读一篇新概念4议论文

读一篇新概念4议论文

新概念4第32课Galileo Reborn(伽利略的复生)是一篇很有思辨性的文章,作者是已故著名天文历史学家Michael Hoskin,他之前曾在剑桥大学担任科学史与科学哲学系的主任。

 

在很多人印象中,伽利略是一个实战派,一个敢于挑战权威的人,而当年那些反对他的人都冥顽不化,但作者结合伽利略的时代背景提出了一个新的观点:伽利略的反对派可能并没有那么不可理喻。虽然伽利略使用望远镜作出了很多天文学发现,但在当时用好望远镜需要长期经验以及对仪器的熟练掌握,所以其他人可能用了望远镜也没有找到伽利略声称的发现。而且在伽利略之前的几个世纪期间,曲面镜一直是一种用于产生幻影而不是真相的把戏装置,因此人们怀疑伽利略的发现,这一点也是可以理解的。作者在文中展现出的批判性思维值得我们学习。

 

这篇文章长难句比较多,我在下面做了分析:

 

 

In his own lifetime Galileo was the centre of violent controversy; but the scientific dust has long since settled, and today we can see even his famous clash with the Inquisition in something like its proper perspective. But, in contrast, it is only in modern times that Galileo has become a problem child for historians of science.

 

伽利略在世时是激烈论战的中心。但是,自他逝世以来,那场科学上的纷争早已平息了下来,甚至他和宗教法庭的著名冲突,我们今天也能正确如实地看待。但是相比之下,对于科学史家来说,伽利略只是在现代才变成了一个新的难题。

 

段落解析

 

but the scientific dust has long since settled, and today we can see even his famous clash with the Inquisition in something like its proper perspective

 

but the scientific dust has long since settled引用了一个英语固定说法the dust settles,即“尘埃落定”,比如:I think we need to let the dust settle and see what's going to happen after that. 我认为我们需要等事态平息之后再看看会发生什么。

 

the Inquisition指的是昔日罗马天主教惩罚异教徒的宗教法庭。

 

see XX in its proper perspective意思是“以正确的眼光来看待XX”,句子中something like可以理解为插入成分,意思是“类似,接近”。这一句式在讨论争议性话题时可以用上,比如:

 

To see genetically modified food in its proper perspective, we need to acquire more knowledge about its risks and benefits. 

 

it is only in modern times that Galileo has become a problem child for historians of science.

 

这一句是强调句式,强调的部分是only in modern times,句子还原后是:Galileo has become a problem child for historians of science only in modern times.

 


 

The old view of Galileo was delightfully uncomplicated. He was, above all, a man who experimented: who despised the prejudices and book learning of the Aristotelians, who put his questions to nature instead of to the ancients, and who drew his conclusions fearlessly. He had been the first to turn a telescope to the sky, and he had seen there evidence enough to overthrow Aristotle and Ptolemy together. He was the man who climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa and dropped various weights from the top, who rolled balls down inclined planes, and then generalized the results of his many experiments into the famous law of free fall.

 

令人高兴的是,过去对伽利略的看法并不复杂。他首先是个实验工作者,他蔑视亚里士多德学派的偏见和空洞的书本知识。他向自然界而不是向古人提出问题,并大胆地得出结论。他是第一个把望远镜对准天空的人,观察到的论据足以把亚里士多德和托勒密一起推翻。他就是那个曾经爬上比萨斜塔,从塔顶向下抛掷积各种重物的人;他是那个使地球体沿斜面向下滚动,然后将多次实验结果概括成著名的自由落体定律的人。

 

段落解析

 

He was, above all, a man who experimented: who despised the prejudices and book learning of the Aristotelians, who put his questions to nature instead of to the ancients, and who drew his conclusions fearlessly.

 

above all是插入语,意思是“首先,首要”。

 

a man who…who…who…who…这里连用了四个who引导的定语从句,构成了排比结构,这样能够增强语气。

 

put your questions to somebody即“向某人提出你的问题”。

 

book learning指的是“书本知识,理论知识”,与实践经验相对,要表达“她空有理论知识而没有实际经验”,可以说:

 

She has plenty of book learning but no hands-on experience.

 

He had been the first to turn a telescope to the sky, and he had seen there evidence enough to overthrow Aristotle and Ptolemy together.

 

he had seen there…这里there指代前面的the sky,并且there提到了evidence前面。enough to overthrow…是形容词作后置定语修饰evidence,句子相当于:

 

and he had seen evidence in the sky that was enough to overthrow Aristotle and Ptolemy together.

