its proper perspective

枫十二

Senior Member
Mandarin
Hello,

I was reading Galileo reborn|a Chinese website
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.

Does “proper perspective” mean “proper philosophy of universe”
Or “Perspective” means “telescope"
“its” here refers to the Inquisition or Galileo?

Thanks for your anwer!
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "Its" refers to the famous clash. It could never refer to Galileo because we don't refer to people with "it".

    "Perspective" as in meanings #1 and #2 in the WRF dictionary:
    n
    • a way of regarding situations, facts, etc, and judging their relative importance
    • the proper or accurate point of view or the ability to see it; objectivity: try to get some perspective on your troubles
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "its" refers to "clash"

    "proper perspective" refers to the 'correct' way of seeing things. At the time of the Inquisition the prevalent perspective (view of the world) was a biblical one. These days we have a scientific perspective.

    (cross-posted with velisarius)
     
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    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    we can see even his famous clash with the Inquisition in something like its proper perspective.
    "...we can see even his famous clash with the Inquisition in something like its proper perspective.

    "..."we can see even his... clash with the Inquisition in ... its proper perspective. "

    "...we can see even his...clash ... in... its proper perspective. EDITED


    Does that help?
     
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    枫十二

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Oh, Biffo.it helps a lot! but I am not at all sure whether I am right,I'll express my understanding of this sentence again:

    we can see even his famous clash with the Inquisition in something like its proper perspective.

    =we can even judge his famous clash with the Inquisition when it comes to something like whether this clash is "correct".

    Is my understanding of this sentence right now?
     
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    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I made a mistake in my last post. I've corrected it.

    Oh, Biffo.it helps a lot! but I am not at all sure whether I am right,I'll express my understanding of this sentence again:

    we can see even his famous clash with the Inquisition in something like its proper perspective.

    =we can even judge his famous clash with the Inquisition when it comes to something like whether this clash is "correct".
    Hmm...I am afraid that you have misunderstood the sentence completely.

    1. "see even" is different from "even see"

    2. The clash is not 'correct' or 'incorrect'. It's a historical fact.


    I'll look at this later and see if I can reformulate it. Let's see if someone else will help in the mean time.
     
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    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    We are now at a distance from those events, so we are not personally involved in the controversy. If we see something in its proper perspective, we can see its significance objectively.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    So,It means "we can see even the significance of his famous clash with the Inquisition objectively"?
    Yes.

    There's an old story about the blind man and the elephant that illustrates how a difference in perspective can lead to a different conclusion.


    The story of the blind men and an elephant originated in the Indian subcontinent from where it has widely diffused. It has been used to illustrate a range of truths and fallacies broadly, the parable implies that one's subjective experience can be true, but that such experience is inherently limited by its failure to account for other truths or a totality of truth.
    [/B]​http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant

    Of course the presupposition of the author is that our modern-day perspective is the right one. We are seeing from a distance - in time.
     
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