文章来源: 文章作者: 发布时间:2007-04-07 02:25 字体: [ ]  进入论坛

Passage Three (Method of Scientific Inquiry1)

Why the inductive and mathematical sciences, after their first rapid development at the culmination2 of Greek civilization, advanced so slowly for two thousand years—and why in the following two hundred years a knowledge of natural and mathematical science has accumulated, which so vastly exceeds all that was previously3 known that these sciences may be justly regarded as the products of our own times—are questions which have interested the modern philosopher not less than the objects with which these sciences are more immediately conversant4. Was it the employment of a new method of research, or in the exercise of greater virtue5 in the use of the old methods, that this singular modern phenomenon had its origin? Was the long period one of arrested development, and is the modern era one of normal growth? Or should we ascribe the characteristics of both periods to so-called historical accidents—to the influence of conjunctions in circumstances of which no explanation is possible, save in the omnipotence6 and wisdom of a guiding Providence7?

The explanation which has become commonplace, that the ancients employed deduction8 chiefly in their scientific inquiries9, while the moderns employ induction10, proves to be too narrow, and fails upon close examination to point with sufficient distinctness the contrast that is evident between ancient and modern scientific doctrines11 and inquiries. For all knowledge is founded on observation, and proceeds from this by analysis, by synthesis and analysis, by induction and deduction, and if possible by verification, or by new appeals to observation under the guidance of deduction—by steps which are indeed correlative parts of one method; and the ancient sciences afford examples of every one of these methods, or parts of one method, which have been generalized from the examples of science.

A failure to employ or to employ adequately any one of these partial methods, an imperfection in the arts and resources of observation and experiment, carelessness in observation, neglect of relevant facts, by appeal to experiment and observation—these are the faults which cause all failures to ascertain12 truth, whether among the ancients or the moderns; but this statement does not explain why the modern is possessed13 of a greater virtue, and by what means he attained14 his superiority. Much less does it explain the sudden growth of science in recent times.

The attempt to discover the explanation of this phenomenon in the antithesis15 of “facts” and “theories” or “facts” and “ideas”—in the neglect among the ancients of the former, and their too exclusive attention to the latter—proves also to be too narrow, as well as open to the charge of vagueness. For in the first place, the antithesis is not complete. Facts and theories are not coordinate16 species. Theories, if true, are facts—a particular class of facts indeed, generally complex, and if a logical connection subsists17 between their constituents18, have all the positive attributes of theories.

Nevertheless, this distinction, however inadequate19 it may be to explain the source of true method in science, is well founded, and connotes an important character in true method. A fact is a proposition of simple. A theory, on the other hand, if true has all the characteristics of a fact, except that its verification is possible only by indirect, remote, and difficult means. To convert theories into facts is to add simple verification, and the theory thus acquires the full characteristics of a fact.


1.       The title that best expresses the ideas of this passage is

[A]. Philosophy of mathematics.              [B]. The Recent Growth in Science.

[C]. The Verification of Facts.                [C]. Methods of Scientific Inquiry.

2.       According to the author, one possible reason for the growth of science during the days of the ancient Greeks and in modern times is

[A]. the similarity between the two periods.

[B]. that it was an act of God.

[C]. that both tried to develop the inductive method.

[D]. due to the decline of the deductive method.

3.       The difference between “fact” and “theory”

[A]. is that the latter needs confirmation20.

[B]. rests on the simplicity21 of the former.

[C]. is the difference between the modern scientists and the ancient Greeks.

[D]. helps us to understand the deductive method.

4.       According to the author, mathematics is

[A]. an inductive science.           [B]. in need of simple verification.

[C]. a deductive science.            [D]. based on fact and theory.

5.       The statement “Theories are facts” may be called.

[A]. a metaphor22.                  [B]. a paradox23.

[C]. an appraisal24 of the inductive and deductive methods.

[D]. a pun.




1.       inductive                   归纳法

induction                   n.归纳法

2.       deductive                   演绎法

deduction                   n。演绎法

3.       culmination                 到达顶/极点

4.       conversant (with)             熟悉的,精通的

5.       exercise                    运用,实行,执行仪式

singular                    卓越的,非凡的,独一无二的

6.       conjunction                 结合,同时发生

7.       omnipotence                全能,无限权/威力

8.       Providence                (大写)指上帝,天道,天令

9.       commonplace               平凡的,陈腐的

10.   inquiry                    调查,探究(真理,知识等)

11.   doctrine                    教义,学说,讲义

12.   correlative                  相互关联的

13.   antithesis                   对立面,对偶(修辞学中),对句

14.   coordinate                  同等的,并列的

15.   subsist                     生存,维持生活

16.   attribute                    特征,属性

17.   connote                    意味着,含蓄(指词内涵)



1.       Why the inductive and mathematical sciences, after their first rapid development at the culmination of Greek civilization, advanced so slowly for two thousand years are questions which have interested the modern philosopher not less than the objects with which these sciences are more immediately conversant.

