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A university should not be entitled to patent the inventions

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A university should not be entitled to patent the inventions [#permalink] New post 16 May 2011, 10:55
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  5% (low)

Question Stats:

45% (02:34) correct 54% (01:14) wrong based on 37 sessions
A university should not be entitled to patent the inventions of its faculty members. Universities, as guarantors of intellectual freedom, should encourage the free flow of ideas and the general dissemination of knowledge. Yet a university that retains the right to patent the inventions of its faculty members has a motive to suppress information about a potentially valuable discovery until the patent for it has been secured. Clearly, suppressing information concerning such discoveries is incompatible with the university’s obligation to promote the free flow of ideas.
19. Which one of the following is an assumption that the argument makes?
(A) Universities are the only institutions that have an obligation to guarantee intellectual freedom.
(B) Most inventions by university faculty members would be profitable if patented.
(C) Publication of reports on research is the only practical way to disseminate information concerning new discoveries.
(D) Universities that have a motive to suppress information concerning discoveries by their faculty members will occasionally act on that motive
(E) If the inventions of a university faculty member are not patented by that university, then they will be patented by the faculty member instead



Can anyone first tell me what's the premise, conclusion and assumption ?

Thanks
Voodoo
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Re: <700+> question - assumption [#permalink] New post 16 May 2011, 11:48
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The first sentence is the conclusion. (The use of the word "should" is a good sign that we are dealing with an opinion.) The rest of the argument is all premises. The author feels that since the university has a financial incentive to suppress research until they can file a patent, they will fail to follow their mission to "encourage the free flow of ideas and the general dissemination of knowledge."

This makes sense *if* the university acts on that financial incentive, and there is where we find our assumption. The author is assuming that because the university might benefit financially from suppressing information, it will actually do so. This conforms with answer choice D.

A quick run-down of the wrong choices:

A) Talks about other institutions--out of scope. The argument is entirely about the university.
B) It does not need to be true that most inventions would be profitable for this argument to work. The university might only suppress information for inventions that will make a profit. Also, they might suppress information on inventions that they believe will be profitable, whether or not that turns out to be the case.
C) The argument doesn't specify how the information might be disseminated, so limiting the argument to published reports doesn't make any difference.
E) If this is true, it does nothing to help the author's argument. If anything, it seems like an attempt to weaken (i.e. perhaps the faculty member will withold information until the patent is secured). It certainly doesn't need to be true for the argument to work.

I hope this helps!
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Re: <700+> question - assumption [#permalink] New post 16 May 2011, 11:53
voodoochild wrote:
A university should not be entitled to patent the inventions of its faculty members. Universities, as guarantors of intellectual freedom, should encourage the free flow of ideas and the general dissemination of knowledge. Yet a university that retains the right to patent the inventions of its faculty members has a motive to suppress information about a potentially valuable discovery until the patent for it has been secured. Clearly, suppressing information concerning such discoveries is incompatible with the university’s obligation to promote the free flow of ideas.
19. Which one of the following is an assumption that the argument makes?
(A) Universities are the only institutions that have an obligation to guarantee intellectual freedom.
(B) Most inventions by university faculty members would be profitable if patented.
(C) Publication of reports on research is the only practical way to disseminate information concerning new discoveries.
(D) Universities that have a motive to suppress information concerning discoveries by their faculty members will occasionally act on that motive
(E) If the inventions of a university faculty member are not patented by that university, then they will be patented by the faculty member instead



Can anyone first tell me what's the premise, conclusion and assumption ?

Thanks
Voodoo


Sub Conclusion:suppressing information concerning such discoveries is incompatible with the university’s obligation to promote the free flow of ideas.

conclusion :A university should not be entitled to patent the inventions of its faculty members.
Assumption :(D) Universities that have a motive to suppress information concerning discoveries by their faculty members will occasionally act on that motive

if you negate D-> Universities that have a motive to suppress information concerning discoveries by their faculty members will never act on that motive
=>the argument is weaken => D is correct.
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Re: <700+> question - assumption [#permalink] New post 16 May 2011, 12:27
DmitryFarber wrote:
The first sentence is the conclusion. (The use of the word "should" is a good sign that we are dealing with an opinion.) The rest of the argument is all premises. The author feels that since the university has a financial incentive to suppress research until they can file a patent, they will fail to follow their mission to "encourage the free flow of ideas and the general dissemination of knowledge."

This makes sense *if* the university acts on that financial incentive, and there is where we find our assumption. The author is assuming that because the university might benefit financially from suppressing information, it will actually do so. This conforms with answer choice D.

A quick run-down of the wrong choices:

A) Talks about other institutions--out of scope. The argument is entirely about the university.
B) It does not need to be true that most inventions would be profitable for this argument to work. The university might only suppress information for inventions that will make a profit. Also, they might suppress information on inventions that they believe will be profitable, whether or not that turns out to be the case.
C) The argument doesn't specify how the information might be disseminated, so limiting the argument to published reports doesn't make any difference.
E) If this is true, it does nothing to help the author's argument. If anything, it seems like an attempt to weaken (i.e. perhaps the faculty member will withold information until the patent is secured). It certainly doesn't need to be true for the argument to work.

I hope this helps!


