The Importance of Independent Thinking
No one can be a great thinker who does not realize that asa thinker it is her first duty to follow her intellect to whateverconclusions it may lead. Truth gains more even by the errors ofone who with due study and preparation, thinks for himself,than by the true opinions of those who only hold them becausethey do not suffer themselves to think. No that it is solely, ofchiefly, to form great thinkers that freedom of thinking isrequired. One the contrary, it is as much or even moreindispensable to enable average human beings to attain the mental stature which they are capableof. There have been and many again be great individual thinkers in a general atmosphere of mentalslavery. But there never has been, nor ever will be, in that atmosphere an intellectually activepeople. Where any of heterodox speculation was for a time suspended, where there is a tacitconvention that principles are not to be disputed: where the discussion of the greatest questionswhich can occupy humanity is considered to be closed, we cannot hope to find that generally highscale of mental activity which has made some periods of history so remarkable. Never whencontroversy avoided the subjects which are large and important enough to kindle enthusiasm wasthe mind of a people stirred up fro9m its foundation and the impulse given which raised evenpersons of the most ordinary intellect to something of the dignity of thinking beings.
She who knows only her own side of the case knows little of that. Her reasons may be food, andno one may have been able to refute them. But if she s equally unable to refute the reasons of theopposite side; if she does not so much as know what they are, she has no ground for preferringeither opinion. The rational position for her would be suspension of judgment, and unless shecontents herself with that, she is either led by authority, or adopts, like the generality of the worldthe side to which she feels the most inclination. Nor is it enough that she should heat thearguments of adversaries from her own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompaniedby what they offer as refutations, That is not the way to do justice to the arguments, or bringthem into real contact with her own mind. She must be able to hear them form persons whoactually believe them; who defend them in earnest, and do their very utmost for them. She mustknow them in their most plausible and persuasive form; she must feel the whole force of thedifficulty which the true view of the subject has to encounter and dispose of; else she will neverreally possess herself of the portion of truth which meets and removes that difficulty. Ninety-nine ina hundred of what are called educated persons are in this condition; even of those who can arguefluently for their opinions. Their conclusion may be true, but it might be false for anything theyknow; they have never thrown themselves into the mental position of those who think differentlyform them and considered what such persons may have to say; and consequently they do not, inany proper sense of the word, know the doctrines which they themselves profess.
1. The best title for this passage is
[A] The Age of Reason [B] The need for Independent Thinking
[C] The Value of Reason [D] Stirring People’s Minds
2. According to the author, it is always advisable to
[A] have opinions which cannot be refuted.
[B] adopt the point of view to which one feels the most inclination.
[C] be acquainted with the arguments favoring the point of view with which one disagrees,
[D] suspend heterodox speculation in favor of doctrinaire approaches.
3. According to the author, in a great period such as the Renaissance we may expect to find
[A] acceptance of truth [B] controversy over principles
[C] inordinate enthusiasm [D] a dread of heterodox speculation
4. According to the author, the person who holds orthodox beliefs without examination may bedescribed in all of the following ways EXCEPT as
[A] enslaved by tradition [B] less than fully rational
[C] determinded on controversy [D] having a closed mind
5. It can be inferred from the passage that the author would be most likely to agree with which ofthe following statements
[A] A truly great thinker makes no mistakes.
[B] Periods of intellectual achievement are periods of unorthodox reflection,
[C] The refutation of accepted ideas can best be provided by one’s own teachers.
