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# A survey of historians shows that most believe written texts

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Director
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A survey of historians shows that most believe written texts [#permalink]

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06 Jul 2005, 05:04
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A survey of historians shows that most believe written texts to be the best source for historical understanding. None of the historians regarded painting, architecture, music, dance, or culinary arts as the best source for historical understanding. So these historians neglect many important repositories of historical knowledge.

The reasoning in the argument is flawed because the argument takes for granted that

A) there are no potential sources for historical understanding other than written texts and the arts
B) painting, architecture, music, dance and culinary arts are important only as sources for historical understanding
C) there are no sources for historical understanding that are neither considered best by historians nor neglected by them
D) something other than written texts is the best sources for historical understanding.
E) the other sources for historical understanding mentioned by the historians surveyed are not important repositories of historical knowledge.
Director
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06 Jul 2005, 05:11
I will go with E
Just beacuse the historians said that the best source for historical understanding is written texts, doesn't mean that the others are not important.
Director
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06 Jul 2005, 05:28
I will go with E
Just beacuse the historians said that the best source for historical understanding is written texts, doesn't mean that the others are not important.

Rthothad, is that what E is really saying? I read it to mean the historians mentioned only texts as important repositories of historical knowledge (based on the stem). so if we infer that the historians mentioned more important repositories of historical knowledge, then E is telling us that those are important as well.

I think it's A in that addresses the fact the argument assumes text and the arts(painting, architecture, music, dance and culinary arts ) are the only source of historical understanding.

i think A and E kind of overlap. I pick A though
Director
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06 Jul 2005, 05:40
Foola, The historians said that the best source for historical understanding is the written texts but the author used this to conclude that the historians neglect other sources, so I was looking for something that will bring out this discrepancy and felt that E was close.
Director
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06 Jul 2005, 05:55
Foola, The historians said that the best source for historical understanding is the written texts but the author used this to conclude that the historians neglect other sources, so I was looking for something that will bring out this discrepancy and felt that E was close.

Okay. i see what you are saying.
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06 Jul 2005, 08:02
I think "C" is best.

In sum argument says that as the historians consider texts as the best means they neglect other repositories. "C" points out that assumption. If u negate "C" i.e. there ARE sources available that are neither considered best nor neglected by the historians, then the argument falls apart because then we can categorize these other repositories as these particular sources.
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06 Jul 2005, 08:52
I picked C too.

Just because the scientists don't consider them as best, it doesn't mean that they ignore them.They might consider them as just plain good and hence definitely not neglected.

HMTG.
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06 Jul 2005, 11:25
C is it
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09 Jul 2005, 02:10
HowManyToGo wrote:
I picked C too.

Just because the scientists don't consider them as best, it doesn't mean that they ignore them.They might consider them as just plain good and hence definitely not neglected.

HMTG.

I will go with E.
Question is asking for what is taken for granted in the passage. 'Considering written texts as best source' is what is taken as granted. Choice C is negation of this - and is NOT what is taken for granted.
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09 Jul 2005, 02:20
Whats wrong with D.???
Director
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Re: CR: A Historian's Survey [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2005, 18:12
Although this question is not an assumption question, i tackled it by trying to weaken the assumption. The assumption is that painting, arch., music, dance or culinary arts are best sources for historical understanding. So, if we have an option that says that they are not (weakens the assumption), then it should be the answer. I actually figured out my ans. before looking at the options and viola, it was stated in (E).
Director
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10 Jul 2005, 08:11
The OA is C.

I think Ban does a fabulous job of explaining why AC C is the flaw in the argument. I narrowed down my AC to C and E. Notice when you negate AC E is makes the "conclusion" stronger. Well if it does then its not a flaw in the argument. Same analogy can be applied to assumption questions too.
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10 Jul 2005, 09:54
In what conditions do we need to negate the choices in the CR questions generally?
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11 Jul 2005, 05:31
gmat2me2 wrote:
In what conditions do we need to negate the choices in the CR questions generally?

I do not think there is a specific rule for this. It rather depends on individual approach. For tough assumption questions (e.g. when we have LEAST, EXCEPT, etc, in assumption questions), i tend to negate. Sometimes, when the options are close enough for comfort, i also negate. Some books (can't remember which now) will tell you that for weaken and strenghten questions, one should attempt to either weaken or strenghten the assumption, and in doing so, you may have to negate to find a valid assumption first (though this process may waste your time). So, IMO, it all depends on what works best for you.

Yes, the answer is (C). (E) actually tends to strenghten the position. Had the word 'NOT' been absent in (E), then (E) may have been a serious contender.
11 Jul 2005, 05:31
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