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12:07 Dec 7, 2003
English to Chinese translations [PRO] Art/Literary - Philosophy / philosophy
English term or phrase:the alternative atomic theory
For example,the Greeks concluded that all matter was made of four elements;the chinese supposed there were five-water,earth,metal,wood and fire.The chinese,like most Greeks,believed matter to be continuous.Perhaps their picture of the world as an organism prevented them from thinking of the alternative atomic theory,unlike the Greeks.
Explanation: How they are related: A living organism is made up of atoms.
I see this text as metaphorical. It is trying to say that the Chinese are taking the world as a whole single body and not recognising that this world can be broken down into smaller particles (atoms).
Why "alternative"? Hmm... in the dictionary, "alternative", as an adjective, has many meanings:
1. available as another choice
I don't know the "time frame" this text is based so I won't rule out "unconventional". Maybe many many many years ago, people deem "atomic theory" as "unconventional". However, my instinct tells me that 1. fits better here.
Don't know if my interpretation is right. Let's hear what the others have to say... :)
Denyce Seow Singapore Local time: 08:55 Native speaker of: English
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