- Wed Aug 04, 2021 5:45 pm
I noticed that you didn't mention the correct answer choice in your question, and instead specifically about differentiating two wrong answer choices. Typically we see questions related to the correct answer choice and how it may be differentiated from other contenders. I would definitely go back and make sure you on board with the correct being E, as Ortiz here, certainly raises about alternative explanations for the finding of the study mentioned by Merton. For me, considering this question, I found E to stick out above the answer choices; however, let's consider B and D:
B mentions the effects of air pollution, and so this answer choice is dead before delivery, because Ortiz doesn't comment on air pollution, either directly or indirectly. In other words, if you were to turn this question into a point at issue question, Ortiz's opinion on air pollution is unknown; he doesn't address it in his response to Merton. Therefore, any answer choice that delves into air pollution without more, would be incorrect here.
D mentions that Ortiz provides a counterexample to Merton's general conclusion. Now this is tricky because, I think both parts of this answer choice are inapplicable to this particular stimulus. The term "general conclusion" will typically apply to those situations in which a general principle or law is being realized. In other words, you're unlikely to see "general conclusion" applied to a conclusion relating a specific cause to a specific effect, as one seeks to do in interpreting the results of a study. So, when I see general conclusion, I immediately eliminate it. However, Ortiz really doesn't provide a specific counterexample either. He simply opens the door to other possibilities, and therefore, it would not be accurate to label his retort as "raising a (specific) counterexample."
Now, in terms of differentiating the two answers, even though, to reiterate, they are both incorrect here, I would say that answer B would apply to situations in which an evaluation of the thing whose effects are being raise is occurring, so that we might imagine a general debate on the merits of air pollution, or whether certain actions should be taken to directly impact air pollution, something where the thing being raise, once again, has effects that are not being directly implicated in the argument at hand, and that there is some reason to believe they should be.
D, meanwhile, could definitely occur in a similar context, the general conclusion is "air pollution is bad," and the counterexample is, well, it makes the sky in San Francisco look cool! However, I think that the point of differentiation would be whether the person making the counterpoint is using one specific counterexample, or whether the person is merely trying to open the door for other effects of said thing to be considered, in which case B would be the better answer.
Let me know if you have further questions on this.