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#20 - Art historian: Robbins cannot pass judgment on

GLMDYP
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Hi Powerscore!
For this question, I chose (E). But you see, the last sentence in the stimulus is "While Robbins understands the art of Stuart too well to dismiss it, she does not understand it well enough to praise it. " It means that she needs the ability to both dismiss and praise, right?
I don't understand why (A) is correct, please explain.
Thanks!
David Boyle
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GLMDYP wrote:Hi Powerscore!
For this question, I chose (E). But you see, the last sentence in the stimulus is "While Robbins understands the art of Stuart too well to dismiss it, she does not understand it well enough to praise it. " It means that she needs the ability to both dismiss and praise, right?
I don't understand why (A) is correct, please explain.
Thanks!


Hello,

The problem in the stimulus is sort of a "false dilemma" problem. Why does one need to dismiss or praise something, to understand it? There are other reactions, say, a neutral reaction, that can let you understand something.
And A basically describes that false dilemma. There is no proof for E.
You say, "It means that she needs the ability to both dismiss and praise, right?" If you rephrase that a little to say "It means that she needs the ability to EITHER dismiss OR praise, right?" (which is maybe what you were trying to say?), then that shows why A is correct.

David
srcline@noctrl.edu
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Hello David,

Okay so I understand why E is not correct, but I am having a hard time understanding why C is not the correct answer.

The conclusion is that :Robbins cant pass judgments on stuarts art.

I thought C connected the idea that robbins cant pass judgments on stuarts art because she does not understand it well enough to praise it.

Thankyou
Sarah
Nikki Siclunov
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Sarah,

(C) is a Mistaken Reversal of what you're looking for.

Here's the argument in a nutshell:

Premise: Robbins cannot dismiss Stuart's art (she understands it too well to do that)
Premise: Robbins cannot praise Stuart's art (she doesn't understand it well enough)
Conclusion: Robbins cannot pass judgment on Stuart's art.

To bridge the premises to the conclusion, we are looking for the following conditional statement:

    Dismiss AND Praise :arrow: Pass Judgment

Contrapositive:

    Pass Judgment :arrow: Dismiss OR Praise

This prephrase immediately proves (A) to be correct.

By contrast, (C) states:

    Understand art :arrow: Pass Judgment

This goes nowhere. Our job is prove why someone cannot pass judgment, not why someone can. In fact, considering the author's concession that Robbins understands the art of Stuart (somewhat), answer choice (C) leads to the logical conclusion that Robbins should be allowed to pass judgment on Stuart's art - contrary to what the author argues.

Hope this clears things up!
Nikki Siclunov
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srcline@noctrl.edu
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Hello Nikki

Thankyou this clears it up.Also when would I have to take the contra (+) in an assumption question like this? So far, Ive mainly been negating these types of questions. Maybe I'm missing the conditional language , b/c when I initially read this problem i thought of "if not this, then that"

Thankyou
Sarah
Nikki Siclunov
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Sarah,

The contrapositive of a conditional statement is logically equivalent to it. You're not necessarily "using" the contrapositive as much as "translating" the answer into a statement that is easier to understand, given the context of the argument.

The Assumption Negation Technique, by contrast, is a method of validating an assumption. It has absolutely nothing to do with what I just did in explaining this question to you. As a matter of fact, I didn't (need to) use the ANT, because the correct answer choice provided such a clear "link" between the premises and the conclusion. I could have validated that answer choice by negating it and examining the implications of that logical negation on the argument, but that would have been unnecessary.

Here's the logical opposite of answer choice (A):

Robbins need not dismiss or criticize Stuart's art in order to pass judgment on it.


If passing judgment is not in any way related to dismissing or criticizing Stuart's art, the conclusion would be logically invalid. Since the logical opposite of answer choice (A) directly attacks the conclusion of the argument, it is an assumption upon which that conclusion depends.

Again, the fact that I used the contrapositive of that answer in determining its validity has absolutely nothing to do with the application of the Assumption Negation Technique. These are two entirely different things, conceptually speaking.

Hope this helps! :)
Nikki Siclunov
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mo_wan
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Hi

I understood why A is correct but I am having some trouble with the "either or"

So how I understood it, was that she to be able to pass judgement she needs to do BOTH praise and dismiss.

But A is saying she needs to do either or; which means one or the other not necessarily both

Either/OR only means both when it says than either or, Im I correct?

Cheers
Adam Tyson
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The problem that our author has with Robbins is that she is currently unable to dismiss OR to praise. She can't do either one! That's his evidence for the claim that she cannot pass judgment.

His assumption, then, is that in order to pass judgment she must be able to do AT LEAST one of those two things - either dismiss it or else praise it. It would be great if she could do both, but our author need not assume that doing both is a requirement. He only needs to assume that at least one is required.

Conditionally, the argument is "if she can't dismiss and also can't praise, she cannot pass judgment". The contrapositive, then, which requires that we reverse the order, negate the terms, and convert that "and" to an "or", would be "If she can pass judgment, then she must be able to dismiss OR she must be able to praise." That's answer A!
Adam M. Tyson
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