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# Arguing that there was no trade between Europe and East Asia

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Arguing that there was no trade between Europe and East Asia  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 01 Oct 2017, 23:36
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57% (02:10) correct 43% (02:11) wrong based on 576 sessions

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Arguing that there was no trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages because there are no written records of such trade is like arguing that the Yeti, an apelike creature supposedly existing in the Himalayas, does not exist because there have been no scientifically confirmed sightings. A verifiable sighting of the Yeti would prove that the creature does exist, but the absence of sightings cannot prove that it does not.

Which one of the following considerations, if true, best counters the argument?

(A) Most of the evidence for the existence of trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages is archaeological and therefore does not rely on written records.

(B) Although written records of trade in East Asia in the early Middle Ages survived, there are almost no Europe documents from that period that mention trade at all.

(C) Any trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages would necessarily have been of very low volume and would have involved high-priced items, such as precious metals and silk.

(D) There have been no confirmed sightings of the Yeti, but there is indirect evidence, such as footprints, which if it is accepted as authentic would establish the Yeti's existence.

(E) There are surviving European and East Asian written records from the early Middle Ages that do not mention trade between the two regions but would have been very likely to do so if this trade had existed.

Source: LSAT

Same passage with different stem question: LINK

Originally posted by HIMALAYA on 07 Jul 2005, 19:31.
Last edited by broall on 01 Oct 2017, 23:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Arguing that there was no trade between Europe and East Asia  [#permalink]

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02 Apr 2013, 11:47
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HIMALAYA wrote:
Arguing that there was no trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages because there are no written records of such trade is like arguing that the Yeti, an apelike creature supposedly existing in the Himalayas, does not exist because there have been no scientifically confirmed sightings. A verifiable sighting of the Yeti would prove that the creature does exist, but the absence of sightings cannot prove that it does not.

Which one of the following considerations, if true, best counters the argument?

(A) Most of the evidence for the existence of trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages is archaeological and therefore does not rely on written records.
(B) Although written records of trade in East Asia in the early Middle Ages survived, there are almost no Europe documents from that period that mention trade at all.
(C) Any trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages would necessarily have been of very low volume and would have involved high-priced items, such as precious metals and silk.
(D) There have been no confirmed sightings of the Yeti, but there is indirect evidence, such as footprints, which if it is accepted as authentic would establish the Yeti's existence.
(E) There are surviving European and East Asian written records from the early Middle Ages that do not mention trade between the two regions but would have been very likely to do so if this trade had existed.

fameatop wrote:
Hi Mike, Can you kindly explain this question as i am not to understand the options. Waiting eagerly for your valuable inputs. Regards, Fame

What's very hard about this argument is the nature of the conclusion. We are asked, which "best counters the argument?", but the question is, what is the argument? The main conclusion is not about whether trade actually existed between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages. Rather, the conclusion is about whether an argument is a sound argument.

The author is presumably responding to historians who argued --- "no written record ==> this trade didn't exist."
The author's conclusion is that this, the historian's argument, is a bad argument.
The author supports his conclusion by analogy --- by the analogy with an argument about the purported existence of the Yeti. Clearly, in the Yeti's cases, a lack of sightings is not conclusive, but one clear photo of a Yeti would be conclusive proof.
We are asked to counter, not the argument by historians, but the author's argument by analogy. We are looking for an answer that makes clear that, unlike the evidence in the Yeti case, the evidence here, the lack of written records, is strong evidence for the the non-existence of this trade.

(A) focuses on the wrong argument ---it's focusing on whether this trade actually existed, by-passing the argument by analogy.
(B) irrelevant
(C) irrelevant
(D) this just changes the nature of what counts as evidence in the analogous argument, but it doesn't demonstrate fundamentally why the Yeti-to-trade analogy argument is flawed.
(E) This brings up a major shortcoming of the analogy. In the case of trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages, there are written records where this trade would have been very likely to have been mentioned if it existed, and it's not mentioned. In that context, the "no mention" is actually very strong evidence against the existence of such trade. This is a very different scenario than if we just had no written records of any sort ---- if all written records had been lost, then we could reasonably argue, "maybe the trade existed, was written about, and those written records were lost." But, if we have verifiable records that would have been likely to mention the trade, and these don't mention it, then that's a circumstance in which the lack of mention is damning evidence against the existence of this trade.
Furthermore, this is precisely where the analogy breaks down. There are very specific texts of which we can say --- if the trade had existed, it would have been mentioned here. There's no analogous spot for Yeti-sighting. Where does the Yeti live? In the Himalayas, a huge and vastly inaccessible region. There's no "prime Yeti spot", of which we could say --- if a Yeti existed, you would be likely to see it right here in this specific location.
This is the one answer that shatters the argument by analogy, which is the core of the author's argument.

