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This constitutive element of the modern world (man, as the producer of rational hypotheses) and its articulation with the ideology of techno-scientific progress and the development of the machine that transforms the methods and theories of natural sciences, (1) arming (2) these with new tools and constantly (1) renovating their research and experimental capabilities, finally led to the replacement of religious and metaphysical dogmas by the blind faith to the dogma of technical and scientific progress. (source: The Self-criticism of Science)

The sentence is from a book called the Self-criticism of Science. I have been trying to understand what the sentence is saying but I am still having a hard time understanding it. Basically, I have two questions on the underlined parts. Underlined words (1): I think that arming & renovating seem to be participial construction, which modifies the verb transforms. Then, what connotation do arming & renovating have, I mean, do they mean "While/As" "And" or "After"? Which meaning of the three is correct? Underlined word (2): What does the word these imply? I think they refer to "the methods and theories of natural sciences", which are located right before the underlined word "arming." I am not sure though. Could you help me clarify it? Thanks.

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This sentence is so horribly written it's difficult to know where to begin. Few sentence elements appear as single nouns, adjectives, or even participles. The overall effect is bloat and confusion.

If the constitutive element of the modern world is, as the parenthetical phrase defines it, man (sic) as the producer of rational hypotheses, then it is difficult to understand how "man" can be articulated with the ideology of progress and the machine. This ideology will emerge triumphantly paraphrased at the end of the sentence, now logically a product of itself.

The machine is defined with a restrictive relative clause as the machine that transforms the methods and theories of [the] natural sciences, apparently distinct from some machine that doesn't. Or does the author mean the machine as such? In which case, the relative clause should be non-restrictive.

So what is doing the arming of the tools and methods and renovating their research/experimental capacities? The ideology of progress and the development of the machine, or the machine that transforms? So let's take the nearest available: machine. The machine transforms by arming and renovating.

It seems to me that despite the author's failed attempt at describing a complex process, you have understood its contours. It's a pity that self-criticism did not extend to a sentence that should never have been generated in the first place.

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