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Metaphysics – the philosophical investigation of the nature of the uni

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Metaphysics – the philosophical investigation of the nature of the universe and existence – had become unfashionable by the time Alfred North Whitehead began writing in earnest about it in the 1920s. The ever-more impressive accomplishments of empirical science had led to a general consensus in academia that the development of comprehensive metaphysical systems was a waste of time because they were not subject to empirical testing.

Whitehead was unimpressed by this objection. In Whitehead's view, scientists and philosophers make metaphysical assumptions about how the universe works all the time, but such assumptions are not easily seen precisely because they remain unexamined and unquestioned. Perhaps foremost among what Whitehead considered faulty metaphysical assumptions was the idea of substance materialism, which he rejected in favor of an opposite, event-based “process" ontology in which transient events are primary and material substances/beings are abstractions. He also argued that the most basic elements of reality have experiential features, that in fact everything is constituted by its experience (i.e., even things like electrons experience). Whitehead referred to his metaphysical system as "philosophy of organism," but it would become known more widely as "process philosophy."

This philosophy of Whitehead was highly original, and soon garnered interest in philosophical circles. After publishing The Concept of Nature in 1920, he served as president of the Aristotelian Society from 1922 to 1923, and Henri Bergson was quoted as saying that Whitehead was "the best philosopher writing in English." So impressive and different was Whitehead's philosophy that in 1924 he was invited to join the faculty at Harvard University as a professor of philosophy at 63 years of age, even though his educational background was in a very different field.


1. It can be inferred from the passage that those adhering to the idea of “substance materialism” would view material substances and beings as:

(A) abstract
(B) concrete
(C) event-based
(D) experiential
(E) process-driven




2. The primary purpose of this passage is to:

(A) highlight one unique contribution of an important philosopher.
(B) discuss the importance of metaphysics as a field in science.
(C) provide details on the concept of “process philosophy.”
(D) emphasize Whitehead’s place among other philosophers.
(E) prove that “process philosophy” was superior to “substance materialism.”




3. Which one of the following perspectives would best capture Whitehead’s “process philosophy”?

(A) A building is viewed through its size, materials, and aesthetics.
(B) A car is viewed through its horsepower, design, and speed.
(C) A school is viewed through its students, teachers, and staff.
(D) A business is viewed through its mission, advertising, and headquarters.
(E) A person is viewed through his experiences, interactions, and memories.




4. The author would most likely describe Whitehead’s philosophy in the early 1920s as:

(A) highly controversial
(B) unimpressive
(C) never before considered
(D) poorly understood
(E) unique and respected




5. The author of the passage would most likely agree with which of the following statements?

(A) Metaphysics is a field worthy of considerably more attention and respect.
(B) Alfred North Whitehead was successful as a challenger of conventional wisdom.
(C) Empirical science is a more respected field than is metaphysics.
(D) Alfred North Whitehead was a controversial figure among academics in the early 20th century.
(E) Alfred North Whitehead restored the prestige of metaphysics as an academic subject.



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New post 28 Nov 2017, 07:04
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AVRonaldo wrote:
Metaphysics – the philosophical investigation of the nature of the universe and existence – had become unfashionable by the time Alfred North Whitehead began writing in earnest about it in the 1920s. The ever-more impressive accomplishments of empirical science had led to a general consensus in academia that the development of comprehensive metaphysical systems was a waste of time because they were not subject to empirical testing.

Whitehead was unimpressed by this objection. In Whitehead's view, scientists and philosophers make metaphysical assumptions about how the universe works all the time, but such assumptions are not easily seen precisely because they remain unexamined and unquestioned. Perhaps foremost among what Whitehead considered faulty metaphysical assumptions was the idea of substance materialism, which he rejected in favor of an opposite, event-based “process" ontology in which transient events are primary and material substances/beings are abstractions. He also argued that the most basic elements of reality have experiential features, that in fact everything is constituted by its experience (i.e., even things like electrons experience). Whitehead referred to his metaphysical system as "philosophy of organism," but it would become known more widely as "process philosophy."

This philosophy of Whitehead was highly original, and soon garnered interest in philosophical circles. After publishing The Concept of Nature in 1920, he served as president of the Aristotelian Society from 1922 to 1923, and Henri Bergson was quoted as saying that Whitehead was "the best philosopher writing in English." So impressive and different was Whitehead's philosophy that in 1924 he was invited to join the faculty at Harvard University as a professor of philosophy at 63 years of age, even though his educational background was in a very different field.
5. The author of the passage would most likely agree with which of the following statements?

