Free GRE® Reading Comprehension Sample Questions

Practice the Reading Comprehension Question Type.

This section tests your ability to read and understand a passage of text. Each passage in this section is followed by several questions. After reading the passage, choose the best answer to each question based on the content of the passage. Answer all questions following the passage on the basis of what is stated or implied on the passage.

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Reading Comprehension

Question DetailShow Details
Directions: Answer the questions after reading through the passage. Base your answers on information that is either stated or implied in the passage then click to see the answers.

Passage

Ludwig Wittgenstien asserted that with the publication of his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus he had solved all philosophical problems and retired to teach mathematics at the secondary level. He believed he had achieved this through his exploration of the logic of language, which he referred to as his "picture theory" of language. Wittgenstein's contention was that the world consisted of a collection of interconnected "facts" that created "pictures" of the world through propositions. These propositions are meaningful if they picture matters of empirical fact, such as "Meri is six feet tall." In order for these linguistic pictures to accurately present facts, they must have the same logical structure as matters of empirical fact.

The problem is that philosophical propositions, such as "truth is beauty," are not matters of empirical fact. Since language itself is based on this relationship philosophers cannot extricate themselves from the realm of language in order to actually say anything about whether or not the "pictures" have the same logical structure as facts. One important consequence of this argument is that it is nonsensical to discuss philosophical problems. The propositions that philosophers commonly make are not technically wrong but nonsensical. For Wittgenstein, the ultimate goal of philosophy itself is not the actual study of the pursuit of "truth." Philosophy has more to do with clarifying the relationship between language and truth than truth itself. The Tractatus ends up subverting its own claims by concluding that the kind of propositions of which it is composed are senseless. The most commonly quoted excerpt from the book is the proposition "What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence."

Question 1Show Details

The author believes Wittgenstein would likely agree with which of the following statements?







Question 2Show Details

Based on the context of the passage, the author's use of the word "empirical" most nearly means which of the following?