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Complete Question Explanation
(See the complete passage discussion here: lsat/viewtopic.php?t=10837)

The correct answer choice is (D)

This question asks why the author mentions the monarchies’ need for capital. The correct answer choice will explain the purpose of the reference—to introduce an important challenge with which English and French monarchs were presented during the era under discussion.

Answer choice (A): The reference is not presented to cast doubt on the claim presented in this answer choice, so this cannot be the right answer.

Answer choice (B): The need for capital is not mentioned to illustrate creditors’ low opinion of monarchs, so this choice cannot be correct.

Answer choice (C): The reference to the need for capital does not emphasize omnipotence, so this choice cannot be correct.

Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice. The author mentions the need for capital to provide an explanation as to why monarchies had issues with too much power (and the associated unfavorable loan terms available).

Answer choice (E): The author does not mention the monarchies’ need for capital to reinforce this critical claim, so this cannot be the right answer to this Must Be True—Purpose question.
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I'm confused. It seems to me that the quote and paragraph it is located in is meant to show how much of a problem the paradox of omnipotence was. It was a problem because the monarchies could default on payments and disregard property rights and did so regularly. Why is the answer not C or maybe even E? What am I missing here?
 Adam Tyson
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Your prephrase looks perfect, bryceS1, and matches answer D nicely! That's why D is the correct answer - it matches exactly what you knew you were looking for, that sovereign omnipotence was a real problem for those monarchs. To answer this question, we ask ourselves "why did the author mention the need for capital?" and we answer with "to point out one of the problems with sovereign omnipotence." Look for that in the correct answer.

Answer C doesn't express that idea of "it was a problem." All it does is address what sovereign omnipotence is - somewhat unlimited power. If we are looking for "it was a problem" then this answer fails to match that.

Answer E also neglects to deal with "it was a problem" - it just lays out a claim that isn't really made in the passage about what monarchs did.

Trust your prephrase! You knew you were looking for an answer that captured the idea of "how much of a problem the paradox of omnipotence was." Not why it was a problem, but just that it was a problem, and answer D was exactly that.
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I am struggling to understand how the reference to capital shows how the paradox of omnipotence was a problem for monarchies. The paragraph mentions that monarchs could renege on their commitments, earned a bad reputation for it, and creditors demanded higher interest rates. This seems to indicate that the paradox caused some frustration for both sides. And capital only shows up at the beginning of the paragraph in reference to wars; I don't really see it influence the rest of the paragraph.

What am I missing here?

 Rachael Wilkenfeld
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Hi KwakuS ,

The need for capital is illustrative of the limits of limitlessness. Monarchs didn't have legal limits, but that actually limited their ability to get capital when they needed it. It shows a practical reason that omnipotence caused monarchs problems. They needed money. Their power limited their ability to get outside money, and led to high interest rates for monarchs. This question wasn't about the paragraph as a whole, but the purpose of the discussion of capital.

Hope that helps!

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