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Please evaluate this argument [#permalink]
28 Sep 2012, 23:25
The following appeared in a memorandum issued by a large city’s council on the arts: “In a recent citywide poll, 15 percent more residents said that they watch television programs about the visual arts than was the case in a poll conducted five years ago. During these past five years, the number of people visiting our city’s art museums has increased by a similar percentage. Since the corporate funding that supports public television, where most of the visual arts programs appear, is now being threatened with severe cuts, we can expect that attendance at our city’s art museums will also start to decrease. Thus some of the city’s funds for supporting the arts should be reallocated to public television.”
Given argument states that there was a 15% increase in no.of residents who were watching visual arts programs and also in no.of visitors to city's art museums. Further, argument attributes this increase to corportate funding of public television, where most of the visual art programs appear. As, corporate funding for public television is decreasing, argument concludes that city's council should allocate funds for supporting the arts to public television. This argument has below flaws: 1. Attributing increase in visitors to city's art musuems to increase in viewereship of televison programs. And there is no evidence that this increase in viewership is in public television. 2. There is no concrete evidence that increase in no.of visitors to city's art museums is purely because of more no.of city's residents visiting the museums
First, argument states that there is a 15% increase in televsion viewereship of visual arts programs. However, argument faisl to give evidence wherther this increase is in viewership of programs that are aired on public television. Further more, argument relates increase in attendance at city's art museums to increase in viewership of these programs. But, argument fails to give nformation related to programs i.e. whether tv programs are related to city's art museums . If such information is given, then it is easy to correlate increase in viewership to city's art museums.
Second, argument states that there is a 15% increase in attendance at city's art museums. But, argument has not given statistics pertainign to art musuem vistiors. It is difficult to ascertain whether visitors are city residents or tourists. If this increase is because of more tourists visiting the musuems, then city council's proposal to relocate funds to public television will not yield the results as it anticipated. Also, it the increase is purey because of city residents, then survey results woudl ascertain whether city residents are prompted to visit musuesm because of public television programs or some other information that they have received.
Hence, to conlude this argument is flawed and more detaisl information would substantiate city's council proposal to divert funds for supporting arts to public television.