The past decade has seen a growing public fascination with the complex “connectedness” of modern society. At the heart of this fascination is the idea of a network – a pattern of interconnections among a set of things – and one finds networks appearing in discussion and commentary on an enormous range of topics.

What does one mean here?

[Source: Networks, Crowds, and Markets]

closed as off-topic by ab2, sumelic, MetaEd, curiousdannii, oerkelens Aug 6 '16 at 11:14

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • one refers to a generic person it could mean you or I – BladorthinTheGrey Jul 22 '16 at 8:49
  • What does your research on the pronoun one show? Why do you think "one" should refer to anything in the sentence? Can you tell us why? – user140086 Jul 22 '16 at 9:11
  • It's merely part of a device to avoid the outlandish passive variant 'and networks are found to be appearing in discussion and commentary on an enormous range of topics.' – Edwin Ashworth Jul 22 '16 at 9:19
  • 1
    Include in your question the research you’ve done. Questions which lack results of research may be closed. (more) – MetaEd Aug 5 '16 at 15:10

In the example sentence, "one" is not a determiner but a pronoun. It refers to "any indefinite person" (Collins dictionary). It is possible that the authors chose a sentence construction with "one" in order to avoid a passive construction ("and networks can be found appearing ...").

In less formal English, "one" can often be replaced with "you" ("and you can find networks appearing ...").

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.