0

I'm struggling with a relative 'which' clause right now; I'm hoping to structure it a certain way, but while I feel like I've read it that way before, I'm just not sure if it's correct and I can't find any examples of that construction. Here's the sentence in question (and the clause in bold):

I do not observe any supposed distinction between the soul and the mind, the latter which I consider little more than a reductive account of the former.

My goal is to communicate this without constructing an independent clause:

I do not observe any supposed distinction between the soul and the mind; I consider the latter little more than a reductive account of the former.

The real snag is that I would use something like,

I do not observe any supposed distinction between the soul and the mind, which I consider little more than a reductive account of the former.

but I'm not fond of using 'the former' without clarifying the subject of the relative clause with 'the latter' (the way I read it, 'which' could, in the above version, refer to 'any supposed distinction').

How, if at all, should I revise the first version of my sentence?

Would something like,

I do not observe any supposed distinction between the soul and the mind, the latter of which I consider little more than a reductive account of the former.

be correct?

3
  • I agree with the observation about your first example; did you write this? Please do take a moment to tour the site, read the FAQ, and enjoy the research. – livresque Aug 27 '20 at 2:16
  • Your third rewriting is fine, you don't need 'former' anywhere because 'of which' makes clear what the former and latter are. It's the same as dealing with a longer list, for example "These yogurts come in strawberry, vanilla, cherry and raspberry flavours of which I prefer the last one" – BoldBen Aug 27 '20 at 3:18
  • Aside from style and subjective opinion, it's not clear why you think there's a problem with the original sentence. Based on the final suggestion, are you asking if a preposition is necessary? – Jason Bassford Aug 27 '20 at 4:09
0

Subject to others’ opinions, I feel your concluding version to be clear, unambiguous, grammatical and correct. Another way of achieving your aim might be ... and the mind, the latter being little more than a reductive account of the former or ... the mind, it being little more ...

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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