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    #1

    sentence structure

    Quote from John Rawls:
    'The naturally advantaged are not to gain merely because they are more gifted, but only to cover the cost of training and education, and for using their endowments in ways that help the less fortunate as well.'

    The structure of the passage is a little abstruse to me , I tried to reconstruct it as follow:
    'The naturally advantaged are to gain not merely because they are more gifted, they are only to cover the cost of training and education (because they are more gifted), and for using their endowments in ways that help the less fortunate as well.'

    I'm not sure if my reconstruction means what the quote means, and please correct me if there're any mistakes in the reconstruction.
    Another question is can use "to use" instead of "for using"? "to use" seem more consistent to me .

    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: sentence structure

    No, your reconstruction is incorrect, because "they are only to cover the cost of training and education" implies that it is the naturally advantaged who should pay for training and education!

    Here's the explanation of the original sentence:
    - Those who are naturally advantaged should not be rewarded simply because they are gifted.
    - It is OK (e.g. for governments) to cover the cost of training and educating the naturally advantaged.
    - It is also OK for the naturally gifted to benefit, but only if they use their talent to help the less fortunate.

    Quote Originally Posted by masterding View Post
    Another question is can I use "to use" instead of "for using"? "to use" seems more consistent to me.
    Thanks.
    No, because it would not work in that sentence.
    To simplify it:
    It's OK for them to benefit (in order) to cover the cost of (their) training and education.
    It's OK for them to benefit for using their talents to help others. "for using" means "when they use."
    It's OK for them to benefit to use their talents to help others. "to use" wouldn't work here.


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    #3

    Re: sentence structure

    No, your reconstruction is incorrect, because "they are only to cover the cost of training and education" implies that it is the naturally advantaged who should pay for training and education!
    Rawls' difference principle says only those social and economic inequalities will be permitted that work to the benefit of the least well-off.
    So in a society that implements the difference principle, income and wealth of those naturally advantaged would be taxed in a way that benefits the least well off members of society. So in essence still the naturally advantaged who pay for training and education through taxations. That's my opinion.

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