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Complete Question Explanation

Flaw in the Reasoning. The correct answer choice is (D)

Here the author comes to the conclusion that contemporary artists are incorrect when they believe
that their works let many people feel more aesthetically fulfilled than they otherwise could. The
author thinks this because there already exist in the world more great works of art than any person
could appreciate in a lifetime.

The author’s conclusion is based on the assumption that people have access to existing art. What
matters to the author’s argument is not so much the number of works of art, but rather people’s
access to the artwork.

This is a Flaw question. We can prephrase that the correct answer choice will discuss the author’s
assumption that people have access to the existing works of art.

Answer choice (A): This answer choice is incorrect because it contradicts the stimulus, in which the
author told us that all of the artists believe this.

Answer choice (B): While the author did reference many people, the stimulus said nothing about
most people.

Answer choice (C): This answer choice is incorrect because the argument says nothing about the
value of artwork.

Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice, because it describes the author’s assumption
that people actually have access to art work other than that of contemporary artists. While it does
not say this expressly, the answer choice approaches the same idea from the reverse perspective, that
at least one contemporary artist’s work may be appreciated by people with very severely restricted
access to other works of art.

Answer choice (E): The argument did not address the effect of artwork as a whole on the
appreciation of any individual work of art.
 Basia W
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Is answer choice D correct because it addresses the "many people" expression used in the conclusion? Although I had D as a contender I chose E thinning that aesthetic fulfilment would play a greater role considering it isn't a limited resource.

Thank you!

 Robert Carroll
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The flaw in the stimulus was thinking that no more works of art need to be produced because enough are around already. Think of any other argument of this type - there's plenty of money in the world already, so no more needs to be made. The mere presence of this amount doesn't mean it's accessible to everyone.

Answer choice (E) was not a flaw the author used. The author did not presume that the number of existing works would affect the fulfillment of a new work - there might be plenty of fulfillment possible from the new work, but the existing works would already provide all that, so the new work didn't enable people to feel MORE fulfillment.

Robert Carroll
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I think I understand the above discussion but am not sure. Is E incorrect because the stimulus does not discuss the AMOUNT of aesthetic fulfillment? I thought that aesthetic fulfillment was addressed by saying "...capable of satisfying virtually any taste imaginable". I narrowed this answer down to D and E and eventually chose E but I'm not totally sure why I understand D is correct and E is not.

Any additional thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Thank you!

 Shannon Parker
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In "flaw in the stimulus" questions, we are asked to find the logical flaw. The author starts from a set of premises, these can be anything that the author wants, which we take as true. Here the premises are A) "there are already more great artworks in the world than any human being could appreciate in a lifetime." B) that these works are "capable of satisfying virtually any taste imaginable," C) that all contemporary artists "believe that their works enable many people to feel more aesthetically fulfilled than they otherwise would."

The author then draws the conclusion that these artists are wrong. The key is to not challenge the truthfulness of the premises, but the logic used to draw the conclusion from them. In the real world we could challenge the accuracy of (E), just as we could challenge the accuracy of (A), by arguing that the author has used a faulty (or incorrect) premise, but here we are only concerned with the reasoning involved.

Look at the answer choices and think to yourself, if all of the premises are true, which one of the answer choices makes the conclusion false. (E) makes one of the premises false and cannot be the answer. (D) on the other hand allows that there could be more greats works than any one person can appreciate, that they satisfy any taste, and that contemporary authors believe that their works enable people to feel more aesthetically fulfilled than they otherwise would, but it makes the author's conclusion (that those artists are wrong) false, because if there is at least one contemporary author providing access to art to people that would otherwise not be able to access art, then he or she has made those people more aesthetically fulfilled than they would have been otherwise.

I hope this helps clear it up a bit.

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Hi -

I've read the above, and it's clear why (D) is correct. I still struggle to understand exactly why (E) is incorrect. In my mind, the unjustified assumption in (E) somewhat provides the jump the stimulus makes from the large body of great artwork to the fulfillment derivable from contemporary artwork. Thank you!
 Adam Tyson
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Imagine a giant buffet of magnificent food spread before you, sgd2114. There's hundreds of pounds of all your favorites, and dishes that you've never heard of but would nonetheless enjoy were you to sample them. There's only so much room in your stomach, so there is only so much of this buffet that you will be able to enjoy before you are full to bursting and need to be carried to your bed to enter into a food coma for a while. The total amount of food far exceeds the total amount that you could enjoy.

Now imagine that as you are standing there trying to decide which foods you will eat, the chef comes out with something new that wasn't already on the buffet. Maybe a nice smoked salmon platter, or some bacon-infused mac and cheese, or a garlic-and-herb risotto - something amazing that makes you glad you hadn't already eaten your fill yet.

You could certainly enjoy that new dish as part of your meal. In fact, you could forego everything else on the buffet and enjoy that new dish more than anything else you would have eaten. But the total amount of food you can eat doesn't change - you are still going to get full based on the same amount of total consumption. The new dish didn't add anything to how much you could eat, but just provided a different choice as to what the meal would contain.

