I’m really confused about the meaning of otherwise in this sentence. From my understanding, otherwise is used to express what would happen on the contrary. However, in this context, the clause following otherwise conveys the same idea of the previous sentence.

So, what does otherwise mean in this context?

Recycling has been relentlessly promoted as a goal in and of itself: a public and private virtue that is indoctrinated in students from kindergarten through university. As a result, otherwise well-informed and educated people have no idea of the relative costs and benefits.

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  • 1
    'Otherwise' is being used as an adjective: people you are well-informed about other things - but are apparently NOT well-informed about recycling. – TrevorD Mar 11 at 0:11

This is an adverbial 'otherwise.'

conjunction You already know about 'otherwise' (=if not) starting a new phrase:

We must get the money, otherwise we can't stay.

adverb Otherwise (= in a different way) can modify verbs and adjectives and other adverbs:

We hoped we were going shopping. She thought otherwise.(differently)
Otherwise well-informed people (In other respects well-informed) have prejudices too.

  • I got it, thank you! Just one more question, can I put ‘otherwise’ at the end of the sentence I provided ? – Bello Mar 10 at 16:58
  • At the end of the title sentence you provided? Yes; but at the end of the Block-quote sentences? No. – Hugh Mar 10 at 20:25

Q: "...can I put ‘otherwise’ at the end of the sentence I provided ? A: No. It would be incorrect/meaningless.

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