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".


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Yes, seems fine to me. Alternatives might include '... forms the basis for ...', '...is the basis for...'.

In terms of grammatical sentence balance, you might consider using 'confidence in / denial of' or 'having confidence in / denying'. I prefer the former.

Best wishes, Clive
Hi Clive,

So in that case, should I say "is the basis for the denial of..."?

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So in that case, should I say "is the basis for the denial of..."?

"Confidence in science is the basis for (the) denial of the existence of moral values".

I think you could say either. The definite article makes it more, well, definite or specific. 'No article' makes it a little more general. Personally, I'd favour no article, to make it balance more closely to 'confidence', which has no article.

Now I'm very used to not using the definite article as much as I do in Spanish. Furthermore, I think that English has had some negative influence upon my Spanish in this respect.

I'll give you an example which surprised me:

"Here the moral scepticism rests crucially on the confidence that there is such a viewpoint."

Yes, one would say that the author (a native speaker) wants it to be more specific. In any case, I wouldn't have used the two "the"s. Or perhaps only the second.

Hi Sextus,

Yes, it's a bit subtle, and I can see how Spanish would interfere with your English a bit, and vice-versa. I find that teaching English, and looking at it from students' points of view, occasionally causes me small difficulties with my own English!

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Sextus"is the basis for the denial of..."

I like this one, considering some of your other posts on the subject.
Hello Sextus

What is the context for the sentence? It may make a difference.

The context is the following:

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

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