Does this make sense?

Mike
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Re: Arguing that there was no trade between Europe and East Asia  [#permalink]

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14 Apr 2013, 22:50
7
HIMALAYA wrote:
Arguing that there was no trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages because there are no written records of such trade is like arguing that the Yeti, an apelike creature supposedly existing in the Himalayas, does not exist because there have been no scientifically confirmed sightings. A verifiable sighting of the Yeti would prove that the creature does exist, but the absence of sightings cannot prove that it does not.

Which one of the following considerations, if true, best counters the argument?

(A) Most of the evidence for the existence of trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages is archaeological and therefore does not rely on written records.
(B) Although written records of trade in East Asia in the early Middle Ages survived, there are almost no Europe documents from that period that mention trade at all.
(C) Any trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages would necessarily have been of very low volume and would have involved high-priced items, such as precious metals and silk.
(D) There have been no confirmed sightings of the Yeti, but there is indirect evidence, such as footprints, which if it is accepted as authentic would establish the Yetiâ€™s existence.
(E) There are surviving European and East Asian written records from the early Middle Ages that do not mention trade between the two regions but would have been very likely to do so if this trade had existed.

What makes this question difficult, I think the answer lies on the question stem "best counter the argument". But what argument you should counter?

The author says: "No written records --> No trade" is NOT correct. He uses a similar example: "No evidence of Yeti --> Yeti did not exist" is WRONG, because even no evidence, Yeti actually existed.
In short, the author's conclusion is: No written records --> DOES NOT MEAN "No trade".

You should attack his conclusion by showing that:"No written records --> No trade" is CORRECT.

E says: There are written records that do not mention trade. But if trade actually had existed, the records would have been mentioned. --> It means "No written records --> No trade" is CORRECT.

Hope it helps.
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Re: Arguing that there was no trade between Europe and East Asia  [#permalink]

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29 Aug 2012, 14:31
HIMALAYA wrote:
Arguing that there was no trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages because there are no written records of such trade is like arguing that the Yeti, an apelike creature supposedly existing in the Himalayas, does not exist because there have been no scientifically confirmed sightings. A verifiable sighting of the Yeti would prove that the creature does exist, but the absence of sightings cannot prove that it does not.Arguing that there was no trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages because there are no written records of such trade is like arguing that the Yeti, an apelike creature supposedly existing in the Himalayas, does not exist because there have been no scientifically confirmed sightings. A verifiable sighting of the Yeti would prove that the creature does exist, but the absence of sightings cannot prove that it does not.

Which one of the following considerations, if true, best counters the argument?

(A) Most of the evidence for the existence of trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages is archaeological and therefore does not rely on written records.
(B) Although written records of trade in East Asia in the early Middle Ages survived, there are almost no Europe documents from that period that mention trade at all.
(C) Any trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages would necessarily have been of very low volume and would have involved high-priced items, such as precious metals and silk.
(D) There have been no confirmed sightings of the Yeti, but there is indirect evidence, such as footprints, which if it is accepted as authentic would establish the Yetiâ€™s existence.
(E) There are surviving European and East Asian written records from the early Middle Ages that do not mention trade between the two regions but would have been very likely to do so if this trade had existed.
No reasoning provided for this question Can CR champs comment on this one? I got this wrong....
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Re: Arguing that there was no trade between Europe and East Asia  [#permalink]

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29 Aug 2012, 20:57
even working on this for 3min
got it wrong ..
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Re: Arguing that there was no trade between Europe and East Asia  [#permalink]

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01 Sep 2012, 12:26
+1 E

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Re: Arguing that there was no trade between Europe and East Asia  [#permalink]

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14 Apr 2013, 06:15
mikemcgarry wrote:
HIMALAYA wrote:
Arguing that there was no trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages because there are no written records of such trade is like arguing that the Yeti, an apelike creature supposedly existing in the Himalayas, does not exist because there have been no scientifically confirmed sightings. A verifiable sighting of the Yeti would prove that the creature does exist, but the absence of sightings cannot prove that it does not.

Which one of the following considerations, if true, best counters the argument?

