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#19 - Some works of art that today are recognized

LSAT Master
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Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:11 am
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For the correct answer 'Not all currently recognized masterpieces that were once considered obscene are still considered obscene' does this mean that some currently recognized masterpieces are obscene? Or does it mean that all currently recognized masterpieces are not obscene?

But how does this relate to changing over time, and thus become a necessary assumption of the argument?
Dave Killoran
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Good question! The assumption here traces back to the clever language used in the stimulus. the first sentence opens, "Some works of art that today are recognized masterpieces were considered obscene when first created,..." and on first read, most everyone assumes that these works of art started out as obscene, but then as they came to be considered masterpieces they were not regarded as obscene. But, where does it say that? It doesn't! But that's what the author is assuming here, is that those art works originally thought of as obscene are now masterpieces that are not obscene (which makes the claim that the definition of obscenity has changed sounds very reasonable indeed).

If you negated (D), it shows that those masterpieces are still considered obscene, which would then undermine the claim that the definition changed.

It's a really tricky stimulus here!
Dave Killoran
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