Source: Official Guide Revised GRE 1st Ed. Part 8; Section 4; #11

1

What readers most commonly remember about John

What readers most commonly remember about John Stuart Mill’s classic exploration of the liberty of thought and discussion concerns the danger of (i): in the absence of challenge, one’s opinions, even when they are correct, grow weak and flabby. Yet Mill had another reason for encouraging the liberty of thought and discussion: the danger of partiality and incompleteness. Since one’s opinions, even under the best circumstances, tend to (ii), and because opinions opposed to one’s own rarely turn out to be completely (iii), it is crucial to supplement one’s opinions with alternative points of view. Blank (i): tendentiousness, complacency, fractiousness Blank (ii): embrace only a portion of the truth, change over time, focus on matters close at hand Blank (iii): erroneous, antithetical, immutable

5 Explanations

1

Amir Behani

In the video, the strategy of your solution to this question is risky. We shouldn't fill in the first blank until reading the 3rd sentence, which starts with yet and talk about partiality; however, you simply said that the first blank is complacency. Only after reading the third sentence do we understand that the first blank is not tendentious; because it says that: "yet Mill had another reason that is the danger of partiality", so the first blank cannot be the same.

Nov 6, 2020 • Comment

Adam Lyons, Magoosh Tutor

Hi Amir! I grew certain of the first blank once I read "weak and flabby," at the end of the first sentence. "Tendentiousness" usually denotes a firmly held opinion, and typically one that is not the dominant opinion. The first sentence also mentions the correctness of the opinion. It doesn't really matter if an opinion is tendentious if it is correct. On the other hand, complacency leads to weakness and flabbiness. The idea is if no one challenges your ideas, you never have to think about them, and your resolve grows weak.

Nov 8, 2020 • Reply

1

MD MONIR HOSSEN

Why can't F be the answer to second blank? doesn't it represent incompleteness?

Nov 25, 2019 • Comment

Adam Lyons, Magoosh Tutor

Hello there,
F isn't a bad option. However, the idea is that everyone should listen to other viewpoints. Other viewpoints can focus on matters not close at hand. However, people can also disagree about matters close at hand. Mill would advocate listening to these other views, even when they're about matters close at hand. So Mill cares about differing viewpoints, not necessarily what those viewpoints are about.
Hope that helps!

Dec 1, 2019 • Reply

1

nirmal aditya priyan

i cannot able to comprehend the third blank

Sep 3, 2017 • Comment

Adam

Hi Nirmal,

We have a cause and effect situation here, that works like this:

opinions opposed to ones own rarely turn out to be completely _________. (In other words: opinions that don't agree with yours are usually not completely ______)

Therefore,

it is crucial to supplement ones opinions with alternative points of view.

Well, if it's important to take alternative points of view into account, then it must be that those alternative points of view are valuable or correct, at least some of the time. Therefore, the best choice is "erroneous": opinions opposed to one's own are usually NOT completely erroneous, or false.

Sep 5, 2017 • Reply

3

Adam

Hi Molly,

The problem with "antithetical" is that the blank is referring to the "opinions opposed to one's own," whereas "antithetical" would be referring to the relationship between those opinions and one's own.

In other words, we can say "your opinions are antithetical to mine," but we can't say simply "your opinions are antithetical."

Nov 7, 2015 • Comment

Hugo Zhang

Hi Adam, I also have a question on answer choice "antithetical". Here is my understanding about the 3rd blank: Because the sentence mentions " opinions opposed to one's own", I think this is saying that If I assert one opinion and I oppose to my opinion on my own effort, the objection can rarely turn out to be completely against my opinion, becasue of the partiality in my heart mentioned above. So the last sentence says: It is crucial to supplement one's opinions with alternative points of view, which means we should take alternative points of views provided by other people. This is why I choice answer choice (H). Why can't we understand this sentence in this way? Actually when I was doing this test, the above was my real thinking process. Could you help me?

Aug 17, 2016 • Reply

Adam

Hi Hugo,

It's a grammar issue. The word "antithetical" must be followed by "to... something."

You wrote:

the objection can rarely turn out to be completely against my opinion

You followed "against" with "my opinion." The same goes for the use of "antithetical": we could write "and because opinions opposed to one’s own rarely turn out to be completely TO OUR OWN [opinions]." That's correct.

But without the object "[to] our own [opinions]," it's incorrect.

Sep 2, 2016 • Reply

2

Gravatar Chris Lele, Magoosh Tutor

Oct 10, 2012 • Comment

molly xiao

Why 'antithetical' in the third blank is not a correct choice? If the opposed opinions were rarely completely antithetical, then those opinions could supplement one's own opinions because they are not exactly opposed to each other. Another reason is that perhaps 'antithetical' focuses more on the relationship between those opinions than 'erroneous' which only indicates one side is wrong.

Oct 10, 2015 • Reply

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