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A recent generation of historians of science, far from portraying acce

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A recent generation of historians of science, far from portraying acce  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 21 Aug 2019, 20:51
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 282, Date : 21-Aug-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


A recent generation of historians of science, far from portraying accepted scientific views as objectively accurate reflections of a natural world, explain the acceptance of such views in terms of the ideological biases of certain influential scientists or the institutional and rhetorical power such scientists wield. As an example of ideological bias, it has been argued that Pasteur rejected the theory of spontaneous generation not because of experimental evidence but because he rejected the materialist ideology implicit in that doctrine. These historians seem to find allies in certain philosophers of science who argue that scientific views are not imposed by reality but are free inventions of creative minds, and that scientific claims are never more than brave conjectures, always subject to inevitable future falsification. While these philosophers of science themselves would not be likely to have much truck with the recent historians, it is an easy step from their views to the extremism of the historians.

While this rejection of the traditional belief that scientific views are objective reflections of the world may be fashionable, it is deeply implausible. We now know, for example, that water is made of hydrogen and oxygen and that parents each contribute one-half of their children’s complement of genes. I do not believe any serious-minded and informed person can claim that these statements are not factual descriptions of the world or that they will inevitably be falsified.

However, science’s accumulation of lasting truths about the world is not by any means a straightforward matter. We certainly need to get beyond the naive view that the truth will automatically reveal itself to any scientist who looks in the right direction; most often, in fact, a whole series of prior discoveries is needed to tease reality’s truths from experiment and observation. And the philosophers of science mentioned above are quite right to argue that new scientific ideas often correct old ones by indicating errors and imprecision (as, say, Newton’s ideas did to Kepler’s). Nor would I deny that there are interesting questions to be answered about the social processes in which scientific activity is embedded. The persuasive processes by which particular scientific groups establish their experimental results as authoritative are themselves social activities and can be rewardingly studied as such. Indeed, much of the new work in the history of science has been extremely revealing about the institutional interactions and rhetorical devices that help determine whose results achieve prominence.

But one can accept all this without accepting the thesis that natural reality never plays any part at all in determining what scientists believe. What the new historians ought to be showing us is how those doctrines that do in fact fit reality work their way through the complex social processes of scientific activity to eventually receive general scientific acceptance.


1. It can be inferred from the passage that the author would be most likely to agree with which one of the following characterizations of scientific truth?

(A) It is often implausible.
(B) It is subject to inevitable falsification.
(C) It is rarely obvious and transparent.
(D) It is rarely discovered by creative processes.
(E) It is less often established by experimentation than by the rhetorical power of scientists.



2. According to the passage, Kepler’s ideas provide an example of scientific ideas that were

(A) corrected by subsequent inquiries
(B) dependent on a series of prior observations
(C) originally thought to be imprecise and then later confirmed
(D) established primarily by the force of an individuals rhetorical power
(E) specifically taken up for the purpose of falsification by later scientists



3. In the third paragraph of the passage, the author is primarily concerned with

(A) presenting conflicting explanations for a phenomenon
(B) suggesting a field for possible future research
(C) qualifying a previously expressed point of view
(D) providing an answer to a theoretical question
(E) attacking the assumptions that underlie a set of beliefs



4. The use of the words “any serious-minded and informed person’ (Highlighted) serves which one of the following functions in the context of the passage?

(A) to satirize chronologically earlier notions about the composition of water
(B) to reinforce a previously stated opinion about certain philosophers of science
(C) to suggest the author’s reservations about the “traditional belief” mentioned in line 22
(D) to anticipate objections from someone who would argue for an objectively accurate description of the world
(E) to discredit someone who would argue that certain scientific assertions do not factually describe reality



5. It can be inferred from the passage that the author would most likely agree with which one of the following statements about the relationship between the views of “certain philosophers of science” (Highlighted) and those of the recent historians?

(A) These two views are difficult to differentiate.
(B) These two views share some similarities.
(C) The views of the philosophers ought to be seen as the source of the historians’ views.
(D) Both views emphasize the rhetorical power of scientists.
(E) The historians explicitly acknowledge that their views are indebted to those of the philosophers.



6. Which one of the following best characterizes the author’s assessment of the opinions of the new historians of science, as these opinions are presented in the passage?

(A) They lack any credibility.
(B) They themselves can be rewardingly studied as social phenomena.
(C) They are least convincing when they concern the actions of scientific groups.
(D) Although they are gross overstatements, they lead to some valuable insights.
(E) Although they are now popular, they are likely to be refused soon.



