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Candidate's Name negiitr-Eon t,tum6F oae

NATIONAL JUNIOR COLLEGE

PRELIMINARY EXAMINATIONS

GENERAL PAPER 8005t2


Paper 2

29 August 2005
INSERT

TIME 1 Hour 30 Minutes

READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS FIRST

Write your name, registration number and GP tutor,s code on the cover page
of this insert-

This insert contains the passages for Paper 2-

This inserl consists of 3 printed pages and I blank page,


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PASSAGE A
P. V. Rao writes..-

Plato had once banned poetry from his utopian republic. But it was a theoretical,
theatrical gesture because the idea never became a reality. More than two millenn'a
later, it appears that markets have marginalised poetry much more effectively than Plato
could have ever hoped to do. But there is a catch to the situation. Along with poetry,
philosophy too, is shown the door.

There is really no room for subjects like poetry - literature in general - or


philosophy or history in a knowledge-based economy (KBE) with its emphasis on
technological upgradation and increasing profits. Knowledge is now inexorably tied to
the apron-strings of the economy. lt is valued and nurtured as long as it can prove its
utilitarian credentials. Apparently, these subjects do not possess the same kind of 10
applicability as the sciences and subjects like economics, accountancy and business
administration. But history, literature and philosophy - deal, each in its own way, with the
issue 01'values.

Literature is an accurate cultural barometer, which calibrates the imperceptible


changes in the atmosphere of the human world. lt was writers like British poet Wlfred 15
Owen who shattered the chivalrous notion of war and brought home the savage
machinery of modem battles during Wodd War l. Again, it was T.S. Eliofs cadenced
uncertainties and jagged ambiguities in poems like 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
and "The Waste Land" which made us aware that we are forced to live in an etherised
and bleak modernist landscape. 20

German philosopher Hegel had remarked famously that those who do not team
from history are doomed to repeat it. lt would, of course, be unrealistic to hope that we
will ever learn from history. But a knowledge of history helps in making sense of
problems. Political analysts in the media and elsewhere were confounded by the
eruption of ethnic strife in the Balkans, especially in Bosnia and in Kosovo. A little 25
knowledge of Balkan history would have been of great use in understanding the issues
at hand.

And what earthly reasons can there be for studying philosophy? There are some
practical reasons for turning to this apparently abstract subject. lt was from a
philosophical reflection on the subject by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrodinger, 'What is 30
Life'that British scientist Francis Crick, who was a physicist himself, turned to biology
and made one of the most remarkabte discoveries of 2oh-century science, the double-
helix structure of the DNA along with James D. Watson. Norbert Wiener, who laid the
foundations of the theory of informatics, which has shaped information technology, was
influenced greatly by philosopher-mathematician Bertrand Russell. He wanted to cut out 35
the fluff from the language and make it as precise as mathematics. Translating ordinary
language into its mathematical equivalent started from a philosophical impulse. lt is at
the root o{ al! the billions of bytes now swarming the cyberspace.

lf the hard-nosed realists are tempted to dismiss subjects like literature,


philosophy and history out of hand as being too woolly, they should think again. lt is an 40
old insight: The world is what we make of it. These subjects help us in making sense of
it all.

BY P.V. Rao Jr
Adapted ftom "New Economy Needs Philosophy"
The Straits Times, 26 March 2000
2
PASSAGE B

Jacob Bronowski writes...


There is a charge which is commonly brought against science. The claim is not
that science is actively anti*moral, but that it is without morality of any kind. The
implication is that it thereby breeds in the minds of those who practise it an indifference
to morality which comes in time to atrophy in them the power of right judgement and the
urge to good conduct.

There is no system of morality which does nol set a high value on truth and on
knowledge, above all on a conscious knowledge of oneself. lt is therefore at least odd
that science should be called amoral, and this by people who in their own lives set a
high value on being truthful. For whatever else may be held against science, this cannot
be denied, that it takes for ultimate judgement one criterion alone, that it shall be '10
truthful. lf there is one system which can claim a more fanatical regard for truth than Lao
Tze and the Pilgrim Fathers, it is certainly science.

We cannot of course put their truth or any other human values quite so simply as
this. We must look round to see whether, either in ethics or in science, truth does not
extend beyond a simple truthfulness to fact- And we may take this inquiry into truth as a 15
characteristic test for science, on which we can qround the larger decision, whether
science does indeed possess its own values. But do not let us mlss the simple point-
Whatever else they have also meant by truth, men, who take pride in their conduct and
its underlying values set store by truthfulness in the literal sense. They are ashamed to
lie in fact and in intentjon. And this transcending respect for truthfulness is shared by 20
science. T.H. Huxley was an agnostic, Clifford was an atheist, and I know at least one
great mathematician who is a scoundrel. Yet all of them rest their scientific faith on an
uncompromising adherence to the truth, and the irresistible urge to discover it.

