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I read a sentence:

It is not fortitude to be brave from ignorance and folly.

Why we use from in the construction brave from?

What is the full meaning of the sentence?

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  • I'd say it's non-standard or at least unnatural sounding in this example, and would use 'as a result of' instead. Commented Aug 31, 2019 at 18:27
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    Or try “out of
    – Jim
    Commented Sep 1, 2019 at 4:07

3 Answers 3

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It means "...to be brave because you are ignorant and foolish".

A person who goes into a dangerous situation even though they are fully aware of the risks is more truly brave than one who rushes in without stopping to think.

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  • Thanks please also tell- is it correct to use 'from' after brave. It would be great if you could give another example. Thanks Commented Aug 31, 2019 at 12:40
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    Yes, it's perfectly correct to speak of doing something from ignorance - in this case, being brave. "He acted from ignorance in not applying the correct first aid procedure." Commented Aug 31, 2019 at 12:52
  • Admittedly I only get a surprising 4000 hits on Google for "acted from ignorance", but the 2 distinct hits for "brave from ignorance" would seem to support my feeling that this particular string is unidiomatic. 'From' meaning 'as a result of' [+ NP or ing-clause] seems to be fairly selective wrt complement. Commented Aug 31, 2019 at 18:23
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I don't think from should be used here, rather out of.

Here is an example in an article heading: Objective knowledge out of ignorance: Popper on body, mind, and the third world

Another one: Probability magic or knowledge out of ignorance

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from is a funny little word undervalued in English in favor of of.

By my estimate the -m marks the case, which had come to supplement the ablativ and vocative in Germanic tongues. Compare whom, him; German dative von wem instead of genitive wessen, ca. "of whom" and "whose"; Latin accusative quam, "in what way".

This is notable because pro or fro (as in "to and fro, back and forth") are usually directed at the target, cp. e.g. in front of. Also cp. Latin per "via", Fr. par excelence.

It still makes sense however to read pro, only in reversed direction. I acknowledge that that is not really a satisfying conclusion.

Nevertheless, it is not too far off the mark, if en.wiktionary is correctly giving a reconstructed sense "2. (used with dative) by, due to" for *fram.

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