You are absolutely right. Question - why did you say that the first sentence is the conclusion? What about the sentence that starts with "clearly,....."? I believe "Clearly" is a conclusion identifier. Isn't it ?

Thanks
Voodoo

Last edited by voodoochild on 16 May 2011, 13:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: <700+> question - assumption [#permalink] New post 16 May 2011, 13:07
Expert's post
You are right about "clearly." As gurpreetsingh points out, that statement is a sub-conclusion. In other words, it is a conclusion that contributes to the main conclusion. To determine the main conclusion, we can use the "therefore test." See which of these makes more sense:

A university should not be able to patent the inventions of its faculty members THEREFORE suppressing information is incompatible with the free flow of ideas.

or

Suppressing information is incompatible with the free flow of ideas THEREFORE a university should not be able to patent the inventions of its faculty members.

The second choice makes more sense, since we can see how the first idea would lead to the second (if we grant all the other premises). Therefore, the first sentence is the main conclusion of the argument.
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Re: <700+> question - assumption [#permalink] New post 16 May 2011, 16:06
DmitryFarber wrote:
You are right about "clearly." As gurpreetsingh points out, that statement is a sub-conclusion. In other words, it is a conclusion that contributes to the main conclusion. To determine the main conclusion, we can use the "therefore test." See which of these makes more sense:

A university should not be able to patent the inventions of its faculty members THEREFORE suppressing information is incompatible with the free flow of ideas.

or

Suppressing information is incompatible with the free flow of ideas THEREFORE a university should not be able to patent the inventions of its faculty members.

The second choice makes more sense, since we can see how the first idea would lead to the second (if we grant all the other premises). Therefore, the first sentence is the main conclusion of the argument.


Thanks Dmitry. I read the therefore test and I have understood it. From what I can understand, in majority of the cases, GMAT presents the first or the last sentence as the conclusion. Sometimes it presents the last sentence as sub-conclusion and the first sentence (without conclusion indicator) as the main conclusion. Do you know if there is any other form ? If yes, can you please direct me to a specific chapter on MGMAT guide ?

I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart....

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Re: <700+> question - assumption [#permalink] New post 16 May 2011, 19:57
choice is between B and D.
B brings out a motive of profitability not being discussed in the argument.

D is clean and negating the choice crashes the conclusion.
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Re: <700+> question - assumption [#permalink] New post 16 May 2011, 23:19
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The easiest way to get a feel for the different formats is to spend some time diagramming the arguments in the OG. One common form looks like this:

Some people think X.
However, this is not the case. <<==Conclusion
[Explanation]

For instance:

People purchasing appliances frequently consider purchasing an extended warranty. However, this practice is unlikely to benefit the consumer. Since the appliance retailer's only goal is to maximize profit, it will surely have priced the warranty to its own advantage rather than the consumer's. Therefore, the price the consumer pays for the extended warranty is likely to exceed any savings on repair or replacement costs.

Here, although the last sentence begins with "therefore," it's the second sentence that conveys the conclusion. The final sentence is a sub-conclusion (Price exceeds savings THEREFORE extended warranty is unlikely to benefit consumer.)
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Re: <700+> question - assumption [#permalink] New post 16 May 2011, 23:23
Yesh, betwen B and D.
Actually B is pretty close because the passage discusses whether the patent will be valuable. Valuable is pretty close to profitable.

But in the end the argument is about whether the university has a motive which gets plugged in by Answer D.
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Re: <700+> question - assumption [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2011, 02:15
Good explaination on this post
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Re: CR- Universities, patents, free flow of ideas [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2011, 02:56
Gr8 explanation Dmitry.

I filtered it down to D & E . But finally marked E :(
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Re: CR- Universities, patents, free flow of ideas [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2011, 14:03
I picked D....IF "suppressing information concerning such discoveries is incompatible with the university’s obligation to promote the free flow of ideas." then Universities that suppress information must be doing it on purpose.
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Re: CR- Universities, patents, free flow of ideas [#permalink] New post 18 Sep 2011, 01:22
Hesitating btw B and D
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Re: CR- Universities, patents, free flow of ideas [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2011, 08:45
voodoochild wrote:
A university should not be entitled to patent the inventions of its faculty members. Universities, as guarantors of intellectual freedom, should encourage the free flow of ideas and the general dissemination of knowledge. Yet a university that retains the right to patent the inventions of its faculty members has a motive to suppress information about a potentially valuable discovery until the patent for it has been secured. Clearly, suppressing information concerning such discoveries is incompatible with the university’s obligation to promote the free flow of ideas.
19. Which one of the following is an assumption that the argument makes?
(A) Universities are the only institutions that have an obligation to guarantee intellectual freedom.
(B) Most inventions by university faculty members would be profitable if patented.
(C) Publication of reports on research is the only practical way to disseminate information concerning new discoveries.
(D) Universities that have a motive to suppress information concerning discoveries by their faculty members will occasionally act on that motive
(E) If the inventions of a university faculty member are not patented by that university, then they will be patented by the faculty member instead



Can anyone first tell me what's the premise, conclusion and assumption ?

It's a tough one.
Took me 2.5 mins. Still got it wrong.
Thanks
Voodoo

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Re: CR- Universities, patents, free flow of ideas   [#permalink] 27 Sep 2011, 08:45
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