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I was struggling to understand this stimulus, but i got it down to Answers C and D. I ended up choosing D becuase i assumed, based on the first sentence that not all works of art represent something, then there may be art that doesn't have aesthetically relevant properties.

If they didn't then those properties may be detectable and we could use those to qualify things as art
 Francis O'Rourke
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Answer choice (D) is true in so far as the speaker did not exclude the possibility that some works of art have extraneous properties, but this is not a flaw.

The speaker's conclusion was that there is no clear criteria for determining whether an object qualifies as art. The speaker concludes this after arguing against the idea that representation is a clear qualifier for "art."

The speaker is offering some evidence against the idea that there is a clear qualifier, but of course he is forgetting about all the other possible qualifiers: maybe having a color or a shape qualifies something as "art." Perhaps using some materials qualifies a piece as "art." In other words, the author fails to consider other candidates. This is the error in use of evidence that answer choice (C) picks out.

Answer choice (D) is irrelevant. Although it deals only with ideas presented in the stimulus, it does not do so in any meaningful way since it does not address the point that the speaker's point. Who cares if some art has a property that is not aesthetic? We only care about the properties that are aesthetic, since the question is whether we can identify some aesthetic quality that could be made into a test to determine if something is art or not.
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Hi Francis,

Thank you very much for the explanation. Likewise, I picked (D) instead of (C) initially. From my understanding, "representation" is under the umbrella term of "aesthetically relevant property" (dependent upon context). But when the stimulus talks about "context-dependent properties", is it equivalent to "representation" or "aesthetically relevant property". To me it seems like there are no criteria for all aesthetically relevant property (including representation and others), and therefore, (D) seems better than (C).

I'd like to know your understanding. Thanks a lot.
 Jennifer Janowsky
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You are correct in your reasoning that representation is considered an aesthetically relevant property. However I believe the term "context dependent properties" applies only to representation, not to all aesthetically relevant properties in general. Representation is an aesthetically relevant property that requires context, but not all necessarily do.

Therefore, there can still be aesthetically relevant properties that don't rely on context. These properties could still allow for different criteria other than context to determine whether something is art, making (C) a better answer.

Let me know if that answers your question!
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Thanks a lot Jennifer! I was able to get it right this time. (D) does seem a bit irrelevant to the stimulus.
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This argument is very convoluted and abstract and I was really lost at what the previous posts discussed. I'm wondering if any expert can explain sentence by sentence. Anyway, here's my take.

The first sentence gives us two logical relationships:

(1) Some works of art are not representational: [Works of] art -- Non-representational
(2) Representational art → Relevant to aesthetic experience.

The intermediate conclusion: Representation → An aesthetically relevant property.

The second sentence: Aesthetic property → Context.

We can then link the two conditional statements as: Representational art → Aesthetic property → Context

The first half of the third sentence states that "there are no clear criteria for determining whether context-dependent properties are present in an object." This effectively attaches a characteristic of the necessary condition(s) of the linked conditional statement chain, which could also be rephrased as: Representational art → Context-dependent aesthetic property.

The final conclusion states that there also also no clear criteria of determining whether an object qualifies as art.

Though it is a worthy attempt to argue that the sufficient condition may take on a property that is true of its necessary condition, such attempt can only get to its true sufficient condition, i.e., "representational art," and not as far as "art." As stated in the first sentence, not all works of art are representational, aka "some works of art are nonrepresentational" - we only get a "some" statement. So I chose (A). Thanks!
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 Henry Z
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Can you talk about the question stem? What does "fail to exclude the possibility" mean?

At first, I thought it meant the opposite of "fail to consider the possibility", that is, "assumed." But the answer is not the assumption of the argument. In fact, the answer seems exactly like a possibility that the author fails to include. This confuses me because "exclude" and "include" are antonyms but they are almost interchangeable in the question stem, and I did get this question right by treating it like a regular "fail to consider the possibility" question.

Did I miss something?
 Adam Tyson
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You're right that in this case, exclude and include are somewhat interchangeable, as odd as that may seem. Think of the stem as asking for something that the author should have dealt with but did not.

This question is not so much "what did the author assume is true," but rather "what did the author assume is NOT true?" Failing to exclude a possibility is the same as overlooking something that might be true and which would, if true, undermine the argument. You can almost view this question the same way you would a Weaken question, where the correct answer presents a problem that would, if correct, hurt the argument. It is, after all, a flaw to overlook a weakness!
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Struggling with choice A . If we know that there is other non representational art for which the same criteria as representational art doesn’t apply, then we can easily question the argument that there is no criteria for determining a piece of art. I think this is a valid choice
 Luke Haqq
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Hi elite097!

The conclusion in this stimulus is: "there cannot be any clear criteria for determining whether an object qualifies as art." The author reasons that representation is an aesthetically relevant property but is context-dependent, and adds that there are no objective criteria for determining whether such context-dependent properties exist. This leaves out the possibility that there might be other properties that can be used for determining whether or not something qualifies as art (representation need not be the only one). This flaw is reflected in answer choice (C).

Answer choice (A) almost seems to be strengthening the argument rather than pointing to a flaw in it. That answer choice is affirming an inability to judge aesthetic quality, though in a different context of nonrepresentational art.

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