[结构简析] 破折号后面的内容(见难句译注2)先撇开。这样便于理解,整个句子是主谓表结构,前面一个问题句作主语,question后跟一个定语从句,和not less than连接的表语。

[参考译文] 为什么归纳发和数学科学,在希腊文明达到顶点时首先快速发展后,两千年内进展缓慢,现在哲学家对这个问题的兴趣不亚于对这些科学很熟悉研究的对象。

2.       …—and why in the following two hundred years a knowledge of natural and mathematical science has accumulated, which so vastly exceeds all that was previously known that these sciences may be justly regarded as the products of our own times—…

[参考译文] 问什么在后来的二百年中自然科学数理科学积累起来,它们广泛的超越了过去已知的一切,所以就把这些科学视为我们时代的产品。

3.       arrested development      停滞发展(被制止了的发展)。

4.       Or should we ascribe the characteristics of both periods to so-called historical accidents—to the influence of conjunctions in circumstances of which no explanation is possible, save in the omnipotence and wisdom of a guiding Providence?

[参考译文] 或者我们是否应当把两个阶段的特点归因于所谓的历史的偶然性(意外事件)——归因于客观环境中相似(结合)的影响。这一点除非以指导一切的上帝的智慧和无限权利来解释,否则难以解说清楚。







1.        D. 科学研究/探索的方法。文章一开始就提出问题,为什么从希腊文化顶峰时期后两千年来归纳法和数学科学发展如此缓慢,而后的两百年又超越了前人,是应用新,旧方法关系还是其它(见难句译注12)。第二段讲埃及古代在科学探索中运用了演绎推理法,而现在应用了归纳法。这种解释太狭隘,经仔细审核,难以很清晰地点明古代和现代科学教义和探究上明显的差别。因为一切知识都基于观察,通过分析,综合,或综合分析,归纳演绎推理,有可能的话,经过校正或经由演绎指导下再观察而向前推进。第三段进一步阐明不用这些方法观察,实验;忽略相关事实,推理不慎;不能答出理论的结论,再用实验或观察来检验等或用得不全,不论在古代还是现代都会失败。但这不能说明为什么现代科学具有较高的功效,通过什么方式方法,超越了前人,更不用说说明最近科学突飞猛进的原因。第四,五段涉及事实和理论的关系。

A. 数学的哲学,文内没有提。        B. 近来科学的发展。       C. 事实的验证,只是最后两段提及验证方法之作用。

2.        B. 是上天的安排,这是作家在用方法论等失败后得出的结论。见难句译注4,第一段最后一句话。

A. 两个阶段的相似性。      . 两者都试图应用归纳法。      D. 由于演绎法的衰落。

3.        A. 后者需要证实。答案在第四,五段,死段试图在事实的对立面和理论,或事实和思想中发现上述现象的解释看起来有饿太狭隘,也会因模糊不清遭批评。因为,对立面不全面,事实和理论不是同类的事物。理论,如果是真正的理论,就是事实——一种特殊类别的事实,一般复杂,但仍是事实。而事实,从词的狭义来说,如果很复杂,如果各成分中存在着逻辑的联系,就具有理论的一切主要特征。第五段第二句,事实是一个提议,通过运用知识的源泉和经验而证实的提议直接而又简单。而理论,若是真理论,就有事实的一切特性(除非其证实只能通过非直接的,遥远的和困难的方式方法),把理论转成事实必须用简单的核实,理论因此具有事实的一切特性。

