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    #1

    the use of FOR

    Dear all,

    The following passage is from a book titled "When ANT meets SPIDER". The characters called ANT and SPIDER are having a philosophical talk. ANT says the network made of ants and things around them is similar to the spider's web. However, SPIDER disagrees with the comparison.

    ...But there you are surely wrong’, exclaims SPIDER. ‘The lines of my web are not at all like those of your network. In your world there are just entities – bits and pieces of diverse kinds that are brought together or assembled so as to make things happen. Every ‘‘relation’’ in the network, then, is a connection between one entity and another. As such, the relation has no material presence. For the materiality of the world, in your view, is fully comprehended in the entities connected. The lines of my web, to the contrary, are themselves spun from materials exuded from my own body and are laid down as I move about...

    I'm sorry for the long quotation, but what is the function of FOR in bold? Becasue of the For the whole sentence doesn't make sense to me.

    OP

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: the use of FOR

    Understand it this way: ". . .the relation has no material presence, because the materiality of the world, in your view, is fully comprehended. . . ."

    In ordinary American conversation and writing, the word "for" isn't often used that way, because it sounds ornate and old-fashioned.

    Good question!
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #3

    Re: the use of FOR

    The word For here is used as a conjunction to connect logically to the previous sentence(s). You could understand it to mean as.

    The sentence starting with For... supports the idea in the previous sentence that "the relation has no material presence", i.e. it shows the reasoning behind the claim made in the previous sentence.

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    #4

    Re: the use of FOR

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    In ordinary American conversation and writing, the word "for" isn't often used that way, because it sounds ornate and old-fashioned.
    It's not that common in British conversation and is more often found in formal language like speeches, but it does still crop up.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: the use of FOR

    Then I guess we're speaking the same language!
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #6

    Re: the use of FOR

    Thank you so much for all your replies. Now I understand the meaning of "FOR" below.

    ...For the materiality of the world, in your view, is fully comprehended in the entities connected.

    May I ask more more thing? Does the comprehended above mean "included", rather than understood?

    OP

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    #7

    Re: the use of FOR

    Yes. It's an old use of the word. Don't use comprehended that way in your own writing.
    I am not a teacher.

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