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For example let's say we have a statement: X is Y. How does the meaning change when we put "if not for reason" at the end?

  1. X is Y, if not for reason.
  2. X is Y, if not for other reasons.
  3. X is Y, if not for other reasons than Z.

I'm looking for an analysis of the three constructions and the implications they carry.

Here is an example found in an article. I only vaguely understand it. Could you help explain what the author means?

"And finally, we need to take this very seriously, if not for other reasons than because in the end it is not only up to the researcher to define what is critical or fruitful."

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    Your question does not tie in with the sentence you quote: (1) there is nothing in the sentence like "X is Y"; (2) it does not have "reason" in the singular; (3) it does not have "if not for other reasons. (full stop / period). – TrevorD Jul 6 '16 at 22:58
  • Thanks, your answer is great. To clarify the question, in my examples "X is Y" is a placeholder for any statement, any factual claim, etc. We can pick up concrete examples: "Dogs are cute, if not for reason", "Dogs are cute, if not for other reasons". – bluej Jul 6 '16 at 23:48
  • "If not for reason" is meaningless: if you encounter it, it is an error. – Colin Fine Jul 8 '16 at 16:25
  • I've now amplified my answer to give some explanation of possible more general examples of the formats given in your Q. – TrevorD Jul 8 '16 at 18:46
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The quoted sentence is:

And finally, we need to take this very seriously, if not for other reasons than because in the end it is not only up to the researcher to define what is critical or fruitful.

Isolating the key parts of the sentence (with some paraphrasing) gives:

… we need to take this very seriously … because [ultimately] it is [up to all of us — not only the researcher] … to define what is critical or fruitful.

The wording:

if not for other reasons than ...

implies that there might be other reasons for taking it seriously, but … here's the over-riding reason: …

I agree that the wording of the sentence is inordinately and unnecessarily complex!

As regards your more generic question about three possible constructions, I'm assuming that the periods/full-stops at the end of each example are intended to indicate the end of a sentence, and I've construed them accordingly.

  1. I cannot think of a construction where "[claim/statement], if not for reason." would make sense.

  2. You could have a statement of the form:

    We should do XYZ for [reason A], if not for other reasons.

    That would suggest that 'reason A' is an over-riding reason, even though there may also be additional reasons for doing XYZ.

  3. A statement of the form

    We should do XYZ, if not for other reasons than because [reason A]

    is effectively the same as item 2. above expressed the other way round. It may be possible to have a similar statement without the word "because", but I can't currently think of one.

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