(A) Metaphysics is a field worthy of considerably more attention and respect.
(B) Alfred North Whitehead was successful as a challenger of conventional wisdom.
(C) Empirical science is a more respected field than is metaphysics.
(D) Alfred North Whitehead was a controversial figure among academics in the early 20th century.
(E) Alfred North Whitehead restored the prestige of metaphysics as an academic subject.



Official Explanation



The correct answer to this universal question is B, as it is clear from the passage that the author believes that Whitehead was successful - note the discussion in the third paragraph regarding his reputation and his "surprising" appointment to Harvard's faculty - at challenging conventional wisdom (in the third paragraph, again, the author calls his ideas "highly original" and "impressive and different"). So B must be true.

Choice A is incorrect because, for one, where the author expresses opinions they are generally about Whitehead and not about the field. Perhaps even more importantly, the only place where the author talks about how respected/important metaphysics is is in the first paragraph, where everything is written in the past tense about the way that the field was perceived in the 1920s. You simply cannot get a feel for how the author perceives the field today. Similarly, choice C is also incorrect: where the phrase "the ever-more impressive accomplishments of empirical science" is talking about the past ("had led to a general consensus") so you cannot gauge how the author would have compared the fields at the time the passage was written.

Choice D takes a stronger stance than choice B - challenging the status quo does not necessarily make someone controversial. All the evidence about how Whitehead was perceived in academia suggests that he was respected (all in the third paragraph), so there is just no evidence of any controversy. And choice E similarly lacks direct proof. While Whitehead did himself become highly respected in academia, there just isn't any discussion of how the field's perception changed in that time.
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Re: Metaphysics – the philosophical investigation of the nature of the uni  [#permalink]

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New post 26 May 2015, 12:01
Nice passage.... Thank you. Took awful lot of time. The good think is I got 3 correct.

You sure,this is a 600 level passage... I had to re read the passage, considering the wording used.

Kudos...

AVRonaldo wrote:
Metaphysics – the philosophical investigation of the nature of the universe and existence – had become unfashionable by the time Alfred North Whitehead began writing in earnest about it in the 1920s. The ever-more impressive accomplishments of empirical science had led to a general consensus in academia that the development of comprehensive metaphysical systems was a waste of time because they were not subject to empirical testing.

Whitehead was unimpressed by this objection. In Whitehead's view, scientists and philosophers make metaphysical assumptions about how the universe works all the time, but such assumptions are not easily seen precisely because they remain unexamined and unquestioned. Perhaps foremost among what Whitehead considered faulty metaphysical assumptions was the idea of substance materialism, which he rejected in favor of an opposite, event-based “process" ontology in which transient events are primary and material substances/beings are abstractions. He also argued that the most basic elements of reality have experiential features, that in fact everything is constituted by its experience (i.e., even things like electrons experience). Whitehead referred to his metaphysical system as "philosophy of organism," but it would become known more widely as "process philosophy."

This philosophy of Whitehead was highly original, and soon garnered interest in philosophical circles. After publishing The Concept of Nature in 1920, he served as president of the Aristotelian Society from 1922 to 1923, and Henri Bergson was quoted as saying that Whitehead was "the best philosopher writing in English." So impressive and different was Whitehead's philosophy that in 1924 he was invited to join the faculty at Harvard University as a professor of philosophy at 63 years of age, even though his educational background was in a very different field.


1. It can be inferred from the passage that those adhering to the idea of “substance materialism” would view material substances and beings as:

(A) abstract
(B) concrete
(C) event-based
(D) experiential
(E) process-driven



2. The primary purpose of this passage is to:

(A) highlight one unique contribution of an important philosopher.
(B) discuss the importance of metaphysics as a field in science.
(C) provide details on the concept of “process philosophy.”
(D) emphasize Whitehead’s place among other philosophers.
(E) prove that “process philosophy” was superior to “substance materialism.”



3. Which one of the following perspectives would best capture Whitehead’s “process philosophy”?

(A) A building is viewed through its size, materials, and aesthetics.
(B) A car is viewed through its horsepower, design, and speed.
(C) A school is viewed through its students, teachers, and staff.
(D) A business is viewed through its mission, advertising, and headquarters.
(E) A person is viewed through his experiences, interactions, and memories.



