I have been trying to get my head around the meaning of "insofar as", but it keeps eluding me. I know it means "to the extent that" or "as much as" as in "I will help insofar as I can" but there are many different cases where I can't grasp the meaning, such as in "The news is good insofar as it suggests that a solution may be possible". Another example is "quarterly earnings matter to investors only insofar as they can at times provide information about future earnings". Can "insofar as" mean because, while, as long as? Any help would be very much appreciated.
A general way of looking at the phrase insofar as is to examine the definition of the phrase: to the extent or degree that. With this definition in mind, we may conjecture that the the words extent and degree are quite similar to the word while - in that extent is a limit and while is a condition precedent to a limit being reached.
Another way of examining the phrase - to better comprehend its use - is to take a look at one of its synonymous phrases inasmuch as, which means in view of the fact (since). If you look at the phrase in these two ways, you will come to the conclusion that it can be used to describe a period of time or the conditions to that effect.
'in' as in "in my opinion" : Can you feel the nuance of 'in'?
'so' as in "It's so far from here." : Can you feel the nuance of 'so'?
'far' as in "It's so far from here." : Can you feel the nuance of 'far'?
'as' as in "Do as I do." or "You have as much as I have": Feel the nuance of 'as'?
The simple structure is: in A as B (Where A=so far)
in A as B can be divisible as: in A, as B
in A: in so far(American E.) = insofar(British E.)
so far is in the preposition 'in' and we need to know the meaning of 'in'
in the the room, in the airport, in summer, in my pocket, etc.
'in' includes space, boundaries, distance, range, and limits(in case of going out of the boundaries of 'in')
as B is easy: like B (though as has many kinds of usages)
Conclusion:so far is confined in 'in' and so far confines 'as B' (only to B)
'so far as B' is confined in 'in'