[D] excessive controversy prevents clear thinking
1. B 独立思考的必要性。见难句译注1。这里说明进行独立思考的人即使犯错误，真理也能从中获得东西，而那些懒于思考人，即使持有正确的观点，真理也难以获得东西。第一段还点明思想禁锢时期，即不能进行独立思考时期，难以讨论重大议题，产生不了活跃的人民，绝不会出现像辉煌的文艺复兴那种时期(见第二题注)。第二段也是围绕独立思考而写，只是从具体点着眼：人只知自己，不知对方无法获得真理，只有独立思考两方，才能不为权威所左右，不会跟着自己感觉走，最终知道自己的真正主张。
A. 理性时代。 C. 驳斥的价值。 D. 激发人民的思想。
2. C 熟悉有利于自己不同意/反对观点的论点。这是作者在第二段讲述的重要论点。他认为一个人只知自己一方，推理极好，无人能反驳，却不知对方的推理，也不能够予以反驳的话，他就无权选择两方的任一论点，其理智位置是停止判断。否则她就会(像世界上芸芸众生那样)不是为权威所“引导”，就是跟着感觉(的倾向)走。其二，作者提出：光听自己的老师讲述对立面的论点，以及他们所提出的反驳论点。只是不够的，必须倾听那些人(他们真正相信对立的观点)的论点，并为此积极热情，竭尽全力辩护，才能使自己的思想和独立论点接触，公正的作出公正的判断。
A. 具有不能驳斥的观点。 B. 采取个人感觉最倾向的观点。 D. 停止有利于教条主义研究的异端思考。
3. B 辩论原则问题。答案在第一段：在思想禁锢的气氛中，过去，现在可能会产生个别的思想家，但绝不会有思想活跃的人民，在那里有一种心照不宣的惯律：原则决不能讨论——认为占据人类心灵的最重大问题的讨论应封闭，我们不能期望看到一般高级的思想活动。这种思想活动曾使历史上某些时期光辉灿烂。而文艺复兴就是思想活动的顶峰时期，必然会讨论原则问题，所以选B 。
A. 接受真理，周经过讨论才能接受真理。 C. 过度的热情。 D. 害怕异端思考。
4. C. 在辩论上，坚定不移。这是一道推断题，一般讲：持有未经检验的正统信仰的人不会独立思考，更不会怀疑他所信仰的东西。
A. 为传统所奴役。 B. 不怎么理智。 D. 头脑闭塞。这种人必然受传统思想控制，不理智更不愿接受外界新鲜事物。
5. B. 在思想方面取得成就的时期就是进行非正统反思的时期。见3题注释。
A. 一个真正的思想家不犯错误。 C. 一个人的老师最能提供所接受思想观点的反驳。 D. 过度的辩论会制止清晰的思考。
1. stature 高度，境界，状况
2. heterodox 不合乎公认的标准的，异端的，异教的
3. tacit 心照不宣
4. refute 反驳
5. adversary 对立面，对手，敌人
6. plausible 善于花言巧语的/辞令的，似乎有理的/有可能的
7. doctrine 教义，学说
8. profess 表示，明言，承认，自称，信奉
1. True gains more even by the errors of one who with due study and preparation, thinks forhimself, then by the true opinions of those who only hold them because they do not sufferthemselves to think.
2. mental slavery 思想禁锢，精神受奴役状态
3. Never when controversy avoided the subjects which are large and important enough to kindle enthusiasm was the mind of a people stirred up from its foundation and the impulse givenwhich raised even persons of the most ordinary intellect to something of the dignity of thinkingbeings.
[结构简析] 这是一句以Never否定词开头的倒装句，正常的句序应把never放在句中，形成：themind of people was never stirred up from its foundations
4. The rational position for her would be suspension of judgement, and unless she contents herselfwith that, she is either led by authority, or adopts, like the generality of the world, the side to whichshe feels the most inclination.
5. That is not the way to do justice to the arguments, or bring them into teal contact with her ownmind.
[结构简析] do justice to 公平对待，适当处理。 Bring……into contact with 使和……接触/联系。
6. She must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form; she must feel the whole forceof the difficulty which the true view of the subject has to encounter and dispose of; else she willnever really possess herself of the portion of truth which meets and removes that difficulty.
[结构简析] most plausible and persuasive form 很善于辞令和有说服力形式。 possess oneselfof 获得，据有，把……占为己有。 them=arguments。 else 否则的话。
7. Their conclusion may be true, but it might be false for anything they know; they have neverthrown themselves into the mental position of those who think differently form them andconsidered what such persons may have to say; and consequently they do not, in any propersense of the word, know the doctrines which they themselves profess.
[结构简析] throw oneself into…position 设身处地，使自己处于……位置/地点。