 


 

But a closer study of the evidence, supported by a deeper sense of the period, and particularly by a new consciousness of the philosophical undercurrents in the scientific revolution, has profoundly modified this view of Galileo. Today, although the old Galileo lives on in many popular writings, among historians of science a new and more sophisticated picture has emerged. At the same time our sympathy for Galileo's opponents has grown somewhat. His telescopic observations are justly immortal; they aroused great interest at the time, they had important theoretical consequences, and they provided a striking demonstration of the potentialities hidden in instruments and apparatus. But can we blame those who looked and failed to see what Galileo saw, if we remember that to use a telescope at the limit of its powers calls for long experience and intimate familiarity with one's instrument? Was the philosopher who refused to look through Galileo's telescope more culpable than those who alleged that the spiral nebulae observed with Lord Rosse's great telescope in the eighteen-forties were scratches left by the grinder? We can perhaps forgive those who said the moons of Jupiter were produced by Galileo's spyglass if we recall that in his day, as for centuries before, curved glass was the popular contrivance for producing not truth but illusion, untruth; and if a single curved glass would distort nature, how much more would a pair of them?

 

但是,对那个时代的深入了解,尤其是以科学革命中哲学潜流的新意识为依据,进一步仔细研究,就会极大地改变对伽利略的看法。今天,虽然已故的伽利略继续活在许多通俗读物中,但在科学史家中间,一个新的更加复杂的伽利略形象出现了。与此同时,我们对伽利略的反对派的同情也有所增加。伽利略用望远镜所作的观察确实是不朽的,这些观察当时引起人们极大的兴趣,具有重要的理论意义,并充分显示出了仪表和仪器的潜在力量。但是,如果我们想到,便用一架倍数有限的望远镜需要长期的经验和对自己仪器的熟悉程度,那么我们怎么能去责备观察了天空但没有看到伽利略所看到的东西的那些人呢?某位哲学家曾拒绝使用伽利略的望远镜去观察天空;到了19世纪40年代,有人硬把罗斯勋爵高倍望远镜观测到的螺旋状星云说成是磨镜工留下的磨痕。难道反对伽利略的哲学家比诋毁罗斯勋爵造谣者应受到更大的谴责吗?如果我们回想一下伽利略之前几个世纪期间,曲面镜一直是一种用于产生幻影而不是产生真相的把戏装置,那么我们就会原谅那些当时把伽利略观察到的木星卫星说成是伽利略用他的小望远镜变出来的人们,何况一片曲面镜就可歪曲自然,那么伽利略的两片曲面镜对自然的歪曲又该多大呢?

 

段落解析

 

But a closer study of the evidence, supported by a deeper sense of the period, and particularly by a new consciousness of the philosophical undercurrents in the scientific revolution, has profoundly modified this view of Galileo.

 

句子主干是:But a closer study of the evidence has profoundly modified this view of Galileo…

 

supported by a deeper sense of…是过去分词作后置定语修饰the evidence,by a deeper sense of…以及by a new consciousness of…是并列结构。

 

His telescopic observations are justly immortal; they aroused…they had…and they provided a striking demonstration of the potentialities hidden in instruments and apparatus.

 

这里三个they都指his telescopic observations,hidden in instruments and apparatus是过去分词作后置定语,修饰the potentialities

 

…if we remember that to use a telescope at the limit of its powers calls for long experience and intimate familiarity with one's instrument?

 

call for something意思是“需要某事”,To do XX calls for something即“要完成XX需要……”,比如在环境话题中可以说:

 

To reduce carbon emissions calls for joint efforts from the government and individuals.

 

Was the philosopher who refused to look through Galileo's telescope more culpable than those who alleged that the spiral nebulae observed with Lord Rosse's great telescope in the eighteen-forties were scratches left by the grinder?

 

observed with Lord Rosse's great telescope in the eighteen-forties是过去分词作后置定语,修饰nebulae(nebulae为nebula的复数形式,因此后面的谓语动词使用复数)。

 

We can perhaps…if we recall that in his day, as for centuries before, curved glass was the popular contrivance for producing not truth but illusion, untruth; and if a single curved glass would distort nature, how much more would a pair of them?

 

as for centuries before是插入语,意思是“正如几个世纪之前一样”,这里用的是as for centuries before而不是as for centuries ago,是因为文中是指伽利略生活的时代之前的几个世纪,即“过去的过去”,因此用before,如果是表示距离现在多久之前,就用ago

 

读一篇新概念4议论文

if a single curved glass would distort nature, how much more would a pair of them? 这里them指代curved glasses,并且后面省略了distort nature,句子相当于:

 

if a single curved glass would distort nature, how much more would a pair of curved glasses distort nature?

 

 

 

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