English

Despite its apparent ——-, much of early Greek philosophical thought was actually marked by a kind of unconscious dogmatism that led to ——- assertions.

(A) liberality . . doctrinaire
(B) independence . . autonomous
(C) intransigence . . authoritative
(D) fundamentalism . . arrogant
(E) legitimacy . . ambiguous
  1. Correct Answer: A

    Explanation:

    Skill: Determining the meaning of words

    Explanation for Correct Answer A :

    Choice (A) is correct. “Liberality” means generosity or broad-mindedness. “Doctrinaire” means inflexibly attached to a theory or practice. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read “Despite its apparent liberality, much of early Greek philosophical thought was actually marked by a kind of unconscious dogmatism that led to doctrinaire assertions.” The words “despite” and “actually” indicate that the two missing terms will have contrasting meanings. In this context, the idea of “apparent liberality” does indeed contrast with the fact that early Greek philosophy was really “doctrinaire,” or inflexible.

    Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

    Choice (B) is incorrect. “Independence” is freedom from the influence or authority of others. “Autonomous” means free or self-governing. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read “Despite its apparent independence, much of early Greek philosophical thought was actually marked by a kind of unconscious dogmatism that led to autonomous assertions.” The words “despite” and “actually” indicate that the two missing terms will have contrasting meanings, but “independent” and “autonomous” are synonyms.

    Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

    Choice (C) is incorrect. “Intransigence” is a refusal to compromise. “Authoritative” means commanding. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read “Despite its apparent intransigence, much of early Greek philosophical thought was actually marked by a kind of unconscious dogmatism that led to authoritative assertions.” “Intransigence” is a form of “dogmatism,” or arrogance, so the contrast signaled by the words “despite” and “actually” does not occur.

    Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

    Choice (D) is incorrect. “Fundamentalism” is a rigid adherence to the basic principles of a point of view. “Arrogant” means overbearing. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read “Despite its apparent fundamentalism, much of early Greek philosophical thought was actually marked by a kind of unconscious dogmatism that led to arrogant assertions.” The first missing term should contrast with the meaning of the second clause of the sentence, but “fundamentalism” is nearly synonymous with “dogmatism.”

    Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

    Choice (E) is incorrect. “Legitimacy” is validity. “Ambiguous” means doubtful or uncertain. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read “Despite its apparent legitimacy, much of early Greek philosophical thought was actually marked by a kind of unconscious dogmatism that led to ambiguous assertions.” A valid philosophy is not, by definition, in conflict with a dogmatic philosophy. Furthermore, “unconscious dogmatism” would be unlikely to produce assertions that are “ambiguous,” or doubtful.

Test ID: 1259
Source: SAT Critical Reading Practice Tests