4. The author would most likely describe Whitehead’s philosophy in the early 1920s as:

(A) highly controversial
(B) unimpressive
(C) never before considered
(D) poorly understood
(E) unique and respected



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New post 19 Nov 2015, 09:01
Definitely not a 600 considering the language of the passage ; got 2 right 2 wrong ;
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New post 02 Nov 2018, 21:09
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+1 kudos to the posts containing answer explanations of all questions


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New post 03 Nov 2018, 10:58
4
AVRonaldo wrote:
Metaphysics – the philosophical investigation of the nature of the universe and existence – had become unfashionable by the time Alfred North Whitehead began writing in earnest about it in the 1920s. The ever-more impressive accomplishments of empirical science had led to a general consensus in academia that the development of comprehensive metaphysical systems was a waste of time because they were not subject to empirical testing.

Whitehead was unimpressed by this objection. In Whitehead's view, scientists and philosophers make metaphysical assumptions about how the universe works all the time, but such assumptions are not easily seen precisely because they remain unexamined and unquestioned. Perhaps foremost among what Whitehead considered faulty metaphysical assumptions was the idea of substance materialism, which he rejected in favor of an opposite, event-based “process" ontology in which transient events are primary and material substances/beings are abstractions. He also argued that the most basic elements of reality have experiential features, that in fact everything is constituted by its experience (i.e., even things like electrons experience). Whitehead referred to his metaphysical system as "philosophy of organism," but it would become known more widely as "process philosophy."

This philosophy of Whitehead was highly original, and soon garnered interest in philosophical circles. After publishing The Concept of Nature in 1920, he served as president of the Aristotelian Society from 1922 to 1923, and Henri Bergson was quoted as saying that Whitehead was "the best philosopher writing in English." So impressive and different was Whitehead's philosophy that in 1924 he was invited to join the faculty at Harvard University as a professor of philosophy at 63 years of age, even though his educational background was in a very different field.


1. It can be inferred from the passage that those adhering to the idea of “substance materialism” would view material substances and beings as:

(A) abstract
(B) concrete
(C) event-based
(D) experiential
(E) process-driven




2. The primary purpose of this passage is to:

(A) highlight one unique contribution of an important philosopher.
(B) discuss the importance of metaphysics as a field in science.
(C) provide details on the concept of “process philosophy.”
(D) emphasize Whitehead’s place among other philosophers.
(E) prove that “process philosophy” was superior to “substance materialism.”




3. Which one of the following perspectives would best capture Whitehead’s “process philosophy”?

(A) A building is viewed through its size, materials, and aesthetics.
(B) A car is viewed through its horsepower, design, and speed.
(C) A school is viewed through its students, teachers, and staff.
(D) A business is viewed through its mission, advertising, and headquarters.
(E) A person is viewed through his experiences, interactions, and memories.




4. The author would most likely describe Whitehead’s philosophy in the early 1920s as:

(A) highly controversial
(B) unimpressive
(C) never before considered
(D) poorly understood
(E) unique and respected




5. The author of the passage would most likely agree with which of the following statements?

(A) Metaphysics is a field worthy of considerably more attention and respect.
(B) Alfred North Whitehead was successful as a challenger of conventional wisdom.
(C) Empirical science is a more respected field than is metaphysics.
(D) Alfred North Whitehead was a controversial figure among academics in the early 20th century.
(E) Alfred North Whitehead restored the prestige of metaphysics as an academic subject.





6:45 Minutes, All Correct! Easy passage!

1. It can be inferred from the passage that those adhering to the idea of “substance materialism” would view material substances and beings as:

(A) abstract- no opposite!
(B) concrete- Correct, this should be reverse of this portion"Whitehead considered faulty metaphysical assumptions was the idea of substance materialism, which he rejected in favor of an opposite, event-based “process" ontology in which transient events are primary and material substances/beings are abstractions..."
(C) event-based- Nopes
(D) experiential-Nopes
(E) process-driven-Nopes




2. The primary purpose of this passage is to:

(A) highlight one unique contribution of an important philosopher.-Correct, this captures both the part: contribution and philosopher.
(B) discuss the importance of metaphysics as a field in science.-Importance is nowhere discussed
(C) provide details on the concept of “process philosophy.”-Partial scope
(D) emphasize Whitehead’s place among other philosophers.-Not among "other" philosophers
(E) prove that “process philosophy” was superior to “substance materialism.”-No such superiority is shown!




