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Hi, I'd like to know if the above expression is correctly used in the following sentence:

"Confidence in science constitutes the basis for denying the existence of moral values".

Thanks,

Sextus
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My opinion, which may be of only marginal value next to MrP's, who you are probably addressing here (though I've also thrown my hat into the ring on the question) is this: I'd suggest either, is the basis for the denial of, or, is the basis for denying', but not, is the basis for denial of'..
No, I'd agree. Maybe:

"Annas does not think, then, that the only basis for denying the existence of objective moral values is [confidence in science]."

"Confidence in science" doesn't quite seem to convey the meaning, though. It seems to require "confidence in the X of science".

But what is X?

MrP
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That would be:

"Annas does not think, then, that the only basis for denying the existence of objective moral values is confidence in the objectivity of science."

Sextus
I've not read Annas, but it seems to me that these two statements do not quite say the same thing:

1) "Annas does not think, then, that the only basis for denying the existence of objective moral values is confidence in the objectivity of science."

2) "Annas does not think, then, that only confidence in science is the basis for the denial of the existence of objective moral values."

Although no.1 reads more easily, and its meaning is clearer, i.e., that Annas believes that confidence in science is one, but not the only one, of several bases for denying the existence of objective moral values....

But no.2 could imply that Annas argues against confidence in science as any basis for the denial of the existenceof objective moral values.

From no.1, I can imagine this exchange:
1st speaker: "I have complete confidence in science, and that's my basis for denying the objectivity or moral values."
Annas: "That's not enough. Confidence in science is only one part of a basis for a sound denial."

From no. 2, I can imagine this exchange:
1st speaker; "I have complete confidence in science, and nothing else; that's my basis for denying the objectivity of moral values."
Annas: "Your confidence only in science is no basis for denying the existence of moral values."

Not having read Annas, I don't know which is closer to the intended meaning.
Aha, you're completely right, Davkett. The new version doesn't say what I wanna say. However, the other version, as you interpret it, doesn't say what I wanna say either. What I wanna say is that Annas believes that confidence in science is one of several possible bases for denying the existence of objective moral values. How could I say this? Perhaps:

"Annas does not believe, then, that confidence in the objectivity of science is the only possible basis for denying the existence of objective moral values".

By the way, could you take a look at my final post at http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/TitlesSectionsPaper/bnqxg/Post.htm

Thanks,

Sextus
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SextusWhat I wanna say is that Annas believes that confidence in science is one of several possible bases for denying the existence of objective moral values. How could I say this?

Do you mean how can you say this by asserting what Annas does not believe?

Though Annas believes that confidence in the objectivity of science is a possible basis for denying the existence of objective moral values, she does not believe that it is the only possibility.

Yes, I think this can work. Then, my whole paragraph would be as follows:

"Annas’ remarks regarding the status of science seem not merely to report the fact that contemporary ethical skepticism predominantly adopts a non-skeptical attitude towards science, but to attempt to show that it is not possible to espouse this skepticism unless one believes in the descriptive and explanatory power that science has in practice or in principle. However, this is only apparent, since in closing her discussion of the local character of contemporary ethical skepticism, she points out that this skepticism “is essentially local, a part of a globally unsceptical world-view which is likely to be scientifically based…” (1998, 207; emphasis added). Thus, though Annas believes that confidence in the objectivity of science is a possible basis for denying the existence of objective moral values, she does not believe that it is the only possibility."

Do you think this is clear?

Best,

Sextus
"Annas’ remarks regarding the status of science seem not merely to report the fact that contemporary ethical skepticism predominantly adopts a non-skeptical attitude towards science, but to attempt to show that it is not possible to espouse this skepticism unless one believes in the descriptive and explanatory power that science has, in practice or in principle. However, this (indefinite antecedent) is only apparent, since in closing her discussion of the local character of contemporary ethical skepticism, she points out that this skepticism “is essentially local, a part of a globally unsceptical world-view which is likely to be scientifically based…” (1998, 207; emphasis added). Thus, though Annas believes that confidence in the objectivity of science is a possible basis for denying the existence of objective moral values, she does not believe that it is the only possibility."

I cannot quite see the connection between thus (i.e., her not believing that confidence in science is the only possibility) and her assertion of the likelihood that the skepticism is scientifically based.

What if thus were but?

Please consider that I may be 'out of my depth' here, Sextus.
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Regarding "this (indefinite antecedent)", I thought it was clear that it refers to the previous sentence, i.e. to the fact that she seems to believe that only confidence in the objectivity of science is the basis for denying the existence of objective moral values.

As regards you main point, I take "likely" (perhaps wrongly) to mean here that it is quite possible that ethical skepticism be based upon a scientific worl-view, but that it is not necessary. This is why I use "thus".

By the way, is there a problem with "local character"?

Sextus
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