Grammar in EAP


Plural Nouns

Identify the plural nouns in the following text.

The normal reason for accepting a piece of advice is that it is likely to be sound advice. The normal reason to offer advice is the very same. It will be clear that these judgments of normality are normative. But the very nature of advice can only be understood if we understand in what spirit it is meant to be offered and for what reasons it is meant to be taken. The explanation must leave room for deviant cases, for their existence is undeniable. But it must also draw the distinction between the deviant and the normal, for otherwise the very reason why the `institution" exists and why deviant cases take the special form they do remains inexplicable.

The example of advice is close to the case of authority. Indeed some, though not all, advice is authoritative advice. It is, for example, sometimes justifiable to accept someone's authority in order not to hurt his feelings. Many grown-up people feel obliged by such considerations to continue to acknowledge the authority of their parents over them. But just as in the case of advice, and for the very same reasons, such grounds for recognizing the authority of another, even though sometimes good, are always deviant grounds.

Slightly different considerations show that some reasons for recognizing the authority of another are secondary. To call them secondary means that they are valid reasons only if they accompany other, primary, reasons which also conform to the normal justification thesis (whereas deviant reasons may validly replace the normal reasons). Accepting the authority or leadership of a person or an institution is, for example, a way of defining one's own identity as a member of a nation or some other group, though needless to say it is unlikely to be the only way any person will express his identification with such a group. Such a reason can be a perfectly valid reason, but only if there are other reasons which, in accord with the normal justification thesis, support the authority of that person. The secondary reasons help to meet the burden of proof required to establish a complete justification, i.e. they may suffice in conjunction with the primary reasons in circumstances in which the primary reasons alone will not be enough to establish the legitimacy of an authority. But reasons of identification and self-definition cannot by themselves establish the legitimacy of an authority.

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