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# Never accept anything as true that you do not clearly know to be so; t

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Never accept anything as true that you do not clearly know to be so; t  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 04 Dec 2018, 07:58
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Never accept anything as true that you do not clearly know to be so; that is, carefully avoid jumping to conclusions, and include nothing in judgments, other than what presents itself so clearly and distinctly to the spirit that you would never have any occasion to doubt it. Then, divide each of the difficulties being examined into as many parts as can be created and would be required to better resolve them. Order your thoughts, by starting with the simplest ideas, which are the easiest to comprehend, to advance little by little, by degrees, up to the most complex ideas, even believing that an order exists among those which do not naturally follow one another. And last, always make deductions so complete, and reviews so general, so as to be assured of omitting nothing.

When I was younger, I had studied a bit—in the field of philosophy, logic, and in the field of math, geometric analysis and algebra—the three arts or sciences that seemed as though they should contribute something to my methodological approach. But while examining these fields, I noticed that, in logic, syllogisms and the bulk of other logical theorems serve only to explain to others the things that one already knows, or even to speak without judgment of things that one doesn‘t know, rather than to teach others anything; and, although logic contains, in effect, many true and just precepts, there are yet among these so many others mixed in, which are superfluous or refutable, that it is almost sickening to separate one from the other.

As for geometric analysis and modern algebra, in addition to the fact that they don‘t treat anything except abstract ideas, which seem to be of no use whatsoever, geometry is always so restricted to the consideration of figures that it can‘t stretch the intellect without exhausting the imagination; and algebra subjects one to certain rules and numbers, so that it has become a confused and obscure art that troubles the spirit rather than a science that cultivates it.

All of this made me think that it was necessary to look for some other methodological approach which, comprising the advantages of these three,
was at the same time exempt from their defaults. And, just as the multitude of laws often provides rationalization for vice, such that any State is better ruled if, having but a few vices, it closely monitors them, thus likewise, instead of following the great number of precepts which compose logic, I thought that I would have enough with the four preceding, as long as I made a firm and constant resolution never – not even once – to neglect my adherence to them.
Q1). According to the passage, the author gave up the study of logic. He did so for all of the following reasons EXCEPT:
A. he did not gain sufficient knowledge to impart his learning to others.
B. he was unable to separate valid logical theories from those which seemed invalid.
C. he could not understand the rational methodology upon which logic is based.
D. he did not learn anything new from his philosophical and analytical studies.
E. he found it very difficult to distinguish between accurate and superfluous precepts

Q2). According to the passage, which of the following statements are true about geometry?
I. Geometric analysis is not useful for a logical methodology.
II. Geometry focuses too narrowly on shapes and lines.
III. Geometry is largely visual, so comprehension requires both intellect and imagination.
A. II only
B. I and II
C. I, II, and III
D. III only
E. None of the above

Q3). The author would be LEAST likely to agree with which of the following statements?
A. Logic is an inappropriate field of research for young scholars.
B. A scholar should always treat the subject of his or her study in its entirety.
C. Orderly study is based on the principle that a whole is the sum of its parts.
D. Teaching is one of the motivations for studying abstract ideas and theories.
E. Geometric analysis almost entirely concerns itself with the treatment of abstract ideas

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Originally posted by GmatWizard on 20 Oct 2018, 21:44.
Last edited by GmatWizard on 04 Dec 2018, 07:58, edited 1 time in total.
Senior Manager
Joined: 05 Feb 2018
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Location: India
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Re: Never accept anything as true that you do not clearly know to be so; t  [#permalink]

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20 Oct 2018, 21:48

Topic and Scope - The development of a particular method of thought.

Mapping the Passage

¶1 discusses the four principles of thought: don‘t accept anything as true unless it‘s
known to be so, divide difficulties into individual parts that can be resolved, build
ideas from simplest to most complex and make deductions complete so that nothing is
left out.
¶s2 and 3 discuss the author‘s background and problems with logic.
¶4 discusses the author‘s problems with geometric analysis and algebra.
¶5 discusses the author‘s desire to find a new way of thinking and mentions four
principles of thought.
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Senior Manager
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Re: Never accept anything as true that you do not clearly know to be so; t  [#permalink]

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20 Oct 2018, 21:50

1)

Remember that ―According to the passage...‖ will almost always signal a detail
question. Use your map to predict where the details will likely be. Go back to ¶s2
and 3 to review the author‘s reasons for abandoning logic. Three answer choices
are details in this first paragraph, but (C) isn‘t supported: There‘s no evidence that
the author didn‘t understand logic.
(A): Opposite. This follows from the author‘s argument that logic serves ―only to
explain to others the things that one already knows.‖
(B): Opposite. This is a paraphrase of the last lines in paragraph three.
(D): Opposite. This also follows from the author‘s argument that logic only explains
(E): Opposite. Same as D.

2)

Another detail question. Focus your work in this question on ¶4, where geometry is
discussed. First tackle RN II, which appears in three choices. The author argues
that geometry is ―so restricted to the consideration of figures‖ that it ends up being
limited. RN II paraphrases this, eliminate (D).RN I states that geometric analysis
isn‘t useful for logical analysis. The author argues that geometry not only deals too
much with figures, but also doesn‘t ―treat anything except abstract ideas, which
seem to be of no use whatsoever,‖ suggesting that it‘s not useful for logic. RN III,
however, contradicts the author‘s point that geometry stretches the intellect at the
expense of the imagination. (B) catches the legitimate statements.
(A): Opposite. As described above.
(C): Opposite. As above.
(D): Opposite. As above.
(E): Opposite. As above.

3)

Since you have no information in the question to narrow your focus, you can be
reasonably sure that the right answer will be something with which the author
generally disagrees. The shortcomings of the old systems and the four precepts
make up the meat of the passage, so look for something that conflicts with the
author‘s negative view of traditional methods of thought and his positive view of his
own precepts. (B) does the latter. The second precept argues that difficulties
should be broken up into many small pieces that can be individually evaluated; (B)
argues that subjects should never be broken up. The author would clearly disagree.
(A): Opposite. This follows from the author‘s argument in ¶3 that logic isn‘t
particularly useful.
(C): Opposite. This is simply the opposite of the correct answer choice. The author
would agree that it‘s possible to understand a big problem by breaking it
down in to smaller problems.
(D): Opposite. The author argues in ¶3 that logical theorems ―serve only to explain
to others the things that one already knows...‖ which suggests that the
author is concerned with teaching abstract ideas in addition to simply learning
them.
(E): This can be inferred from the passage.
Strategy Point:
In questions that ask you to find a statement with which author disagrees, it is
often much faster to find a choice that conflicts with the main points than to
eliminate the three choices with which he would agree.

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Re: Never accept anything as true that you do not clearly know to be so; t  [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2019, 03:46
9 minutes, 1/3 correct. A passage that tests your critical reasoning skills as well.
Manager
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Re: Never accept anything as true that you do not clearly know to be so; t  [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2019, 19:12
GmatWizard

I am not convinced about your take on option D in question#3.

Please explain how can we say that this is true.
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Re: Never accept anything as true that you do not clearly know to be so; t   [#permalink] 08 Jan 2019, 19:12
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