That buffet is all the great artwork in the world. The new dish is contemporary art. You cannot add to your total possible enjoyment of all the world's art if the amount available is already more than you will ever be able to enjoy, but you still could get some of that enjoyment from the contemporary art. Answer choice E is saying that the flaw in the argument is that it presumes that you cannot enjoy any one piece of contemporary art, or any art for that matter, as much as you could if there were fewer to choose from. That didn't happen in the stimulus, because the author isn't saying that you enjoy each piece of art less than you otherwise would. Rather, it's saying there is some maximum amount of enjoyment that is possible, so adding new art cannot add to the total that you could possibly enjoy. Maybe you get ALL your enjoyment from contemporary art, but you still didn't get more enjoyment than was previously possible.

Bon appetit!
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Hi Powerscore,

I would love if someone could verify/critique my explanation for this very tough question. Thank you!

Conclusion: “Thus, contemporary artists, all of whom believe that their works enable many people to feel more aesthetically fulfilled than they otherwise could, are mistaken”

At first, I overlooked the “otherwise could” part under timed pressure, but understanding that phrase is absolutely crucial. To put it simply, the conclusion states it is wrong of contemporary artists to believe the following: “People would feel more fulfilled with my Artwork than without my artwork.”

The reason why the argument says this belief is wrong is b/c even without these contemporary artists' artwork, people would STILL feel fulfilled due to the millions great works already existing. The great artworks already existing would fulfill any aesthetic gap left by the Contemporary Artists’ lack of painting.

The assumption here is thinking that everyone has access to the great artworks (D). This is similar to PT 71 question about the drought/water.

E is tricky. E is stating there’s a correlation between the number of great artworks available and the level of enjoyment of the contemporary artists’ work. I initially chose E because I misinterpreted it to saying “the existence of the plethora of great artworks available is the REASON why the author is saying the contemporary artists are mistaken.” In other words, the existence of the plethora of great artworks is the REASON why even w/o contemporary artists’ artwork, people would still be aesthetically fulfilled.” This isn’t even the flaw though, it’s just restating the argument.

And this is not what E is saying! This is why it took me so long to understand this question. E is stating instead that the existence of the plethora of great artworks available directly affects the level of aesthetic fulfillment derivable from the contemporary artists’ work. But nowhere does the argument state this. The argument as presented allows us to infer that aesthetic fulfillment is possible from the contemporary artists… but the ABSENCE of contemporary artists’ work DOES NOT MEAN people won’t be aesthetically fulfilled.

Thoughts Powerscore Team?
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I have read this whole thread and I understand why D is right. The argument talks about a whole (all art) and a part of the whole (contemporary art) and D shows how a part of the whole can weaken the conclusion. In this thread, lsatnoobie mentioned that there is a similar question in PT 71, but unfortunately, I was unable to find it. Are there any similar questions in PT 71 or any other preptest for that matter? If so, then can you please give me the PT and question numbers? Furthermore, for Flaw in the Reasoning questions which involve a whole, is it common for the correct answer to be one which shows how the part can weaken the conclusion?

If someone can provide further clarity on why E is wrong, I'd appreciate it. When I was doing this question, I was paying attention to any jumps/gaps in the argument, just like I would with any other Logical Reasoning question. I noticed that the argument made a jump from "more great artworks" and "satisfying virtually any taste" to "feel more aesthetically fulfilled." I thought that E linked those elements together. I thought to myself, "Just because there are more great artworks and satisfaction of virtually any taste, doesn't mean that aesthetic fulfillment has reached its maximum level. Maybe contemporary art can provide a higher level of aesthetic fulfillment than we already have." I thought that E described this. If E had said, "presumes that the number and variety of great artworks already in the world affects the MAXIMUM amount...", then would it have been the correct answer?

Thank you in advance.
 James Finch
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Hi LSAT Fighter,

The major issue with (E) is that it doesn't address the argument being made by the stimulus, which is that all possible tastes are already able to be fulfilled by existing artwork, so new art cannot actually offer anything new or satisfy anybody that the existing art cannot. The major issue/assumption with this stimulus is access; we have to take the premises given as true, so the only real flaw is assuming that everyone has access to the existing artwork that would satisfy their tastes. If that isn't true, then contemporary artists could potentially offer something new and satisfying that someone hadn't seen before. This is what (D) is saying.

(E) isn't a flaw in our stimulus, because the stimulus isn't saying that people can't derive pleasure from contemporary art; it's saying that people can't derive pleasure from contemporary art that they can't find elsewhere in the vast amount of already existing art, or to paraphrase, contemporary art offers nothing new and artists that believe otherwise are wrong. The stimulus allows that people might enjoy contemporary art, but it is arguing that there is some other already existing art that could provide that same joy as the contemporary art, because everything has already been done.

Hope this clears things up!

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