Human values are bound up with what we judge to be like and unlike; and when
science shifts that judgment, it makes a profound shift in these values. The Greeks built 25
a wonderful civilisation, yet it did not outrage their sense of values to hold men in
slavery. They did not feel the slave and citizen to be alike men. By the end of the
eighteenth century, it was felt in the westem world that all white men are alike; but
William Wilberforce spent a lifetime in persuading his generation that black slaves and
whites are alike in human dignity. Science helped to create that sensibility, by widening 30
the view of what is like and what unlike. lt helped to widen it enough to make cruelty to
animals a particularly detested offence in England.

This is the constant urqe of science as well as of the arts, to broaden the likeness
for which we qrope under the facts. When we discover the wider likeness, whether
betlveen space and time, or between the bacillus, the virus, and the crystal, we enlarge 35
the order in the universe; but more than this, we enlarge its unity. And it is the unity of
nature, living and dead, for which our thought reaches- This is a far deeper conception
than any assumption that nature must be unifoam. We seek to flnd in nature a coherent
Lrnity. This gives to scientists their sense of mission, and let us acknowledge it, of
aesthetic fulfilment: that every research canies the sense of drawing together the 40
threads ofthe world into a patterned web.

By Jacob Bronowski
Adapted from A Bronowski Readet"
l Candidate's Name Registration Number Tutor's Code

NATIONAL JUNIOR COLLEGE

PRELIMINARY EXAMINATIONS

GENERAL PAPER 8005/2


Paper 2
29 August 2005

QUESTION BOOKLET

TIME I Hour 30 Minutes

READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS FIRST

Write your name, registration number and GP tutor's code in the boxes above.
Write in dark blue or black pen in the spaces provided on the eueslion Booklet.

Answer all the questions,


At the end of this paper, hand in your Question Booklet and insert separately.
The number of marks is given in brackets ( ) at the end of each question or part
question.
lf you have to use extra sheets of writing paper for your answers, please fasten
lhem securely to the answer booklet.

(Note that 15 out of 50 marks will be awarded for your use of language.)

Fo. Tutor's Use


Content /35

Language t15

Total /50

This Paper consists of I printed pages, including this cover page.


[Tum overl
2

Read the passages in the insert and then answer all the questions which follow
below'
ttote tt'.t up to Rneen ma*s will be given for the quality and accuracy of your use of
English throughout this PaPer'

Note: When a question asks for an answer lN YOUR OWN WORDS AS FAR AS
POSSIBLE and you select the appropriate material from the passages for your
answer, you must still use your own words to express it Little credit can be
given to answers which only copy words or phrases from the passages.

Questions from Passage A

From Paraq€ph I
1. What is the status of poetry and philosophy in the new economy? Use your own
urords as far as Possible-

(1 Mark)

From Paragraph 2

2. tn what way is knowledge related to the economy? Use your own words as far
as possible.

(3 Marks)

From Paragraph 3

3. Explain the metaphor used in lines 14 and 15.

(2 Marks)
l From Paragraph 4

4. How does the author's view of history compare wilh that of Hegel? Use your
own words as far as possible.

(3 Marks)

Queslions from passage B

From Paragraph I
5. What is the'bharge"that is brought against science? Use your own words as
far as possible.

(1 Mark)

From Paragraph 2

6. Why does the author mention Lao Tze and the pilgrim Fathers in lines 11,12?
Use your own words as far as possible.

(1 Mark)
4

From Paragraph 4

7. lnfer the types of differentiation that were overcome by the "prcfound shift of
values' (line 25) brought on by science. Use your own words as far as
possible-

(3 Marks)
5

B. Using information from Paragraph 5 of both passages, summarise the


relationship between philosophy and science, in no more than 140 words. Use
Your own words aS far as possible-

(9 Marks)
6

9. Explain the meaning ofthe following \ /ords as they are used in the passages'
You may write lhe answer in one word or a short phrase (5 Marks)

a) gesture (Passage A, line 2)

b) confounded (Passage A, line 24)

c) insight (Passage A, ljne 41)

d) criterion (Passage B, line 10)

e) scoundrel (Passage B, line 22)


10. 'The world is what we make of il."

P. V. Rao argues that literature, history and philosophy shape our understanding
ofthe world and its truths, while Jacob Bronowski argues that science does ihis
too.

Which writer's argument appeals to you more? Using your experience and
observation, iustify your choice.
\

(8 Marks)