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#25 - Shanna: Owners of any work of art, simply by virtue of

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Complete Question Explanation

Point at Issue. The correct answer choice is (A)

Shanna argues that ownership of art conveys absolute power to the owner, and such power includes and allows for the destruction of artwork for any reason. Jorge asserts that ownership of artwork carries certain restrictions when the art is unique, has aesthetic value, or has historical value, regardless of the wishes of the owner. This is clearly an ethical disagreement in which the speakers disagree on what rights ownership conveys to the owner. The question stem asks you to select a statement about which the two speakers will disagree, which is not necessarily the same as identifying the point at issue.

Because the argument revolves around an ethical issue, wrong answers will often bring up factual issues. Answer choices (C) and (E) are two such answers. Answer choice (C) states that valuable paintings are seldom destroyed by their owners. Whether or not this occurs is a factual issue that can be determined by examining records, etc. Answer choice (E) discusses the legal permissibility of destroying a valuable mural. Whether or not it is legally permissible to destroy the mural is also a factual issue, not a moral issue.

Other wrong answer choices will supply statements that both speakers would agree with, or that both speakers would disagree with. Answer choice (D) is incorrect because both speakers would agree with the statement. Shanna would agree because her ownership beliefs allow for the destruction of any owned artwork. Jorge would agree because the sculpture in question is not unique, and thus does not meet the qualifications Jorge imposed in his argument. If both speakers have the same opinion about an answer choice, then that answer choice must be wrong in a Point at Issue question.

With the elimination of answer choices (C), (D), and (E), only answers (A) and (B) remain.

Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice because Shanna would agree with the statement and Jorge would disagree with the statement. The key to answer choice (A) is the phrase “for that reason alone.” According to Shanna, ownership of the portrait automatically allows the owner to destroy the artwork for any reason. Thus, disliking the portrait is sufficient justification for destruction. However, for Jorge the art would also have to be proven non-unique, non-aesthetically valuable, and non-historically valuable before he would justify its destruction. Thus, answer choice (A) passes the Agree/Disagree Test where one speaker says “I agree, the statement is correct” regarding the statement and the other speaker says, “I disagree, the statement is incorrect” regarding the answer choice.

Answer choice (B): This answer is incorrect because it discusses the obligation to make artworks available for public viewing, which is not mentioned in the stimulus.
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On my prep test there is a second question, #25, with this stimulus but I do not see an explanation for that question on this forum. Can someone lead me in the right direction? Thanks!
Stephanie Turaj
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Stephanie_G wrote:On my prep test there is a second question, #25, with this stimulus but I do not see an explanation for that question on this forum. Can someone lead me in the right direction? Thanks!

Hi Stephanie (great name by the way :-D )!

Thanks for the question! We had somehow missed posting an explanation for #25. That explanation has been posted, and I moved your comment to that thread, so you should be able to see the explanation directly above. Let us know if you have any other questions!