7. In concluding the passage, the author does which one of the following?

(A) offers a prescription
(B) presents a paradox
(C) makes a prediction
(D) concedes an argument
(E) anticipates objections



  • Source: LSAT Official PrepTest 18 (December 1992)
  • Difficulty Level: 700

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Originally posted by TheKingInTheNorth on 21 Aug 2013, 20:30.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 21 Aug 2019, 20:51, edited 4 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (257).
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Re: A recent generation of historians of science, far from portraying acce  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Oct 2018, 08:20
Can you please explain why C is correct in the first question not the A?
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Re: A recent generation of historians of science, far from portraying acce  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Oct 2018, 09:46
3
Quote:
Can you please explain why C is correct in the first question not the A?


awasthiji, ykhanna

If you read the 1st sentence of para 2:
While this rejection of the traditional belief that scientific views are objective reflections of the world may be fashionable, it is deeply implausible.


This sentence means --> the the act of rejection is implausible (unreasonable / failing to convince). This sentence doesn't refer to scientific truth, it refers to act of rejection.

The first line of para 3: However, science’s accumulation of lasting truths about the world is not by any means a straightforward matter.

we can clearly interpret from above line that accumulation of truth is not straightforward -->this is exactly what the option C states:
(C) It is rarely obvious and transparent.(meaning not straightforward)

all other choices are not correct OR related to 'truth'.

i hope this clarifies.

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Re: A recent generation of historians of science, far from portraying acce  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Nov 2018, 12:51
Cinematiccuisine wrote:
Quote:
Can you please explain why C is correct in the first question not the A?


awasthiji, ykhanna

If you read the 1st sentence of para 2:
While this rejection of the traditional belief that scientific views are objective reflections of the world may be fashionable, it is deeply implausible.


This sentence means --> the the act of rejection is implausible (unreasonable / failing to convince). This sentence doesn't refer to scientific truth, it refers to act of rejection.

The first line of para 3: However, science’s accumulation of lasting truths about the world is not by any means a straightforward matter.

we can clearly interpret from above line that accumulation of truth is not straightforward -->this is exactly what the option C states:
(C) It is rarely obvious and transparent.(meaning not straightforward)

all other choices are not correct OR related to 'truth'.

i hope this clarifies.

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Hi !!


How is the last para a prescription ?
Prescription per me ---- a solution to some problem in the views of new historians.
Also is this not a 700+ passage ?
Im so confused with social science passages. Any pointers ?


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Re: A recent generation of historians of science, far from portraying acce  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Feb 2019, 22:20
nrrb

Quote:
Passage summary:
Para 1: what RECENT historians are doing
They find suppot to their views from some philos
Though they both DONT share alot of views they share some

para 2: author disagrees with the above presented view

para 3: Though author agrees with some points made by philos the conclusion given by philos in the 1st para is not idea !!
author says "process" is important

para 4:makes a concluding statement and offers a suggestion to histruans !!!


Quote:
passage map: POV
support to POV
Author's POV( cchallenge)
Author's argumnet
Author's conclusion and suggestion
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Re: A recent generation of historians of science, far from portraying acce  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Feb 2019, 22:43
10. In the third paragraph of the passage, the author is primarily concerned with

The passage flow is:
POV-- support to POV-- cunter POV-- support to counter POV-- conclusion and suggestion

The claim made in the first para was :
"These historians seem to find allies in certain philosophers of science who argue that scientific views are not imposed by reality but are free inventions of creative minds, and that scientific claims are never more than brave conjectures, always subject to inevitable future falsification"

Now the author in third para agrees that at some later point the earlier discoveried are revised , he disagrees with the point that "free inventions of creative minds and that scientist claim are never more than brave"

He says that the discoveries are refined everytime and a new thesis is formed which is later refined again . BUT using words such as "never" and "alwasy subject to falsibfication" are a STRETCH. That is why author porvides a qualifying(limiting)POV towards the philosopher's claim !!