3. Which one of the following perspectives would best capture Whitehead’s “process philosophy”?

(A) A building is viewed through its size, materials, and aesthetics.-Not based on experiential events.
(B) A car is viewed through its horsepower, design, and speed.-Not based on experiential events
(C) A school is viewed through its students, teachers, and staff.-Not based on experiential events
(D) A business is viewed through its mission, advertising, and headquarters.-Not based on experiential events
(E) A person is viewed through his experiences, interactions, and memories.- Correct,Refer "electrons experience", based on experiential events




4. The author would most likely describe Whitehead’s philosophy in the early 1920s as:

(A) highly controversial-no
(B) unimpressive-no
(C) never before considered-Umm,Incorrect, refer "Metaphysics – the philosophical investigation of the nature of the universe and existence – had become unfashionable by the time Alfred North Whitehead began writing.." So saying never before considered would be wrong!
(D) poorly understood-Not poorly understood.
(E) unique and respected-Correct, refer "This philosophy of Whitehead was highly original, and soon garnered interest in philosophical circles.."




5. The author of the passage would most likely agree with which of the following statements?

(A) Metaphysics is a field worthy of considerably more attention and respect.-no, author doesn't agree with this.
(B) Alfred North Whitehead was successful as a challenger of conventional wisdom.-Correct, getting selected for professorship at Harvard shows author agrees with this. and other similar examples.
(C) Empirical science is a more respected field than is metaphysics.--no, author doesn't agree with this.
(D) Alfred North Whitehead was a controversial figure among academics in the early 20th century.-no, author doesn't agree with this.
(E) Alfred North Whitehead restored the prestige of metaphysics as an academic subject.-no, author doesn't agree with this.



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Re: Metaphysics – the philosophical investigation of the nature of the uni  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Nov 2018, 17:35
Hi hazelnut, honneeey

can you please explain Q1?

Thanks in advance...
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New post 04 Nov 2018, 02:22
3
jareen wrote:
Hi hazelnut, honneeey

can you please explain Q1?

Thanks in advance...


Hi,

1. It can be inferred from the passage that those adhering to the idea of “substance materialism” would view material substances and beings as:

Now, if you will refer the passage it states:"Whitehead considered faulty metaphysical assumptions was the idea of substance materialism, which he rejected in favor of an opposite, event-based “process" ontology in which transient events are primary and material substances/beings are abstractions..."

Substance Materialism(SM) is OPPOSITE of Process Ontology(PO)

In PO, Transient events-Primary
Material Substances- Abstractions.

Now, as we are told that PO is opposite of SM

Therefore, in SM, Transient Events- Abstractions
Material Substances-Primary

Now, we have to proceed to the answer choice and select the choice that is closest to the word "Primary",So in Nut-shell you have to do POE!

(A) abstract- no opposite!
(B) concrete- Hold, Correct,
(C) event-based- Nopes, opposite
(D) experiential-Nopes
(E) process-driven-Nopes

So Only choice "B" states answer choice close to "Primary"

Hope it helps!

Consider giving Kudos if This explanation helped! :)
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New post 10 Mar 2019, 03:01
Got 4/5, question 1 is hard to infer even I know where is the detail in the passage..
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New post 22 May 2019, 07:23
SajjadAhmad, GMATNinja, workout, GMATNinjaTwo, u1983, Gnpth

How do I answer Q4? I don't see the author taking any sides.

4. The author would most likely describe Whitehead???s philosophy in the early 1920s as:

(A) highly controversial
(B) unimpressive
(C) never before considered
(D) poorly understood
(E) unique and respected


I got Q5 wrong as well. I could eliminate the last 3 options. Got confused between A and B.
Why is B correct and A wrong??
5. The author of the passage would most likely agree with which of the following statements?

(A) Metaphysics is a field worthy of considerably more attention and respect.
(B) Alfred North Whitehead was successful as a challenger of conventional wisdom.
(C) Empirical science is a more respected field than is metaphysics.
(D) Alfred North Whitehead was a controversial figure among academics in the early 20th century.
(E) Alfred North Whitehead restored the prestige of metaphysics as an academic subject.
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New post 23 May 2019, 01:15
mallya12 wrote:
SajjadAhmad, GMATNinja, workout, GMATNinjaTwo, u1983, Gnpth

How do I answer Q4? I don't see the author taking any sides.