(A) Most of the evidence for the existence of trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages is archaeological and therefore does not rely on written records.
(B) Although written records of trade in East Asia in the early Middle Ages survived, there are almost no Europe documents from that period that mention trade at all.
(C) Any trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages would necessarily have been of very low volume and would have involved high-priced items, such as precious metals and silk.
(D) There have been no confirmed sightings of the Yeti, but there is indirect evidence, such as footprints, which if it is accepted as authentic would establish the Yeti's existence.
(E) There are surviving European and East Asian written records from the early Middle Ages that do not mention trade between the two regions but would have been very likely to do so if this trade had existed.

fameatop wrote:
Hi Mike, Can you kindly explain this question as i am not to understand the options. Waiting eagerly for your valuable inputs. Regards, Fame

What's very hard about this argument is the nature of the conclusion. We are asked, which "best counters the argument?", but the question is, what is the argument? The main conclusion is not about whether trade actually existed between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages. Rather, the conclusion is about whether an argument is a sound argument.

The author is presumably responding to historians who argued --- "no written record ==> this trade didn't exist."
The author's conclusion is that this, the historian's argument, is a bad argument.
The author supports his conclusion by analogy --- by the analogy with an argument about the purported existence of the Yeti. Clearly, in the Yeti's cases, a lack of sightings is not conclusive, but one clear photo of a Yeti would be conclusive proof.
We are asked to counter, not the argument by historians, but the author's argument by analogy. We are looking for an answer that makes clear that, unlike the evidence in the Yeti case, the evidence here, the lack of written records, is strong evidence for the the non-existence of this trade.

(A) focuses on the wrong argument ---it's focusing on whether this trade actually existed, by-passing the argument by analogy.
(B) irrelevant
(C) irrelevant
(D) this just changes the nature of what counts as evidence in the analogous argument, but it doesn't demonstrate fundamentally why the Yeti-to-trade analogy argument is flawed.
(E) This brings up a major shortcoming of the analogy. In the case of trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages, there are written records where this trade would have been very likely to have been mentioned if it existed, and it's not mentioned. In that context, the "no mention" is actually very strong evidence against the existence of such trade. This is a very different scenario than if we just had no written records of any sort ---- if all written records had been lost, then we could reasonably argue, "maybe the trade existed, was written about, and those written records were lost." But, if we have verifiable records that would have been likely to mention the trade, and these don't mention it, then that's a circumstance in which the lack of mention is damning evidence against the existence of this trade.
Furthermore, this is precisely where the analogy breaks down. There are very specific texts of which we can say --- if the trade had existed, it would have been mentioned here. There's no analogous spot for Yeti-sighting. Where does the Yeti live? In the Himalayas, a huge and vastly inaccessible region. There's no "prime Yeti spot", of which we could say --- if a Yeti existed, you would be likely to see it right here in this specific location.
This is the one answer that shatters the argument by analogy, which is the core of the author's argument.

Does this make sense?

Mike

Mike, Thanks for the detailed explanation. This question is very tricky and unfortunately I still have doubts..
In this question, we need to counter the argument which mentions the analogy between existence of trade and Yeti Example.
Countering the argument will mean presenting facts which undermines the analogy. Analogy is that absence of written records (Absence of Sighting of Yeti) cannot imply that Trade did not exist (that Yeti does not exist).

Question is how to undermine this analogy. I thought the best answer choice would be one that implies 'The absence of written records indeed means lack of trade', I could not find any option in the answer choices very convincing.

I am completely lost in the analogy, would request you to explain option 'E' and how it counters the analogy in the argument..

Thanks..
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Re: Arguing that there was no trade between Europe and East Asia  [#permalink]

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14 Apr 2013, 23:23
vmdce129907 wrote:
mikemcgarry wrote:
HIMALAYA wrote:
Arguing that there was no trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages because there are no written records of such trade is like arguing that the Yeti, an apelike creature supposedly existing in the Himalayas, does not exist because there have been no scientifically confirmed sightings. A verifiable sighting of the Yeti would prove that the creature does exist, but the absence of sightings cannot prove that it does not.

Which one of the following considerations, if true, best counters the argument?

(A) Most of the evidence for the existence of trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages is archaeological and therefore does not rely on written records.
(B) Although written records of trade in East Asia in the early Middle Ages survived, there are almost no Europe documents from that period that mention trade at all.
(C) Any trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages would necessarily have been of very low volume and would have involved high-priced items, such as precious metals and silk.
(D) There have been no confirmed sightings of the Yeti, but there is indirect evidence, such as footprints, which if it is accepted as authentic would establish the Yeti's existence.
(E) There are surviving European and East Asian written records from the early Middle Ages that do not mention trade between the two regions but would have been very likely to do so if this trade had existed.

fameatop wrote:
Hi Mike, Can you kindly explain this question as i am not to understand the options. Waiting eagerly for your valuable inputs. Regards, Fame

What's very hard about this argument is the nature of the conclusion. We are asked, which "best counters the argument?", but the question is, what is the argument? The main conclusion is not about whether trade actually existed between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages. Rather, the conclusion is about whether an argument is a sound argument.

