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CAT 2022 Reading Comprehension Solution 04

[PASSAGE]

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.

Stoicism was founded in 300 BC by the Greek philosopher Zeno and survived into the Roman era until about AD 300. According to the Stoics, emotions consist of two movements. The first movement is the immediate feeling and other reactions (e.g., physiological response) that occur when a stimulus or event occurs. For instance, consider what could have happened if an army general accused Marcus Aurelius of treason in front of other officers. The first movement for Marcus may have been (internal) surprise and anger in response to this insult, accompanied perhaps by some involuntary physiological and expressive responses such as face flushing and a movement of the eyebrows. The second movement is what one does next about the emotion. Second movement behaviors occur after thinking and are under one's control. Examples of second movements for Marcus might have included a plot to seek revenge, actions signifying deference and appeasement, or perhaps proceeding as he would have proceeded whether or not this event occurred: continuing to lead the Romans in a way that Marcus Aurelius believed best benefited them. In the Stoic view, choosing a reasoned, unemotional response as the second movement is the only appropriate response.

The Stoics believed that to live the good life and be a good person, we need to free ourselves of nearly all desires such as too much desire for money, power, or sexual gratification. Prior to second movements, we can consider what is important in life. Money, power, and excessive sexual gratification are not important. Character, rationality, and kindness are important. The Epicureans, first associated with the Greek philosopher Epicurus . . . held a similar view, believing that people should enjoy simple pleasures, such as good conversation, friendship, food, and wine, but not be indulgent in these pursuits and not follow passion for those things that hold no real value like power and money. As Oatley (2004) states, " the Epicureans articulated a view-enjoyment of relationship with friends, of things that are real rather than illusory, simple rather than artificially inflated, possible rather than vanishingly unlikely-that is certainly relevant today" . . . In sum, these ancient Greek and Roman philosophers saw emotions, especially strong ones, as potentially dangerous. They viewed emotions as experiences that needed to be [reined] in and controlled.

As Oatley (2004) points out, the Stoic idea bears some similarity to Buddhism. Buddha, living in India in the 6th century BC, argued for cultivating a certain attitude that decreases the probability of (in Stoic terms) destructive second movements. Through meditation and the right attitude, one allows emotions to happen to oneself (it is impossible to prevent this), but one is advised to observe the emotions without necessarily acting on them; one achieves some distance and decides what has value and what does not have value. Additionally, the Stoic idea of developing virtue in oneself, of becoming a good person, which the Stoics believed we could do because we have a touch of the divine, laid the foundation for the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam . . . As with Stoicism, tenets of these religions include controlling our emotions lest we engage in sinful behavior.


Question: 1

Which one of the following statements, if false, could be seen as contradicting the facts/arguments in the passage?

  1. Despite practising meditation and cultivating the right attitude, emotions cannot ever be controlled.

  2. The Greek philosopher Zeno survived into the Roman era until about AD 300.

  3. In the Stoic view, choosing a reasoned, unemotional response as the first movement is an appropriate response to emotional situations.

  4. In the Epicurean view, indulging in simple pleasures is not desirable.

Option: 4
Solution:
When the question says: which of the following, if false, could be seen as contradicting the arguments, it simply means: which of the following, if true, could be seen as supporting the arguments of the passage. They are one and the same thing and to make things easier, we should replace ‘if false’ with ‘if true’, and replace ‘contradicting/weakening’, with ‘supporting/strengthening’. This makes question quite manageable. In this question, we have to pick a choice that supports the passage. Option 1 contradicts what the passage says about Buddhism and positive effects of meditation. Option goes out (because we are looking for the statement that supports the facts given in the passage). We do not have any evidence of Greek philosopher Zeno surviving until AD 300. Option 2 goes out. Choosing a reasoned, unemotional response is a part of the second movement, not the first. By elimination, option 4 is the best choice, but many of you might find evidence that contradicts option 4. There is a difference. As per Epicurean view “people should enjoy simple pleasures, such as good conversation, friendship, food, and wine, but not be indulgent in these pursuits”. Enjoying and indulging are two different things. Epicureans are against indulging, not enjoying. Thus 4 is the best answer because it is in sync with what is given in the passage.

Question: 2

" Through meditation and the right attitude, one allows emotions to happen to oneself (it is impossible to prevent this), but one is advised to observe the emotions without necessarily acting on them; one achieves some distance and decides what has value and what does not have value." In the context of the passage, which one of the following is not a possible implication of the quoted statement?

  1. Emotional responses can make it difficult to distinguish valuable experiences from valueless experiences.

  2. " Meditation and the right attitude" , in this instance, implies an initially passive reception of all experiences.

  3. Meditation allows certain out-of-body experiences that permit us to gain the distance necessary to control our emotions.

  4. The observation of emotions in a distant manner corresponds to the second movement referred to earlier in the passage.

Option: 3
Solution:
There are many questions in CAT RCs that can be answered just by reading the question carefully. Here too we have a question for which we need to just read the quoted text. The text says “…one allows emotions to happen to oneself…”. If the concern is emotions happening to oneself, then there is no place for out-of-body experiences. Therefore, option 3 is not a possible implication of the quoted statement. All the other choices are possible implications of the quoted statement.

Question: 3

On the basis of the passage, which one of the following statements can be regarded as true?

  1. There were no Stoics in India at the time of the Roman civilisation.

  2. The Epicureans believed in controlling all emotions.

  3. The Stoic influences can be seen in multiple religions.

  4. The Stoics valorised the pursuit of money, power, and sexual gratification.

Option: 3
Solution:
There is no discussion about India with reference to the stoics. Option 1 goes out. The Epicureans did not believe in controlling emotions. They rather believed in the simple pleasures of life. From the last sentence of the paragraph, we can say that option 3 is true ‘The stoic idea laid the foundation for three monotheistic religions…’. Option 3 is the best answer.

Question: 4

Which one of the following statements would be an accurate inference from the example of Marcus Aurelius?

  1. Marcus Aurelius was one of the leaders of the Roman army.

  2. Marcus Aurelius was humiliated by the accusation of treason in front of the other officers.

  3. Marcus Aurelius was a Stoic whose philosophy survived into the Roman era.

  4. Marcus Aurelius plotted revenge in his quest for justice.

Option: 1
Solution:
This is a question of moderate difficulty. While discussing the second movement behaviors (in the first half of the passage), the author says “…continuing to lead the Romans in a way that Marcus Aurelius believed best benefited them….’ It is a leader who leads, and by using the phrase ‘continuing to lead’, the author suggests that this is something he did and in reality, would have continued to do, even in the face of the hypothetical scenario that he has considered at the start of the passage. Therefore, option 1 can be inferred. The others cannot. Option 2 is not the right choice because it is a hypothetical situation that the author has himself created to explain to us the first movement and second movement behaviors.

CAT 2022 RC passage with solution

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