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One of the most vexing problems in historiography is dating

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One of the most vexing problems in historiography is dating [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2012, 02:29
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One of the most vexing problems in historiography is dating an event when the usual sources offer conflicting chronologies of the event. Historians should attempt to minimize the number of competing sources, perhaps by eliminating the less credible ones. Once this is achieved and several sources are left, as often happens, historians may try, though on occasion unsuccessfully, to determine independently of the usual sources which date is more likely to be right.

Which one of the following inferences is most strongly supported by the information above?

(A) We have no plausible chronology of most of the events for which attempts have been made by historians to determine the right date.
(B) Some of the events for which there are conflicting chronologies and for which attempts have been made by historians to determine the right date cannot be dated reliably by historians.
(C) Attaching a reliable date to any event requires determining which of several conflicting chronologies is most likely to be true.
(D) Determining independently of the usual sources which of several conflicting chronologies is more likely to be right is an ineffective way of dating events.
(E) The soundest approach to dating an event for which the usual sources give conflicting chronologies is to undermine the credibility of as many of these sources as possible.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Last edited by getgyan on 19 Sep 2012, 03:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: One of the most vexing problems in historiography [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2012, 02:50
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getgyan wrote:
One of the most vexing problems in historiography is dating an event when the usual sources offer conflicting chronologies of the event. Historians should attempt to minimize the number of competing sources, perhaps by eliminating the less credible ones. Once this is achieved and several sources are left, as often happens, historians may try, though on occasion unsuccessfully, to determine independently of the usual sources which date is more likely to be right.

Which one of the following inferences is most strongly supported by the information above?

(A) We have no plausible chronology of most of the events for which attempts have been made by historians to determine the right date.
(B) Some of the events for which there are conflicting chronologies and for which attempts have been made by historians to determine the right date cannot be dated reliably by historians.
(C) Attaching a reliable date to any event requires determining which of several conflicting chronologies is most likely to be true.
(D) Determining independently of the usual sources which of several conflicting chronologies is more likely to be right is an ineffective way of dating events.
(E) The soundest approach to dating an event for which the usual sources give conflicting chronologies is to undermine the credibility of as many of these sources as possible.


It is an inference question. This means that we are looking for the option which is supported by the argument i.e. the argument gives us reason to believe that the option is true.
What does the argument tell us?
When there are conflicting chronologies, dating an event becomes difficult.
Try to minimize competing sources. (Historians do this but often, still many sources are left)
Then historians try to determine the best of the dates obtained (though they are sometimes unsuccessful)

Option (B) tells you this exact thing: Some of the events for which there are conflicting chronologies and for which attempts have been made by historians to determine the right date cannot be dated reliably by historians.
It is talking about the 'sometimes unsuccessful scenarios')

None of the other options work:

(A) We have no plausible chronology of most of the events for which attempts have been made by historians to determine the right date - no plausible chronology? The argument doesn't tell us this
(C) Attaching a reliable date to any event requires determining which of several conflicting chronologies is most likely to be true. - 'to any event'? We may not have conflicting chronologies in many events.
(D) Determining independently of the usual sources which of several conflicting chronologies is more likely to be right is an ineffective way of dating events. - may not be ineffective. It may not work in some cases but it may in others.
(E) The soundest approach to dating an event for which the usual sources give conflicting chronologies is to undermine the credibility of as many of these sources as possible. - one doesn't have to 'undermine the credibility'. One only needs to eliminate the less credible ones i.e. those which are already less credible.
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One of the most vexing problems in historiography is dating [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2013, 08:07
One of the most vexing problems in historiography is dating an event when the usual sources offer conflicting chronologies of the event. Historians should attempt to minimize the number of competing sources, perhaps by eliminating the less credible ones. Once this is achieved and several sources are left, as often happens, historians may try, though on occasion unsuccessfully, to determine independently of the usual sources which date is more likely to be right.