4. The author would most likely describe Whitehead???s philosophy in the early 1920s as:

(A) highly controversial
(B) unimpressive
(C) never before considered
(D) poorly understood
(E) unique and respected


I got Q5 wrong as well. I could eliminate the last 3 options. Got confused between A and B.
Why is B correct and A wrong??
5. The author of the passage would most likely agree with which of the following statements?

(A) Metaphysics is a field worthy of considerably more attention and respect.
(B) Alfred North Whitehead was successful as a challenger of conventional wisdom.
(C) Empirical science is a more respected field than is metaphysics.
(D) Alfred North Whitehead was a controversial figure among academics in the early 20th century.
(E) Alfred North Whitehead restored the prestige of metaphysics as an academic subject.




Question 4

if you read this statement"So impressive and different was Whitehead's philosophy that in 1924 he was invited to join the faculty at Harvard University as a professor of philosophy at 63 years of age" it will direct you to Option E


Question 5

Point to eliminate Option A

Whitehead got respect and attention, not because of the subject (metaphysics) rather because of the Philosophy which he did about the subject(metaphysics).

Hope It Helps

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Re: Metaphysics – the philosophical investigation of the nature of the uni  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2019, 02:21
AVRonaldo wrote:
Metaphysics – the philosophical investigation of the nature of the universe and existence – had become unfashionable by the time Alfred North Whitehead began writing in earnest about it in the 1920s. The ever-more impressive accomplishments of empirical science had led to a general consensus in academia that the development of comprehensive metaphysical systems was a waste of time because they were not subject to empirical testing.

Whitehead was unimpressed by this objection. In Whitehead's view, scientists and philosophers make metaphysical assumptions about how the universe works all the time, but such assumptions are not easily seen precisely because they remain unexamined and unquestioned. Perhaps foremost among what Whitehead considered faulty metaphysical assumptions was the idea of substance materialism, which he rejected in favor of an opposite, event-based “process" ontology in which transient events are primary and material substances/beings are abstractions. He also argued that the most basic elements of reality have experiential features, that in fact everything is constituted by its experience (i.e., even things like electrons experience). Whitehead referred to his metaphysical system as "philosophy of organism," but it would become known more widely as "process philosophy."

This philosophy of Whitehead was highly original, and soon garnered interest in philosophical circles. After publishing The Concept of Nature in 1920, he served as president of the Aristotelian Society from 1922 to 1923, and Henri Bergson was quoted as saying that Whitehead was "the best philosopher writing in English." So impressive and different was Whitehead's philosophy that in 1924 he was invited to join the faculty at Harvard University as a professor of philosophy at 63 years of age, even though his educational background was in a very different field.


1. It can be inferred from the passage that those adhering to the idea of “substance materialism” would view material substances and beings as:

(A) abstract
(B) concrete
(C) event-based
(D) experiential
(E) process-driven




2. The primary purpose of this passage is to:

(A) highlight one unique contribution of an important philosopher.
(B) discuss the importance of metaphysics as a field in science.
(C) provide details on the concept of “process philosophy.”
(D) emphasize Whitehead’s place among other philosophers.
(E) prove that “process philosophy” was superior to “substance materialism.”




3. Which one of the following perspectives would best capture Whitehead’s “process philosophy”?

(A) A building is viewed through its size, materials, and aesthetics.
(B) A car is viewed through its horsepower, design, and speed.
(C) A school is viewed through its students, teachers, and staff.
(D) A business is viewed through its mission, advertising, and headquarters.
(E) A person is viewed through his experiences, interactions, and memories.




4. The author would most likely describe Whitehead’s philosophy in the early 1920s as:

(A) highly controversial
(B) unimpressive
(C) never before considered
(D) poorly understood
(E) unique and respected




5. The author of the passage would most likely agree with which of the following statements?

(A) Metaphysics is a field worthy of considerably more attention and respect.
(B) Alfred North Whitehead was successful as a challenger of conventional wisdom.
(C) Empirical science is a more respected field than is metaphysics.
(D) Alfred North Whitehead was a controversial figure among academics in the early 20th century.
(E) Alfred North Whitehead restored the prestige of metaphysics as an academic subject.





Very strong wordings ! Took me 9 min 45 secs.
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