(A) presenting conflicting explanations for a phenomenon- author rather agrees with some points of philos but at the end limits them. HE does not presnet CONFLICTING POINTS HE QUALIFIES(LIMITS THEIR EXTENT)

(B) suggesting a field for possible future research
- total crap

(C) qualifying a previously expressed point of view

(D) providing an answer to a theoretical question
-no question asked

(E) attacking the assumptions that underlie a set of beliefs
- Tempting !!! but the philos do not assume anything; they just make plain claims abou the beleifes
also he never "Attacks" ..he is limiting the broad scope of the conclusions made by the historians and philos
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Re: A recent generation of historians of science, far from portraying acce  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2019, 23:24
Kinldy provide explanation for 4th question
As the highlighted sentence represents a person who would question those facts about world functioning but it doesnot directly discredit ....
When we connect " i don't believe" to this part than it would have discredited any person
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New post 23 Aug 2019, 03:39
Explanation


4. The use of the words “any serious-minded and informed person’ (Highlighted) serves which one of the following functions in the context of the passage?

Difficulty Level: 700

Explanation

These words are used in the context of an attack on those historians of science who argue that scientific observations aren’t based on objective reality. Hence, the words serve to discredit their view.

(A) “Earlier notions about the composition of water” are never mentioned in the passage. The author refers to current beliefs about water’s composition simply in order to make the point that some scientific truths will never be falsified, not to contrast it with outdated notions.

(B) The author is not critical of philosophers of science.

(C) and (D) are au contraire choices. The author supports the traditional view of scientific objectivity, (C), and is in sympathy with those who hold this view, (D).

Whenever a question stem cites a line reference, read the lines around that reference carefully. That’s where the answer lies.

Answer: E


Hope it helps

Changrayy wrote:
Kinldy provide explanation for 4th question
As the highlighted sentence represents a person who would question those facts about world functioning but it doesnot directly discredit ....
When we connect " i don't believe" to this part than it would have discredited any person

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New post 02 Oct 2019, 11:45
Can someone please explain why in question no 6 B is wrong?
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New post 02 Oct 2019, 23:55
DiyaDutta wrote:
Can someone please explain why in question no 6 B is wrong?


Explanation


6. Which one of the following best characterizes the author’s assessment of the opinions of the new historians of science, as these opinions are presented in the passage?

Difficulty Level: 700

Explanation

The author labels the historians’ view as “extremist” and “implausible,” but in para 3, particularly the last sentence, he hints that they do have some valid ideas.

(A) is too extreme. The author does give them a little credit, after all.

(B) distorts the passage. It’s the process of scientific discovery that the author thinks can be “rewardingly studied” as a social phenomenon, not the historians’ view.

(C) Au contraire: The author thinks that the historians are on to something in their analysis of “scientific groups.”

(E) This is a “half-right, half-wrong” choice. The author concedes that the historians’ view is popular today lines 17-19 (While this rejection of the traditional belief that scientific views are objective reflections of the world may be fashionable, it is deeply implausible.), but he doesn’t say that it’ll soon be overturned.

Answer: D


Hope it helps
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New post 28 Jan 2020, 05:48
2
Hi everyone,

Got 6/7 correct in 14:30 minutes, including 6 minutes to read.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


P1

In paragraph one we are given that some historians don't believe in the objectivity of scientists. Plus there are some philosophers who seem to think the same because they believe that scientific discoveries are derived from the creativity of the scientists' minds and not from reality. Lastly, the author stresses the fact that these 2 groups are hardly similar but they are similarly extremists.

Purpose: The purpose of this passage is to introduce the historians and to compare them to the philosophers of science



P2

Here the author refutes the historians' point of view and states her reasons why.

Purpose: To disagree with the historians


P3

Here the author highlights some few interesting aspects coming from the philosophers and the historians. For example, it is true that new discoveries undermine old discoveries sometimes (philosophers' view). Or It's also interesting to analyze the social processes involved in the scientific method as well as the rhetorical devices used to achieve prominence.

Purpose: To identify a flaw in the current scientific method and few interesting aspects coming from the historians' and philosophers' views.


P4

In the last paragraph the author suggests that social processes should be studied more

Purpose: To make a suggestion about what comes next


Main point

The main point is to refute the general thesis of some historians while acknowledging that some of the historians' view are valuable


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


1. It can be inferred from the passage that the author would be most likely to agree with which one of the following characterizations of scientific truth?

Pre-thinking

Inference question

The author believes that what has been done is not sufficient (that is hoping that by being in the right place answers will come).