B. 前者简单。         C. 是现代科学家和古希腊的差异。         D. 帮助我们了解演绎法,三项都不对。

4.        C. 是推理演绎科学,这个问题常识就能回答。

A. 归纳法科学。        B. 需要简单证实。           D. 基于事实和理论。

5.        B. 是一个悖论,见第四,五段注释。

A. 比喻。      C. 对归纳法和演绎法的赞扬。        D. 双关语。


1 inquiry nbgzF     
  • Many parents have been pressing for an inquiry into the problem.许多家长迫切要求调查这个问题。
  • The field of inquiry has narrowed down to five persons.调查的范围已经缩小到只剩5个人了。
2 culmination 9ycxq     
  • The space race reached its culmination in the first moon walk.太空竞争以第一次在月球行走而达到顶峰。
  • It may truly be regarded as the culmination of classical Greek geometry.这确实可以看成是古典希腊几何的登峰造级之作。
3 previously bkzzzC     
  • The bicycle tyre blew out at a previously damaged point.自行车胎在以前损坏过的地方又爆开了。
  • Let me digress for a moment and explain what had happened previously.让我岔开一会儿,解释原先发生了什么。
4 conversant QZkyG     
  • Mr.Taylor is thoroughly conversant with modern music.泰勒先生对现代音乐很精通。
  • We become the most conversant stranger in the world.我们变成了世界上最熟悉的陌生人。
5 virtue BpqyH     
  • He was considered to be a paragon of virtue.他被认为是品德尽善尽美的典范。
  • You need to decorate your mind with virtue.你应该用德行美化心灵。
6 omnipotence 8e0cf7da278554c7383716ee1a228358     
  • Central bankers have never had any illusions of their own omnipotence. 中行的银行家们已经不再对于他们自己的无所不能存有幻想了。 来自互联网
  • Introduce an omnipotence press automatism dividing device, explained it operation principle. 介绍了冲压万能自动分度装置,说明了其工作原理。 来自互联网
7 providence 8tdyh     
  • It is tempting Providence to go in that old boat.乘那艘旧船前往是冒大险。
  • To act as you have done is to fly in the face of Providence.照你的所作所为那样去行事,是违背上帝的意志的。
8 deduction 0xJx7     
  • No deduction in pay is made for absence due to illness.因病请假不扣工资。
  • His deduction led him to the correct conclusion.他的推断使他得出正确的结论。
9 inquiries 86a54c7f2b27c02acf9fcb16a31c4b57     
n.调查( inquiry的名词复数 );疑问;探究;打听
  • He was released on bail pending further inquiries. 他获得保释,等候进一步调查。
  • I have failed to reach them by postal inquiries. 我未能通过邮政查询与他们取得联系。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
10 induction IbJzj     
  • His induction as a teacher was a turning point in his life.他就任教师工作是他一生的转折点。
  • The magnetic signals are sensed by induction coils.磁信号由感应线圈所检测。
11 doctrines 640cf8a59933d263237ff3d9e5a0f12e     
n.教条( doctrine的名词复数 );教义;学说;(政府政策的)正式声明
  • To modern eyes, such doctrines appear harsh, even cruel. 从现代的角度看,这样的教义显得苛刻,甚至残酷。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • His doctrines have seduced many into error. 他的学说把许多人诱入歧途。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
12 ascertain WNVyN     
  • It's difficult to ascertain the coal deposits.煤储量很难探明。
  • We must ascertain the responsibility in light of different situtations.我们必须根据不同情况判定责任。
13 possessed xuyyQ     
  • He flew out of the room like a man possessed.他像着了魔似地猛然冲出房门。
  • He behaved like someone possessed.他行为举止像是魔怔了。
14 attained 1f2c1bee274e81555decf78fe9b16b2f     
(通常经过努力)实现( attain的过去式和过去分词 ); 达到; 获得; 达到(某年龄、水平、状况)
  • She has attained the degree of Master of Arts. 她已获得文学硕士学位。
  • Lu Hsun attained a high position in the republic of letters. 鲁迅在文坛上获得崇高的地位。
15 antithesis dw6zT     
  • The style of his speech was in complete antithesis to mine.他和我的讲话方式完全相反。
  • His creation was an antithesis to academic dogmatism of the time.他的创作与当时学院派的教条相对立。
16 coordinate oohzt     
  • You must coordinate what you said with what you did.你必须使你的言行一致。
  • Maybe we can coordinate the relation of them.或许我们可以调和他们之间的关系。
17 subsists 256a862ff189725c560f521eddab1f11     
v.(靠很少的钱或食物)维持生活,生存下去( subsist的第三人称单数 )
  • This plant subsists in water holes only during the rainy season. 这种植物只有雨季在水坑里出现。 来自辞典例句
  • The hinge is that the enterprise subsists on suiting the development of data communication. 适应数据通信的发展是通信企业生存的关键。 来自互联网
18 constituents 63f0b2072b2db2b8525e6eff0c90b33b     
n.选民( constituent的名词复数 );成分;构成部分;要素
  • She has the full support of her constituents. 她得到本区选民的全力支持。
  • Hydrogen and oxygen are the constituents of water. 氢和氧是水的主要成分。 来自《简明英汉词典》
19 inadequate 2kzyk     
  • The supply is inadequate to meet the demand.供不应求。
  • She was inadequate to the demands that were made on her.她还无力满足对她提出的各项要求。
20 confirmation ZYMya     
  • We are waiting for confirmation of the news.我们正在等待证实那个消息。
  • We need confirmation in writing before we can send your order out.给你们发送订购的货物之前,我们需要书面确认。
21 simplicity Vryyv     
  • She dressed with elegant simplicity.她穿着朴素高雅。
  • The beauty of this plan is its simplicity.简明扼要是这个计划的一大特点。
22 metaphor o78zD     
  • Using metaphor,we say that computers have senses and a memory.打个比方,我们可以说计算机有感觉和记忆力。
  • In poetry the rose is often a metaphor for love.玫瑰在诗中通常作为爱的象征。
23 paradox pAxys     
  • The story contains many levels of paradox.这个故事存在多重悖论。
  • The paradox is that Japan does need serious education reform.矛盾的地方是日本确实需要教育改革。
24 appraisal hvFzt     
  • What's your appraisal of the situation?你对局势是如何评估的?
  • We need to make a proper appraisal of his work.对于他的工作我们需要做出适当的评价。