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#10 - To be great, an artwork must express a deep emotion

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Can we expand on this a bit more? I am still having trouble in understanding how 'an artwork cannot express an emotion' is the necessary here, and 'incapable of experiencing' is the sufficient... Thanks!
Steve Stein
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Hi Philosophriend,

That's a good question. The sentence that we are diagramming provides that an artwork can't express any emotion that its creator is incapable of experiencing. This could also be phrased as follows:

    If a creator cannot experience an emotion, then his or her artwork cannot express that emotion.

"If" introduces the sufficient condition, while "then" introduces the necessary, so this statement is properly diagrammed as follows:

Creator experience emotion :arrow: artwork express that emotion

Here's a similar example: Let's say that a ten-year-old child cannot go to see any R-rated movies. In other words, if a movie is R-rated, then then that child cannot go to see it:

    Movie is R-rated :arrow: Child attend

I hope that's helpful! Please let me know whether this is clear—thanks!

Steve Stein
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To be great, an artwork must express a deep emotion, such as sorrow or love. but an artwork cannot express an emotion that the artwork's creator is incapable of experiencing.

I have one a question with respect to number 16.
I understand the first stimulus's conditional : great --> express deep

However for the second one, how is it that we can/allowed write it like this (by what rule/technique:

"express an emotion --> creator capable of experiencing"

Since, shouldn't we HAVE to write it like this as it is stated out in the stimulus:

"cannot express an emotion --> creator incapable of expriencing"

Also, the answer to this question has the word 'computer' in it, and that is in fact the answer since it HAS to be true - with the exepction that it has the word 'computer' in it, in some ways this violates the fact test correct, but is it ok nonetheless because the question is more about conditions than who the artwork creator is?
Laura Carrier
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Hi psik,

I agree with you that the second sentence is a little tricky. You are right to suggest that a literal reading would yield a conditional statement with the conditions “cannot express an emotion” and “creator incapable of experiencing.” But the relationship between these two conditions is actually the reverse of what you have diagrammed, since the second sentence is essentially telling us that “an artwork cannot express an emotion unless the artwork’s creator is capable of experiencing it” (or “without the artwork’s creator being capable of experiencing it”).

Since the second part of the sentence is about the absence of the second condition (the creator’s capacity to experience), and the first part of the sentence tells us that the first condition (an artwork’s expression of emotion) cannot happen without the second, we know both (1) that the necessary condition is the creator’s capacity to experience, and (2) that to produce a conditional diagram, we will need to apply the Unless Equation, by making the second condition the necessary condition and negating the first condition and making it our sufficient condition. That gives us this:

able to express an emotion :arrow: creator capable of experiencing that emotion

The diagram you proposed above would actually be a mistaken negation of this statement.

Good question about why the fact test isn’t violated by the mention of computers in the answer choice despite the fact that they never appear in the stimulus! Even though computers seem to appear out of nowhere and thus to introduce new information, they actually fall within a group that we know something about from reading the stimulus.

The contrapositive of the conditional chain in the stimulus tells us that any creator incapable of experiencing a deep emotion will be incapable of expressing that deep emotion and thus cannot create a great work of art. The computers described in answer choice (D) are incapable of experiencing any emotions, and thus must be part of the group of creators that cannot experience deep emotions; therefore, even though computers are not explicitly mentioned in the stimulus, we do know that a computer incapable of experiencing emotions cannot create a great work of art, and there is no violation of the fact test here.

I hope this clarifies things!
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Very very clear, thank you!
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I think that the explanation of why answer A is wrong is incorrect. It is true that the first part of the logic chain concerns itself with "great" artwork, but the second part says clearly that an artwork (meaning any artwork, great or poor) cannot express an emotion that the creator is incapable of experiencing. What's wrong with A is that it speaks about whether the computer has actually experienced that particular emotion, not whether it is incapable of experiencing that emotion. It is after all possible for an entity to be capable of experiencing a particular emotion, but to have never actually experienced that emotion. Such an entity is not included in the stimulus, and that is why answer A is wrong.
Jonathan Evans
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Your analysis is sound, but actually our answer explanation is too! This answer choice could be true or could be false because there is insufficient support to know whether it is a valid inference. The fact that this answer choice fails to address the concept of "Great Artwork" is a powerful and useful process of elimination tool.

However, you are absolutely correct that the key error in reasoning in Answer Choice (A) involves the distinction between actually versus only potentially "experiencing" emotion.

Your insight has definitely added to this conversation. Thank you!
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What are the indicators for the sufficient and necessary conditions in the second statement? How can we determine that the ability to express deep emotion is the necessary condition and that the capability of experiencing that emotion is the sufficient?

Francis O'Rourke
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Hi Maria,

There aren't any typical indicators here, but the word "cannot" expresses certainty, which we can use to identify the conditionality present in the sentence. I think that Lucas explained this part of the stimulus on the first page of the discussion so I'll just quote it here:
The phrase "an artwork cannot express" is where the conditional language comes from. To say that someone who is A cannot express B means that "if someone is A, that person cannot express B".

You could also rephrase the sentence into "An artwork cannot express an emotion if the author's creator is incapable of experiencing that emotion". Does that make more sense? :)

Let us know if you still have questions about the language being used here!
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For answer choice E, if the word “great artists” was replaced by “great artwork,” would this be a possible correct answer? (since it is the rephrasing of the first sentence in the stimulus).