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Les philosophes semblent vouloir se rassurer en répétant que les sens nous trompent, comme pour mieux nous cacher que le logos, langage et raison, nous trahit.

First of all, I would like to know if comme pour means as if.

Then, when combined with mieux nous cacher, if the whole fragment (comme pour mieux nous cacher) could be rendered in English as as if we'd better hide.

Finally, assuming I haven't made a single mistake so far, how would the two already discussed fragments (comme pour and mieux nous cacher) make any sense when coupled with the rest of the quotation: que [...] nous trahit?

Somehow, when put together, the three fragments (comme pour, mieux nous cacher, and que [...] nous trahit) seem to lose all cohesion.

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So many people get frustrated with the SE model because people take it too far with the moderation I think. I think if you want a successful French Q&A site, relax on the criticism a little bit. –  Patrick Sebastien Jul 13 '13 at 23:48
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@Patrick Sebastien Exactly. There is only so much you can ask, grammatically, as grammar itself is a restricted code of rules. Hence: finite. Grammatical questions are, therefore, finite in number. That's why, I think, such a site as this should also be dedicated to contextual, yet still grammar-dependent, questions, which is the best way that learners can be encouraged to deepen their knowledge of French (in this particular case) by reading as much as possible. The future of this very site may very well depend upon it (as grammar is inherently a finite code of rules). –  indoxica Jul 14 '13 at 11:12
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I think the underlying question is fine, but the current formulation makes some people queasy. You basically have a "what does this phrase mean, why is it constructed this way" question, but your (very commendable) attempt to explain it yourself covers it up some and makes it look like it'd only be helpful to you, and we try to avoid those kinds of question. But I don't think it's one. You could either edit it to clear that up if you wanted, but I don't think anything is going to be done to it if you leave it as is. –  Kareen Jul 14 '13 at 14:40
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@Kareen I am not an absurd person. As I'm a new member of this community, I'm obviously trying to absorb your way of doing things. So I'm trying to refine my posting skills. On the other hand, though, I have unfortunately noticed (just) a tinge of narrow-mindedness on the part of some users when it comes to new members and their way of thinking about the form they would like to be helped in. While I'll do my very best to respect the community and adjust to its rules, I will never accept the elegant bullying I've been subjected to; hence my official protest, which you have likely already read. –  indoxica Jul 14 '13 at 14:54
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@Kareen Anyway, I do hope I'll have a long happy life on this site: full of things to learn, (virtually) surrounded by a great community of knowledge seekers just like me. –  indoxica Jul 14 '13 at 14:57

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

First, you need to break down the sentence correctly.

…, (comme pour (mieux nous cacher que ((le logos, langage et raison,) nous trahit))).

Le logos, language et raison: langage et raison is in apposition to logos. Semantically, this could be written “le logos (qui est langage et raison)”.

Thus this sentence fragment is a nuance on “comme pour mieux nous cacher que le logos nous trahit”, i.e. (translated litterally) “as if to hide from us the fact that logos betrays us”. The semantic subject of cacher is les philosophes, not nous. The pronoun nous is a complement of the verb cacher: hide from us. If you substitute mankind for nous, the sentence could be written “… comme pour mieux cacher à l'humanité que le logos la trahit”.

Another way to write the sentence with a similar meaning would be “comme s'ils voulaient nous cacher que le logos nous trahit” (where ils = les philosophes).

Comme indicates that what follows appears to be true but is probably not completely correct — either a simile or a misleading appearance.

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Are all your answers so great? I see you're a real fountain of knowledge. Again, thank you for your invaluable help. –  indoxica Jul 14 '13 at 14:29

Here, the complete fragment you are interested in is comme pour mieux nous cacher que ... , meaning that the object of the verb cacher is not ourselves, but the fact that the logos fools us.

The correct meaning would be

... as if they wanted to hide from us the fact that the logos, speech and reason, fools us.

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