The author is presumably responding to historians who argued --- "no written record ==> this trade didn't exist."
The author's conclusion is that this, the historian's argument, is a bad argument.
The author supports his conclusion by analogy --- by the analogy with an argument about the purported existence of the Yeti. Clearly, in the Yeti's cases, a lack of sightings is not conclusive, but one clear photo of a Yeti would be conclusive proof.
We are asked to counter, not the argument by historians, but the author's argument by analogy. We are looking for an answer that makes clear that, unlike the evidence in the Yeti case, the evidence here, the lack of written records, is strong evidence for the the non-existence of this trade.

(A) focuses on the wrong argument ---it's focusing on whether this trade actually existed, by-passing the argument by analogy.
(B) irrelevant
(C) irrelevant
(D) this just changes the nature of what counts as evidence in the analogous argument, but it doesn't demonstrate fundamentally why the Yeti-to-trade analogy argument is flawed.
(E) This brings up a major shortcoming of the analogy. In the case of trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages, there are written records where this trade would have been very likely to have been mentioned if it existed, and it's not mentioned. In that context, the "no mention" is actually very strong evidence against the existence of such trade. This is a very different scenario than if we just had no written records of any sort ---- if all written records had been lost, then we could reasonably argue, "maybe the trade existed, was written about, and those written records were lost." But, if we have verifiable records that would have been likely to mention the trade, and these don't mention it, then that's a circumstance in which the lack of mention is damning evidence against the existence of this trade.
Furthermore, this is precisely where the analogy breaks down. There are very specific texts of which we can say --- if the trade had existed, it would have been mentioned here. There's no analogous spot for Yeti-sighting. Where does the Yeti live? In the Himalayas, a huge and vastly inaccessible region. There's no "prime Yeti spot", of which we could say --- if a Yeti existed, you would be likely to see it right here in this specific location.
This is the one answer that shatters the argument by analogy, which is the core of the author's argument.

Does this make sense?

Mike

Mike, Thanks for the detailed explanation. This question is very tricky and unfortunately I still have doubts..
In this question, we need to counter the argument which mentions the analogy between existence of trade and Yeti Example.
Countering the argument will mean presenting facts which undermines the analogy. Analogy is that absence of written records (Absence of Sighting of Yeti) cannot imply that Trade did not exist (that Yeti does not exist).

Question is how to undermine this analogy. I thought the best answer choice would be one that implies 'The absence of written records indeed means lack of trade', I could not find any option in the answer choices very convincing.

I am completely lost in the analogy, would request you to explain option 'E' and how it counters the analogy in the argument..

Thanks..

The argument in the passage is :
No written record /verifiable sightings don’t imply that no trade/yeti exists.
The option E counter this by saying that written records from early middle ages would have(very likely) included trade information if trade had existed.
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Re: Arguing that there was no trade between Europe and East Asia  [#permalink]

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15 Apr 2013, 10:03
Quote:
Arguing that there was no trade between Europe and East Asia in the early Middle Ages because there are no written records of such trade is like arguing that the Yeti, an apelike creature supposedly existing in the Himalayas, does not exist because there have been no scientifically confirmed sightings. A verifiable sighting of the Yeti would prove that the creature does exist, but the absence of sightings cannot prove that it does not.

This is the argument I focused on in choosing E.

The overall argument in comparing trade to the Yeti is that the lack of evidence cannot be used to prove something did/didn't exist. What you're looking for in the answers is not an argument that is definitive on trade or on the yeti, but one that uses a lack of evidence to support an argument.

(A) shifts evidence from written to archaeological, irrelevant of a lack of evidence
(B) notes a lack of evidence, but doesn't counter any argument
(C) irrelevant
(D) shifts to actual evidence to prove the yeti, this is irrelevant and doesn't counter using a lack of evidence
(E) This is correct. The answer makes an argument that uses a lack of evidence to prove/disprove something. Remember, take the answers as if true. E lays out an argument that uses lack of evidence to prove there wasn't trading between Europe/Asia.
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Re: Arguing that there was no trade between Europe and East Asia  [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2014, 00:30
Clearly Option E was correct answer choice for this question.

It is the only option that weakens the author's argument in the correct manner.

Thanks!
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Re: Arguing that there was no trade between Europe and East Asia  [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2017, 23:21
Countering the argument would it be to show that no written records does imply the trade did not exist?
If yes then E by elimination but not by conviction .
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Re: Arguing that there was no trade between Europe and East Asia  [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2018, 23:00
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