東大過去問 1995年 第5問(総合)

/ 3月 27, 2020/ 第5問(総合), 東大過去問, 過去問/ 0 comments



Equivocation means using words ambiguously. Often done with intent to deceive, it can even (1)deceive the person who is using the expression. Equivocation occurs when words are used with more than one meaning, even though the soundness of the reasoning requires that the same use be kept throughout.


‘Happiness is the (2a)end of life.
The (2b)end of life is death;
So happiness is death.’

‘Half a loaf is better than nothing.
( 3 ) is the better than good health;
So half a loaf is better than good health.’

Equivocal use of words is misleading because it invites us to transfer what is true of one concept onto another concept which happens to have the same name. Logic, which deals with the relationship between concepts, is useless if the concepts themselves change.


‘Elephants are not found in Britain, so if you have one, don’t lose it or you will never find it again.’ (The word ‘found’ represents two different concepts here.)

Many of the equivocal uses are easy to spot. Many more of them are not. Fortunetellers specialize in equivocal expressions to protect themselves in case things turn out otherwise than they expect. Politics would be a totally different art if it had to avoid equivocation. So would business correspondence.


‘You can rest assured that (4)your letter will receive the attention it fully deserves.‘ (As it makes a gentle curve in the air towards the waste paper basket.)

‘Anyone who gets Mr Smith to work for him will indeed be fortunate.’

Puns and music hall jokes often depend on equivocation.


‘My dog’s got no nose.’
(5)How does he smell?

The advice given to a political candidate facing a selection committee is ‘When (6)in doubt, equivocate.’ The simple fact is that you cannot please all of the people all of the time, but you can have a fairly good chance of fooling most of them for much of it. The candidate assures those in favor of the death penalty that he wants ‘realistic’ penalties for murder. (7)To those against, he wants ‘humane consideration.’ But he could be in favor of realistic light sentences or humane killing.
Equivocation is a particularly powerful paste for pouring into the cracks of international discord. It joins irreconcilable differences with a smooth and undetectable finish. Many ‘full and frank’ discussions are terminated happily by the appearance of a joint treaty, whose wording is carefully chosen to mean ( 8 ) things to each of the countries that have signed it.
The vocabulary of equivocation may be learned from the visitors’ gallery in the Houses of Parliament. (9)If you have a seat in Parliament, there is nothing you have to learn about it.



(1) 下線部(1)の解釈としてもっともふさわしいものは次のどれか。その記号を記せ。

(ア) だました人にだまされる
(イ) 自分が論理のわなにはまる
(ウ) 嘘をついたために損をする
(エ) 言葉のトリックを見破られる

(2) 下線部( 2a )、( 2b )はそれぞれどのような意味か。その記号を記せ。

(ア) aim
(イ) means
(ウ) last day
(エ) termination

(3) 空所( 3 )を埋めるのに適当な1語を記せ。

(4) 下線部(4)は2通りの意味に解することができる。それらにもっとも近いものを次の中から2つ選び、その記号を記せ。

(ア) we will be honest in replying to your letter
(イ) we will offer you good advice in response to your letter
(ウ) your letter will be considered carefully because it is important
(エ) your letter will be dealt with carefully because it may cause some trouble
(オ) your letter will not be taken seriously because it is not worth bothering about

(5) 下線部(5)では、話し手と聞き手の間にsmellという語についての誤解がある。それぞれの解釈にしたがって、下線部を2通りに訳し分けよ。

(6) 下線部(6)の言い換えとして、もっとも適当なものを以下から選び、その記号を記せ。

(ア) if you are not sure what to say
(イ) if you are suspected of dishonesty
(ウ) if you are afraid of being deceived
(エ) if you don’t think you will be selected

(7) 下線部(7)を和訳せよ。

(8) 空所(8)を埋めるのにもっとも適当な語句を以下から選び、その記号を記せ。

(ア) fairly indefinite
(イ) entirely different
(ウ) exactly the same
(エ) utterly unreasonable

(9) 下線部(9)の説明としてもっともふさわしいものを1つ選び、その記号を記せ。

(ア) If you are a politician, you must already be good at equivocation.
(イ) You don’t have to know the art of equivocation in the world of politics.
(ウ) You should have studied the art of equivocation before entering Parliament.
(エ) If you are clever enough to be a politician, there is no need to resort to equivocation.







「たとえパン半分でもnothing(何もない)よりは良い。【half a loaf>nothing】
健康より良いものはnothing(何もない)。【nothing>good health】
従ってパン半分は健康より良い【half a loaf>good health】」


「象はイギリスには生息していない(not found)。だからもし持っているのなら、失くしてはいけない。失くしたら二度と見つからない(never found)だろうから」(ここでは『found』という言葉が2つの異なる概念を表している)









(1)  イ
(2)  (a) ア
 (b) エ
(3)  Nothing
(4)  ウ、オ
(5)  話し手:その鼻のない犬はどうやってにおいを嗅ぐんだい?
(6)  ア
(7)  死刑反対派に対しては
(8)  イ
(9)  ア
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