Which one of the following inferences is most strongly supported by the information above?

(A) We have no plausible chronology of most of the events for which attempts have been made by historians to determine the right date.
(B) Some of the events for which there are conflicting chronologies and for which attempts have been made by historians to determine the right date cannot be dated reliably by historians.
(C) Attaching a reliable date to any event requires determining which of several conflicting chronologies is most likely to be true.
(D) Determining independently of the usual sources which of several conflicting chronologies is more likely to be right is an ineffective way of dating events.
(E) The soundest approach to dating an event for which the usual sources give conflicting chronologies is to undermine the credibility
of as many of these sources as possible.

Hi Guys,
Please let me know how in option B "the right date cannot be dated" is a correct?

Last edited by Zarrolou on 04 Aug 2013, 11:03, edited 3 times in total.
Merging similar topics.
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Re: Inference type. [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2013, 10:50
Premise 1- historian faces issue in dating an event
Premise 2 - They should remove less incredible resources
Premise 3- Sometime still there many sources left after removing less credible
Premise4 - decide independently by using usual sources
Conclusion - Some historial events are difficult to date as there are conflicting informations

(A) We have no plausible chronology of most ofthe events for which attempts have been made by historians to determine the right date.
It is not in scope of the passage

(B) Some of the events for which there are conflicting chronologies and for which attempts have been made by historians to determine the right date cannot be dated reliably by historians.
this is excatly what passage is concluding

(C) Attaching a reliable date to any event requires determining which of several conflicting chronologies is most likely to be true.
This is not the conclusion

(D) Determining independently of the usual sources which of several conflicting chronologies is more likely to be right is an ineffective way of dating events.
Author is not proposing any process as right or wrong process

(E) The soundest approach to dating an event for which the usual sources give conflicting chronologies is to undermine the credibility of as many of these sources as possible.
It is a premise. So it cannot be inference
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Re: One of the most vexing problems in historiography is dating [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2013, 11:41
sanjeebpanda wrote:
One of the most vexing problems in historiography is dating an event when the usual sources offer conflicting chronologies of the event. Historians should attempt to minimize the number of competing sources, perhaps by eliminating the less credible ones. Once this is achieved and several sources are left, as often happens, historians may try, though on occasion unsuccessfully, to determine independently of the usual sources which date is more likely to be right.

Which one of the following inferences is most strongly supported by the information above?

(A) We have no plausible chronology of most of the events for which attempts have been made by historians to determine the right date.
(B) Some of the events for which there are conflicting chronologies and for which attempts have been made by historians to determine the right date cannot be dated reliably by historians.
(C) Attaching a reliable date to any event requires determining which of several conflicting chronologies is most likely to be true.
(D) Determining independently of the usual sources which of several conflicting chronologies is more likely to be right is an ineffective way of dating events.
(E) The soundest approach to dating an event for which the usual sources give conflicting chronologies is to undermine the credibility
of as many of these sources as possible.

Hi Guys,
Please let me know how in option B "the right date cannot be dated" is a correct?


let say there are 100 chronologies (conflicting each other)
now according to argument Historians should attempt to minimize the number of competing sources
HOW? by eliminating the less credible ones
NOW LET SAY 90 are eliminates (which were less credible ones) so we are left with 10

further argument says:
Once this is achieved and several sources are left, as often happens, historians may try, though on occasion unsuccessfully, to determine independently of the usual sources which date is more likely to be right.
now in these line it is saying that historians may try to determine the more accurate chronology.
but it also says that on some occasion historians are unsuccessful(as in highlited part)

option B says:
(B) Some of the events for which there are conflicting chronologies and for which attempts have been made by historians to determine the right date cannot be dated reliably by historians.
this says that in some attempts made by historians ==>those attempts are not reliable as it is stated in argument that in some cases they are unsuccessful.

hope this helps
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Re: One of the most vexing problems in historiography is dating   [#permalink] 04 Aug 2013, 11:41
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