I recently asked a question on another Stack Exchange site, and one of my sentences left me in doubt. Here is the sentence.
To be clear, the concept is not about condoning immoral actions, but rather, when breaking the rules is the right thing to do, or the wisest course of action.
I have a couple questions. First, you will notice that "but rather" is a standalone phrase enclosed by commas. Is there a name for this construction? I feel like it helps a sentence build suspense, and serves to emphasize what follows.
Second, the clause "when breaking the rules is the right thing to do" gave me some pause. I would like to think that it's permissible, owing to conjunctive reduction. The preposition "about" is implied, e.g. "but rather, [about] when breaking the rules is the right thing to do".
However, I am not sure whether the preposition "about" can take an adverb such as "when". It seems to me that my clause beginning with "when" is acting like a noun clause. I think this is fine, but I'm not sure. Would you say that the grammar is correct, and the style acceptable?
Also, would you consider the clause beginning with "when" to be a noun clause? (This would help me make sense of the construction.)