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What does "very notion" mean in this sentence "The second epistemological consequence derives from the very notion of mechanism-independence."?

closed as off-topic by Tushar Raj, Dan Bron, choster, Misti, Chenmunka Jul 9 '15 at 17:37

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  • Welcome to EL&U. Please note that answers which can be found in the dictionary are off-topic here, and ODO gives this relevant definition for very: Actual; precise (used to emphasize the exact identity of someone or something): 'those were his very words'. – choster Jul 8 '15 at 21:13
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Just consider the sentence without "very" first.

The second epistemological consequence derives from the notion of mechanism-independence."

Does this make sense? If not then your issue is not with the "very" and you want to update your question to reflect that, in my opinion.

If it does then this definition of "very" from the oxford dictionaries "very"

Actual; precise (used to emphasize the exact identity of someone or something)

'those were his very words'

'he might be phoning her at this very moment'

  • And how does "derives from the actual notion of mechanism-independence" make any sense? I'd say it's the definition from oxford dictionaries "with no addition of anything else". That is, it derives from the notion of mechanism-independence, with no other assumptions needed. – Peter Shor Jul 7 '15 at 10:58
  • @PeterShor To be perfectly honest without the surrounding context I think it's hard to figure out exactly what the "very" is supposed to mean. Though I was not thinking of actual but rather precise, in the sense in which it is used in "They turned around to see what the racket was and at that precise moment he stumbled and fell over his cart." Though this does assume that we have talked about the notion of mechanism-independence before. – DRF Jul 7 '15 at 11:04
  • @PeterShor To clarify I think the very is here used to further specify the type of mechanism-independence notion (the one we've talked about already) while further stressing it's importance. – DRF Jul 7 '15 at 11:06
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This is the adjectival use of 'very'. It can be found in your dictionary.

EDIT in response to request for clarification.

On reading the sentence out loud, the word very signals emphasis on the word notion. Thus

"The second epistemological consequence derives from the very NOTION of mechanism-independence."

In other words, if we merely accept the notion of mechanism-independence then we must perforce accept the second epistemological consequence .

  • I know that "very" is adjective in that sentence. My main language is Turkish and "very notion" does not have any logical meaning in my language. Could you explain it please? – verdery Jul 7 '15 at 10:07
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This is the meaning from the Oxford Dictionaries Online

  1. With no addition of anything else; mere.

That is, it means

The second epistemological consequence derives from the notion of mechanism-independence, with no other assumptions needed.

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