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For mil­len­nia, the world’s philoso­phers have pon­dered the ques­tions of hu­man ex­is­tence. For you, there’s a more press­ing mat­ter: this month’s quiz, which fea­tures some of the lan­guage they’ve used to ar­tic­u­late their thoughts.

Reader's Digest (Canada) - - Contents - BY ROB LUTES

1. solip­sism—A: the­ory that the sim­plest ex­pla­na­tion is the most likely one. B: slip­pery-slope ar­gu­ment. C: view that only the self can be known to ex­ist.

2. al­tru­is­tic—A: demon­strat­ing great in­tel­lec­tual abil­ity. B: show­ing un­selfish con­cern for oth­ers. C: be­liev­ing all things are true.

3. aes­theti­cism—A: de­vo­tion to beauty. B: study of the hu­man form. C: use of nar­cotics to seek truth.

4. in­natism—A: no­tion that we can know noth­ing. B: ac­cep­tance of rea­son as the source of truth. C: as­sump­tion that the mind is born with ideas. 5. cona­tus—A: log­i­cal con­clu­sion. B: nat­u­ral ten­dency.

C: elab­o­rate ar­gu­ment.

6. fal­lacy—A: change of opin­ion. B: mis­taken idea.

C: un­solv­able para­dox.

7. em­pir­i­cal—A: ver­i­fi­able by ob­ser­va­tion. B: de­signed to con­trol vast pop­u­la­tions. C: un­der­stood only through faith. 8. ad hominem—A: con­cerned with hu­man­ity’s achieve­ments. B: di­rected at a per­son rather than their ar­gu­ment. C: long-winded.

9. ab­sur­dism—be­lief that A: time does not ex­ist. B: the world is end­ing. C: the uni­verse has no pur­pose.

10. he­do­nist—per­son who A: val­ues the pur­suit of plea­sure above all else. B: be­lieves hap­pi­ness is unattain­able. C: fol­lows a doc­trine blindly.

11. utopian—A: un­o­rig­i­nal. B: el­e­gant in its sim­plic­ity. C: im­pos­si­bly ideal. 12. con­sumerism—A: pur­suit of joy through eat­ing. B: pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with the ac­qui­si­tion of goods. C: doc­trine ad­vo­cat­ing free trade.

13. ipso facto—A: by that very fact. B: based on what was known at that time. C: from that per­spec­tive.

14. meta­physics—branch of phi­los­o­phy that deals with A: de­sire. B: hu­man suf­fer­ing. C: the na­ture of re­al­ity.

15. as­cetic—A: rig­or­ously ab­sti­nent. B: stub­bornly con­vinced. C: with­out moral prin­ci­ples.

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