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Hi!

This is my first question. I am not sure if this is the right place to ask this type of question, but I have come across the following while I'm reading a passge.

Quote

But that idealization of common sense doesn’t always make sense. For one thing, the beliefs we so categorize are not universal or inevitable. What seems common sense at one moment, or in one society, is anything but in another. Five hundred years ago, it was common sense that the sun revolved around the earth.....

Unquote

I wonder what "another" refers to. Moment or society or both? Because of the use of "in" in front of "another," "another" seems to refer to " society." But the concrete example following this statement relates to temporal element as showm in "five hundred years ago." I am at a loss how I should interpret this.

I would appreciate it very much if the author's intention is clarified.

Best regards,
Comments  
Welcome to the forum Maymhight!

What seems common sense at one moment, or in one society, is anything but in another.

What if you change the order slightly like this:
What seems common sense in one society or at one moment, is anything but in another.


It reads just as well as the original sentence. So in this case, 'another' must refer to both 'moment and 'society.' I wouldn't get hung up on the word 'in'. It's just that you say 'in another' instead of 'on another.'
Hello Maymhight

Nice to meet you. I too am a learner from Japan. Are you an English teacher? I have no chance to use English in my real life, but I enjoy learning English here just to kill time.

As for your question, I simply took "another" as an ellipsis of "another society" because it follows "in". My paraphrase of your sentence is like below:
What seems (to be) common sense at one moment, or in one society, is anything but common sense in another society. In the society five hundred years ago, it was common sense that the sun revolved around the earth.

paco
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Danyoo san

Thank you very much for your reply.

I now realize that I shouldn't have hung up on the word "in" so much.

Thank you again for your help!
paco2004 san

Thanks so much for your comments. Your paraphrase does make sense.

Yes, I'm so called an English "teacher", but I have not been trained as such. So from time to time I find some passages hard to understand accurately.

Your help has been really appreciated.
Interesting. I think I'd read "another" as a reference both to "time" and to "society".

MrP
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MrPedantic

Thanks for your comment. I find it very helpful.