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CAT Para Completion Questions with Solutions

Question 1: Most people have noticed that vision can play tricks. A straight stick submerged in water looks bent, though it is not; railroad tracks seem to converge in the distance, but they do not; and a page of English-language print reflected in a mirror cannot be read from left to right, though in all other circumstances it can. Each of these phenomena is misleading in some way.________________

[1] But does seeing a straight stick out of water provide a good reason for thinking that, when it is in water, it is not bent?
[2] But how does one know that the wheels on the train do not converge at that point also?
[3] Thus, the difficulty cannot be resolved by appealing to input from the other senses.
[4] Anyone who believes that the stick is bent, that the railroad tracks converge, and so on is mistaken about how the world really is.


Option: 4


The word "thus" in option C is not justified by the preceding lines of the paragraph. Hence it must go out. The author in the last line categorically states: Each of these phenomena is misleading in some way. So, if the author has already stated that the phenomena is misleading, then why should he question his own assertion by doubting the very phenomenon he used earlier to arrive at the conclusion. Both choice A and B can be eliminated. Option D is consistent with the rest of the paragraph.

Question 2: In accordance with the goal that he assigned to philosophy, Epicurus"s teaching had a dogmatic character, in substance if not in form. He called his treatises dialogismoi, or “conversations.” Since the utility of the doctrines lay in their application, he summarized them in stoicheia, or “elementary propositions,” to be memorized. In this respect, Epicurus was the inventor of the catechetical method. The number of works produced by Epicurus and his disciples reveals an impressive theoretical activity. But no less important was the practical action in living by the virtues taught by him and in honouring the obligations of reciprocal help in the name of friendship.________________________-

[1] In 306 bce, Epicurus established his school at Athens in his garden, from which it came to be known as The Garden.
[2] In these endeavours, continuous assistance was rendered by Epicurus himself, who, even when old and ill, was occupied in writing letters of admonishment, guidance, and comfort—everywhere announcing his gospel of peace and, under the name of pleasure, inviting to love.
[3] Several fundamental concepts characterize the philosophy of Epicurus.
[4] In popular parlance, Epicureanism thus means devotion to pleasure, comfort, and high living, with a certain nicety of style.


Option: 2


The passage is more about the works of Epicurus than about the school he established. Option A would be an abrupt ending to the paragraph. "These endeavours" in option B refers to "the practical action in living by the virtues" and "in honouring the obligations of reciprocal help in the name of friendship" in the last sentence of the paragraph. Apart from this the option also says "occupied in writing letters of admonishment, guidance, and comfort", which again focuses on "his works". Option B is the best choice. Option C is the start of a new idea that needs further description; we cannot close the paragraph with option C. Option D goes out because the focus of the passage is not on justifying what Epicureanism actually means; the word "thus" is rooted neither in logic nor in evidence.

Question 3: Some critics of skepticism have contended that it is an untenable view, both logically and humanly. Any attempt to formulate the position is self-refuting, since it will involve at least some knowledge claims about what is supposed to be dubious. Montaigne suggested that what the skeptics needed was a nonassertive language, reflecting the claim of Sextus that the skeptic does not make assertions but only chronicles his feelings. But the strength of skepticism lies not in whether it can be stated consistently but in its effects on the arguments of dogmatic philosophers.____________________

[1] As Hume said, skepticism may be self-refuting, but in the process of refuting itself it undermines dogmatism.
[2] In Western thought, skepticism has raised basic epistemological issues.
[3] The original Greek meaning of skeptikos was “an inquirer,” someone who was unsatisfied and still looking for truth.
[4] From ancient times onward skeptics have developed arguments to support the contentions of dogmatic philosophers, scientists, and theologians.


Option: 1


Option B says "basic epistemological issues", which is nowhere related to the rest of the passage. Option C must come at the start of paragraph where concepts, ideas are introduced or etymologically dissected. Skepticism and dogmatic thinking can never go hand in hand. Dogmatic attitude means "taking things for granted"; "Skepticism", on the other hand, means "questioning everything". So, option D, which says: from ancient times onward sceptics have developed arguments to support the contentions of dogmatic philosophers", is illogical. Option B is the best choice.

Question 4: What is meant by coming 'to feel at home' in a new place, or with new people? It is simply that, at first, when we take up our quarters in a new room, we do not know what draughts may blow in upon our back, what doors may open, what forms may enter, what interesting objects may be found in cupboards and corners. When after a few days we have learned the range of all these possibilities, the feeling of strangeness disappears.___________________

[1] The same is true when a great happiness awaits us.
[2] Let now this haunting sense of futurity be thrown off its bearings or left without an object, and immediately uneasiness takes possession of the mind.
[3] And so it does with people, when we have got past the point of expecting any essentially new manifestations from their character.
[4] None of the above


Option: 3


Option C precisely takes the ahead the idea of "disappearance of the feeling of strangeness", which is stated in the last sentence of the question, in the right direction. In short, option c means: the feeling of strangeness disappears once we have got past the point of expecting any essentially new manifestations from their character". As it is with home, so it is with people. The ease with which we connect option C with the paragraph is just not there when we try to connect option A with the paragraph. Option C is the best choice.

Question 5: Philosophers long ago observed the remarkable fact that mere familiarity with things is able to produce a feeling of their rationality. The empiricist school has been so much struck by this circumstance as to have laid it down that the feeling of rationality and the feeling of familiarity are one and the same thing, and that no other kind of rationality than this exists. The daily contemplation of phenomena juxtaposed in a certain order begets an acceptance of their connection, as absolute as the repose engendered by theoretic insight into their coherence. To explain a thing is to pass easily back to its antecedents; to know it is easily to foresee its consequents.______________

[1] The utility of this emotional effect of expectation is perfectly obvious; 'natural selection,' in fact, was bound to bring it about sooner or later.
[2] Custom, which lets us do both, is thus the source of whatever rationality the thing may gain in our thought.
[3] A dog's curiosity about the movements of his master or a strange object only extends as far as the point of deciding what is going to happen next.
[4] The wrath of science against miracles, of certain philosophers against the doctrine of free-will, has precisely the same root.


Option: 2


Option B is the right choice. We must first understand how the word custom is connected with the rest of the paragraph. "Familiarity with things produces a feeling of their rationality" is stated in the first sentence of the paragraph. Custom, as used in option B, means habits acquired by being familiar with things around us. The pronoun "both" in option B, which eventually speaks about rationality, refers to "to explain" and to "to know" in the last sentence of the paragraph. In the rest of the options the logical connection just cannot be established; and, hence they all go out.

Para Completion Questions for Practice

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