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Method of Reasoning. The correct answer choice is (D)
After a few difficult questions, LSAC mercifully ends the section with a question of only moderate difficulty. While there is no conclusion indicator to help you identify the conclusion, there are two other clues provided in this one-sentence stimulus. First, the stimulus begins with a version of the common “some people say” rhetorical device, here in the form of “people may praise...” Next, the final clause of the stimulus begins with the premise indicator “for.” These stimulus features highlight the conclusion, which is sandwiched between them.
The author rejects the idea that an exact replica of the scene depicted is the only thing people appreciate in a painting. Despite the fact that people may praise the talent of a painter capable of realistically portraying a scene, or dismiss as artistically worthless the efforts of abstract expressionists, the author points out that if an exact replica of the scene depicted were the only thing people appreciate in a painting, then photography would have entirely displaced painting as an art form. The inference made by the author is that since photography has not entirely displaced painting as an art form, then an exact replica of the scene depicted is not the only thing people appreciate in a painting.
In this Method of Reasoning question, your prephrase is that the author supports the conclusion with just one piece of evidence, that photography has not entirely displaced painting as an art form. The correct answer choice will describe this use of historical information.
Answer choice (A): This answer choice is incorrect because the stimulus did not include a claim about what “most” people appreciate. The only explicit statement concerning what people appreciate comes in the conclusion, which is not used to support any other portion of the argument.
Answer choice (B): The conclusion did not defend people’s taste, but rather rejected the notion that the only thing people appreciate in a painting is an exact replica of the scene depicted.
Answer choice (C): This answer choice reverses the structure of the argument, in which the author used a historical fact to draw a conclusion about people’s artistic preferences.
Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice. As described above, the author referenced a historical fact, that photography did not entirely replace painting as an art form, in support of a claim about people’s artistic preferences, namely that an exact replica of the scene depicted is not the only thing people appreciate in a painting.
Answer choice (E): This answer choice is incorrect, because the conclusion does not defend the artistic preferences of people.