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#15 - Author's Purpose

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:39 am
by mN2mmvf

Can you explain why (E) is correct but not (B)? The quick outline of the passage I made was: theory of completeness of the law is introduced; second theory is introduced, tweaking the first but conceptually expanding it; and finally concluding that neither theory fully addresses the completeness problem.

I didn't think the author was primarily concerned with (E); the most seems to be much larger than simply saying Dworkin doesn't successfully attack Hart. Rather, the point is that even if you believe Dworkin, his solution isn't adequate either ("we should expect to find legal indeterminacies even if the law consists of principles in addition to rules"). That's why I chose (B).


Re: #15 - Author's Purpose

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:38 pm
by Claire Horan
Hi mN2mmvf,

A good way to approach this sort of question is considering whether each paragraph contributes to the purpose articulated in each answer choice. Because the bulk of the passage discusses the interaction of two different theories, the correct answer choice will likely mention these theories.

In addition, if possible, try to prephrase this type of question by locating a thesis statement in the passage. If I had to choose one sentence to represent the author's main purpose, it would be this line near the beginning of the passage: "H. L. A. Hart’s The Concept of Law is still the clearest and most persuasive statement of both the standard theory of hard cases and the standard theory of law on which it rests." This is a statement of the author's opinion, and each paragraph contributes to this overall conclusion.

So, the above reasons would lead to E as a strong contender, but you also want to know what makes B a loser (besides just that it isn't as good as E). Well, B says that hard cases will always exist in law, no matter the laws or the application. The passage doesn't discuss whether it could ever be possible to get rid of hard cases by passing different types of laws or by applying them differently. This answer is overly broad. The author spends so much time discussing two different theories that how could she or he possibly by mainly concerned with justifying whether this would ever be possible. The last reason to stay away from this choice is that you won't be able to find lines in the passage that, when considered together, encompass all of the ideas in this answer choice.