, known with certainty.

... this could sound like Moore was aware of other philosophers disagreeing with his beliefs, or that he selected propositions to champion based on the fact they were rejected by others, neither of which may be the case. I perceive that it is the writer making the observation that Moore and others thought one thing while some other philosophers thought something else. So, what follows the 'which' clause is not simply defining the subject - it is telling us something regarding the subject.

Consider an example. If someone said "John likes books which his sister hates" it could mean that John selects the books he likes on the basis that his sister hates them. But if it was instead phrased as "John likes books, many of which his sister hates" it is clearer that the speaker has observed the sister dislikes some of the books her brother likes.

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    Thank you very much. I get it!
    – XVI
    Feb 23 at 14:25
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    @XVI You can simplify that complicated sentence even further: "Moore ... knew ... propositions regarding which some philosophers had held that they were not ... known with certainty." You can substitute "about" for "regarding" with the same meaning. Feb 23 at 20:49

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