LSAT and Law School Admissions Forum

Get expert LSAT preparation and law school admissions advice from PowerScore Test Preparation.

 snowy
  • Posts: 73
  • Joined: Mar 23, 2019
|
#63933
Hi! I was between A (the correct answer) and C for this one, but went with C.

I ruled out A because of the last clause of the answer choice. "supports this alternative [interpretation] by criticizing the original interpretation." This seemed like a less convincing way to describe the last two paragraphs than what C said, that the passage "dismisses [two common] criticisms by appeal to example." It seemed as though, more than the author just criticizing the original view, the author was moreso using examples to address two specific areas (1. using Picasso/Braque to say that social predictions didn't interest them and 2. using Delacroix as an example that the social changes were already coming into being, and therefore weren't predicted ahead of time).

Why is C wrong while A is correct? Thank you!
 Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 3809
  • Joined: Apr 14, 2011
|
#63955
I found this one pretty tough, snowy! My strategy for these structure questions is to always treat answer A as a contender, and to keep it as such until and unless something better comes along. Like you, I didn't like the bit about "criticizing the original interpretation" all that much. Disagreeing with it, sure, but criticizing it? Hmmm, I don't know, but my strategy says to keep it until I find something better, so I do.

When I get to answer C, I am comparing it to answer A, looking for some reason to either reject it (it brings up something that didn't happen in the passage, or it skips over something important that answer A, my contender so far, included) or to embrace it over answer A (because it brings up something important that A overlooked, or it corrects a problem I had with A, like maybe getting the order of events unscrambled).

The first phrase of answer C matches A word for word. When I get to the second phrase - "articulates the traditional interpretation of this phenomenon" - I start to get a bad taste in my mouth. "Traditional interpretation"? Was it traditional, or just one common view? I don;t like this.

At the third phrase - "identifies two common criticisms of this view" - I am getting really unhappy with this answer choice. Two criticisms? I only remember one - that those artists cared about aesthetics and a new way to represent reality, and not about reforming society. There was no other criticism. For me, at this point answer C is ready for the trash bin. A is still the better choice, even though I didn't love it. Answer C is describing things that simply didn't happen, and that is a real problem.

If I wasn't convinced enough by now, I sure will be when I got to the next bit - "dismisses each of these criticisms" - because that DEFINITELY did not happen! The author didn't dismiss the criticism - it's HIS criticism! It's his whole point, saying that those people who thought Picasso and friends cared about aesthetics rather than society. He didn't dismiss that - he doubled down and gave us an example to support that position. Now answer C stinks like week-old fish, and I am more than ready to toss it out as a total loser and move along to see if there's anything better at the buffet.

Try that approach, snowy - keep the first answer on hand until you find something clearly better, and reject anything that has fatal flaws as you find them - and these structure questions should be a lot easier over time.
 snowy
  • Posts: 73
  • Joined: Mar 23, 2019
|
#63979
Ohhh yikes, I totally misunderstood the "dismisses each of these criticisms" bit! I read that to be the author dismissing the interpretation by way of the criticisms he came up with, oops. Thank you, Adam! I completely understand why C is incorrect now.

For general/future RC reference, can I ask a quick two follow up questions regarding your explanation? 1. Is it wrong to equate a common or "often" held interpretation with a traditional one, for future passages? Aren't those pretty similar notions?
2. In terms of how you said you only saw one criticism, I thought the two were that social predictions didn't interest the artists and that social changes were already coming into being in certain cases (like Delacroix's) and therefore weren't predicted ahead of time. Is this incorrect?

Thanks so much again, Adam! This forum is amazing.
 Zach Foreman
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 91
  • Joined: Apr 11, 2019
|
#64050
So, the author seems to go out of his/her way to say that "one art critic) (19-20) held a particular extreme view (that the value of these artists was their prophetic/political nature rather than their artistic innovation) , as distinct from the more common view (they are interesting BOTH for their artistic innovation but also for their anticipation of political/social change). The author is indeed critical of this interpretation (of the one critic).

The author's argument basically is this: One critic says that the value of artists is not in their artistic innovation but their ability to predict social/political changes. That critic is wrong because their prophetic nature stemmed directly from their artistry. They didn't care about social reform. Further, sometimes societal change comes before artistic innovation, like Delacroix. According to the critic, this would mean that Delacroix is not interesting or of value, when clearly he is, because of his artistic innovation.

C is incorrect because there is nothing that says that the lone critics interpretation is "traditional" in any way. It is in fact radical and extreme. Also, there is nothing to support the idea that the author's criticisms are "common". Yes, Delacroix's innovation was widely acknowledge but that is not the same thing. (I agree with you that there are two criticisms from the author.)

In my opinion, your main error was not making a distinction between the two viewpoints mentioned in the second paragraph. The first is "widely credited" and therefore common. The second is held by a single critic and that is the one that is criticized and attacked. This passage falls clearly in the "art for art's sake vs art for politics/social issues sake". There are several examples of this. In class, I think the Mphalele diversity passage is almost identical.

I hope the fact that Adam and I seem to disagree in some parts doesn't confuse or discourage you. It just shows you how difficult some of these reading passages can be!
 snowy
  • Posts: 73
  • Joined: Mar 23, 2019
|
#64147
This definitely does help. Thank you so much Zach!

Get the most out of your LSAT Prep Plus subscription.

Analyze and track your performance with our Testing and Analytics Package.