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The great French moralists presented many of their musings on human na

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The great French moralists presented many of their musings on human na  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2017, 02:37
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47% (02:26) correct 53% (02:49) wrong

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85% (00:55) correct 15% (01:38) wrong

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The great French moralists presented many of their musings on human nature in the form of maxims, pithy statements of general truths or principles. These maxims often contained a clever twist, used by the moralists to draw attention to the complexity of the human psyche. Maxims attempt to emphasize one particular part of human nature or human experience, one that is often contrary to the received wisdom of the culture. The French moralists often stated their maxims as a universal truth for maximum effect; the true point of the maxim, however, was to act as a counterpoint to popular opinion.

A maxim and its contrary might both be true, or more precisely, sometimes true. Consider the maxim, “we have not the strength to follow our reason all the way,” and its contrary, “we have not the reason to follow our strength all the way.” Both statements are true enough to warrant a spirited defense, depending, of course, on the perspectives of the reader. However, the moralists were not interested in synthesizing these contrary positions into one law. Rather, they wished to show the deficiencies of conventional wisdom

1. The author suggests that the French moralists

A. wrote a number of books on morality
B. were more interested in being descriptive than prescriptive
C. did not believe that their maxims were true
D. were upset with the received wisdom of their culture
E. found the human psyche easy to understand




2. According to the information in the passage, the contrary of the maxim “one may forgive an infidelity, but not forget it,” would most likely be

A. “one may forget an infidelity, but not forgive it”
B. “to forget is human, to forgive divine”
C. “all things may be forgiven except not being forgiven”
D. “fidelity means being true to everyone but oneself”
E. “there is no better feeling than to forgive oneself”



3. The author of the passage would most likely agree with which of the following statements about maxims?

A. maxims are universal laws
B. the lesson of a maxim is subjective
C. the French moralists wrote the best maxims
D. maxims and their contraries are always true
E. maxims are not effective unless they critique cultural norms




Source: McGraw-Hill's GMAT

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Re: The great French moralists presented many of their musings on human na  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2018, 05:44
Can anyone help with the first question? Please tell me from where in the passage you can derive the answer..

Thanks :thumbup:
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Re: The great French moralists presented many of their musings on human na  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2018, 06:25
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Para 1: author describes maxims of FM : maxims generally against the general opinion
Para 2: maxims and contrary both true : the motive was to show general inconsistency in world : no perspective in place

Q1
A. wrote a number of books on morality: no books mentioned
B. were more interested in being descriptive than prescriptive: author says they were not based on perspective (both contrary and maxim itself may be true ) correct option
C. did not believe that their maxims were true : a 180 the FM put their maxims as 100 percent true
D. were upset with the received wisdom of their culture: they wrote maxim against the general wisdom but they may not be upset : too strong choice
E. found the human psyche easy to understand :180 again : they find it complex

Q2
“one may forgive an infidelity, but not forget it,” would most likely be
may forgive ----- not forget

not the strength to follow our reason all the way,” and its contrary, “we have not the reason to follow our strength all the way
no strength ------- reason
contrary : no reason ----------- strength

may forgive ----- not forget
contrary as per text no forgive ---------- forget

only Choice A follow this pattern so option A

Q3: author agreeing
A. maxims are universal laws: no this is mentioned but author never says so that he does
B. the lesson of a maxim is subjective: he do mentions that perspective is no there so its based on subjection : correct answer
C. the French moralists wrote the best maxims: no mention of best
D. maxims and their contraries are always true: always true : no author mentions a probability
E. maxims are not effective unless they critique cultural norms:no mention of such terms
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Re: The great French moralists presented many of their musings on human na  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2018, 08:15
hongg7 wrote:
Can anyone help with the first question? Please tell me from where in the passage you can derive the answer..

Thanks :thumbup:

The answer is in the lines "However, the moralists were not interested in synthesizing these contrary positions into one law"
means they are not interested in being prescriptive.
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Re: The great French moralists presented many of their musings on human na  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2018, 22:29
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Need some expert help for 1st Q...

The first sentence precisely tells that maxims are pithy statements.Please note that descriptive is the opposite of pithy.

Also the last portion of the second para tells that they are not interested in prescriptive.OK AGREED.But how the hell does "Rather, they wished to show the deficiencies of conventional wisdom" imply that they are interested in being descriptive than prescriptive...

People who got it right please chip in pinpointly
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Re: The great French moralists presented many of their musings on human na  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2018, 07:20
1. The author suggests that the French moralists
this is a detail question. Since FM are talked about in both passages, we cannot zoom in and rescan the relevant passage. We can just attack the choices.

A. wrote a number of books on morality
^number of books are not mentioned anywhere in the passage.

B. were more interested in being descriptive than prescriptive
However, the moralists were not interested in synthesizing these contrary positions into one law. Rather, they wished to show the deficiencies of conventional wisdom
^with this text in mind, put this option on hold

C. did not believe that their maxims were true
^passage does not say that anywhere

D. were upset with the received wisdom of their culture
Maxims attempt to emphasize one particular part of human nature or human experience, one that is often contrary to the received wisdom of the culture.
just because maxim are often contrary to received wisdom of the culture, we can't say moralists were upset with received wisdom of the culture an THAT is why they wrote the maxims

E. found the human psyche easy to understand
^not mentioned anywhere

B wins.
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Re: The great French moralists presented many of their musings on human na &nbs [#permalink] 25 Sep 2018, 07:20
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