(A) It is often implausible.
Cannot be inferred

(B) It is subject to inevitable falsification.
Cannot be inferred as the author does not agree with this statement

(C) It is rarely obvious and transparent.
Correct. The line of reasoning is similar to the following lines: "We certainly need to get beyond the naive view that the truth will automatically reveal itself to any scientist who looks in the right direction;"

(D) It is rarely discovered by creative processes.
Cannot be inferred

(E) It is less often established by experimentation than by the rhetorical power of scientists.
Cannot be inferred



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


2. According to the passage, Kepler’s ideas provide an example of scientific ideas that were

Pre-thinking

Detail question

"And the philosophers of science mentioned above are quite right to argue that new scientific ideas often correct old ones by indicating errors and imprecision (as, say, Newton’s ideas did to Kepler’s)."


(A) corrected by subsequent inquiries
In line with pre-thinking

(B) dependent on a series of prior observations
Not mentioned

(C) originally thought to be imprecise and then later confirmed
Not mentioned

(D) established primarily by the force of an individuals rhetorical power
Not mentioned

(E) specifically taken up for the purpose of falsification by later scientists
Not mentioned



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


3. In the third paragraph of the passage, the author is primarily concerned with

Pre-thinking

Function question

As mentioned above:

Purpose: To identify a flaw in the current scientific method and few interesting aspects coming from the historians' and philosophers' views.


(A) presenting conflicting explanations for a phenomenon
No explanations provided

(B) suggesting a field for possible future research
No suggestion is made

(C) qualifying a previously expressed point of view
The author indeed gives some credit to the point of view of philosophers/historians

(D) providing an answer to a theoretical question
No theoretical question is asked

(E) attacking the assumptions that underlie a set of beliefs
The purpose is not to attack



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


4. The use of the words “any serious-minded and informed person’ (Highlighted) serves which one of the following functions in the context of the passage?

Pre-thinking

Function question

The purpose is to strengthen the idea that some scientific discoveries cannot be doubted


(A) to satirize chronologically earlier notions about the composition of water
Out of scope

(B) to reinforce a previously stated opinion about certain philosophers of science
Inconsistent as those who think that there is no objectivity are the historians and not the philosophers

(C) to suggest the author’s reservations about the “traditional belief” mentioned in line 22
out of scope

(D) to anticipate objections from someone who would argue for an objectively accurate description of the world
no objection is anticipated

(E) to discredit someone who would argue that certain scientific assertions do not factually describe reality
In line with prethinking



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


5. It can be inferred from the passage that the author would most likely agree with which one of the following statements about the relationship between the views of “certain philosophers of science” (Highlighted) and those of the recent historians?

Pre-thinking

Inference question

The author admits that something about these 2 groups of people is right in Paragraph 3. The author thinks that it is interesting to analyze the social elements that lead to a scientific discovery for example. She also thinks that these 2 groups are not very alike but they share something (from P1: "While these philosophers of science themselves would not be likely to have much truck with the recent historians, it is an easy step from their views to the extremism of the historians."


(A) These two views are difficult to differentiate.
This option is discredited in the lat line of P1

(B) These two views share some similarities.
In line with prthinking

(C) The views of the philosophers ought to be seen as the source of the historians’ views.
Cannot be inferred

(D) Both views emphasize the rhetorical power of scientists.
Cannot be inferred

(E) The historians explicitly acknowledge that their views are indebted to those of the philosophers.
Cannot be inferred


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


6. Which one of the following best characterizes the author’s assessment of the opinions of the new historians of science, as these opinions are presented in the passage?

Pre-thinking

Inference question

The author thinks that the ideas of historians are fundamentally biased (P2) but that there is something appealing in their research (P3)


(A) They lack any credibility.
Credibility is not discussed

(B) They themselves can be rewardingly studied as social phenomena.
out of scope

(C) They are least convincing when they concern the actions of scientific groups.
when they are more or less convincing is not discussed

(D) Although they are gross overstatements, they lead to some valuable insights.
correct and in line with pre.thinking

(E) Although they are now popular, they are likely to be refused soon.
Out of scope


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


7. In concluding the passage, the author does which one of the following?

Pre-thinking

Detail question

The author gives his idea about what should come next


(A) offers a prescription
In line with pre-thinking

(B) presents a paradox
not mentioned

(C) makes a prediction
a prediction is different than giving one's opinion

(D) concedes an argument
Not mentioned

(E) anticipates objections
no objection anticipated


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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A recent generation of historians of science, far from portraying acce   [#permalink] 28 Jan 2020, 05:48
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