CAT Questions - Week 4, September 13

CAT Questions - Week 4, September 13

Directions for questions 1 and 2: The passage given below is followed by a set of questions. Choose the most appropriate answer to each question.

“How could anything originate out of its opposite? For example, truth out of error? or the Will to Truth out of the will to deception? or the generous deed out of selfishness? or the pure sun-bright vision of the wise man out of covetousness? Such genesis is impossible; whoever dreams of it is a fool, nay, worse than a fool; things of the highest value must have a different origin, an origin of THEIR own - in this transitory, seductive, illusory, paltry world, in this turmoil of delusion and cupidity, they cannot have their source.

But rather in the lap of Being, in the intransitory, in the concealed God, in the ‘Thing-in-itself - THERE must be their source, and nowhere else!” - This mode of reasoning discloses the typical prejudice by which metaphysicians of all times can be recognized, this mode of valuation is at the back of all their logical procedure; through this “belief” of theirs, they exert themselves for their “knowledge,” for something that is in the end solemnly christened “the Truth.”

The fundamental belief of metaphysicians is the belief in antitheses of values. It never occurred even to the wariest of them to doubt here on the very threshold (where doubt, however, was most necessary); though they had made a solemn vow, “De Omnibus Dubitandum.” For it may be doubted, firstly, whether antitheses exist at all; and secondly, whether the popular valuations and antitheses of value upon which metaphysicians have set their seal, are not perhaps merely superficial estimates, merely provisional perspectives, besides being probably made from some corner, perhaps from below - “frog perspectives,” as it were, to borrow an expression current among painters.

In spite of all the value which may belong to the true, the positive, and the unselfish, it might be possible that a higher and more fundamental value for life generally should be assigned to pretence, to the will to delusion, to selfishness, and cupidity. It might even be possible that WHAT constitutes the value of those good and respected things, consists precisely in their being insidiously related, knotted, and crocheted to these evil and apparently opposed things - perhaps even in being essentially identical with them.

Perhaps! But who wishes to concern himself with such dangerous “Perhapses”! For that investigation one must await the advent of a new order of philosophers, such as will have other tastes and inclinations, the reverse of those hitherto prevalent - philosophers of the dangerous “Perhaps” in every sense of the term. And to speak in all seriousness, I see such new philosophers beginning to appear.

1. What is the fundamental flaw in the method of reasoning of the metaphysicians?
(a) They reject the transitory world.
(b) Their work is governed by narrow opinions.
(c) They believe in the existence of higher values.
(d) Their beliefs cannot be logically verified.

2. Which of the following would be in line with a metaphysical assertion, according to the passage?
(a) Good and Evil are after all interconnected and could be accorded the same value.
(b) Things of highest value can originate on their own.
(c) Selfishness and Evil can also be seen as the points of origin for things of the highest value.
(d) Future philosophers may entirely disprove the present conception of truth.

Directions for questions 3 to 5: The passage given below is followed by a set of questions. Choose the most appropriate answer to each question.

Light from distant galaxies tells us that the universe is expanding-one of the main pieces of evidence that space, time and everything came into existence a little over 12bn years ago in the big bang. In 1998 astronomers, trying to find out whether the expansion will continue forever, or grind to a halt and reverse itself in a big crunch, discovered something much more puzzling. The expansion is speeding up. To explain this baffling acceleration, the cosmologists invented dark energy, a mysterious force that pushes the universe apart. Does dark energy exist? No one knows. At present nothing known to physics can explain it, so something unknown to physics must be the cause. It’s like something out of Star Wars. In February this year, American cosmologists Gia Dvali and Michael S Turner put forward a different theory, one in which dark energy does not exist. Instead, gravity is leaking out of our universe into an extra dimension. With less gravity to hold the universe together, it is coming apart faster than expected. It also sounds like something out of Star Wars. Hidden dimensions? Only in the late 20th and early 21st centuries could physicists say this kind of thing with a straight face. It is a concept associated with Victorian spiritualists, who invented the fourth dimension as a convenient place to hide everything that didn’t make sense in the familiar three. We spent the first half of the 20th century learning that the universe is far stranger than we imagined. Albert Einstein taught us that not only do space and time together make up a four-dimensional continuum; they also get mixed up with each other if we move fast enough-this is relativity. And Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrzger and Paul Dirac discovered that on the tiniest of scales, the universe is plain weird: the quantum world, in which matter is made of waves and cats can be alive and dead at the same time.

We spent the last half of the 20th century puzzling over one gigantic discrepancy: relativity and quantum theory contradict each other. Each works well within its own domain-the very large for relativity, the very small for quantum theory. But when those domains overlap, as they do when we want to understand the early history of the universe, the combination doesn’t work. And so science set off on a quest for a single theory that would unify the whole of physics into a single mathematical law. And out of that quest came a strong suspicion that the familiar three dimensions of space and a fourth of time are mere scratches on the surface of something far bigger. Could the universe be made from ten-dimensional “superstrings,” maybe, with six tightly curled dimensions that are so small we never notice them? Or is the universe just a four-dimensional “brane” floating in a many-dimensional metaverse, like a skin of congealed milk on a cup of coffee? Somewhere in that half century, physics lost contact with the world in which most of us live. However, it is worth recognising that their world may be more real than ours; the human-centred viewpoint works fine for activities like politics and art, but it may not be appropriate for a universe that operates in inhuman ways and on scales that the human mind did not evolve to contemplate.

3. Which of the following cannot be inferred from the passage?

(a) Physicists have struggled for decades to find a grand unified theory.

(b) Space and time can get mixed up at very high speeds.

(c) Dark energy was the cosmologists’ invention to explain the acceleration of the expansion of the universe.

(d) Dark energy has its own, very structurally defined, dimensions.

4. By saying physics lost contact with the world, the author means:

(a) Physics created a world of its own.

(b) There was no compassion left in the world of physics.

(c) Physics became larger than life.

(d) Physics became difficult to handle.

5. According to the author, why is it difficult to explain the hidden dimension?

(a) Because the Victorians projected it as a trivial object.

(b) Because gravity pushed everything there.

(c) Because it seems straight out of a star wars movie.

(d) None of the above