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Armchair anthropologists of the Victorian Era rarely visited the lands

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Armchair anthropologists of the Victorian Era rarely visited the lands  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 07 Feb 2019, 09:59
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Armchair anthropologists of the Victorian Era rarely visited the lands in whose cultures they proclaimed themselves experts, and were as likely as not to call the inhabitants “savages.” By contrast, contemporary anthropologists, who are not taken seriously unless they have lived for a time among the people they study, are likely to use the more enlightened term “indigenous people.”

The author’s assertion about the superiority of contemporary anthropologists rests on which of the following assumptions about the word enlightened?

A. Victorian Era anthropologists often considered themselves enlightened even though they had never lived among the cultures they studied.

B. To be enlightened requires spending time among the people being studied.

C. The goal of contemporary anthropology is to become enlightened.

D. A person who has been enlightened can not, by definition, be called a savage.

E. Anthropologists must be enlightened before they are properly prepared to spend time among the people they study.

Originally posted by IEsailor on 25 Oct 2009, 10:28.
Last edited by gmat1393 on 07 Feb 2019, 09:59, edited 2 times in total.
Renamed the topic, edited the question and added the OA.
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Re: Armchair anthropologists of the Victorian Era rarely visited the lands  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Nov 2009, 11:43
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IEsailor wrote:
18. Armchair anthropologists of the Victorian Era rarely visited the lands in whose cultures they proclaimed themselves experts, and were as likely as not to call the inhabitants “savages.” By contrast, contemporary anthropologists, who are not taken seriously unless they have lived for a time among the people they study, are likely to use the more enlightened term “indigenous people.”

The author’s assertion about the superiority of contemporary anthropologists rests on which of the following assumptions about the word enlightened?

A. Victorian Era anthropologists often considered themselves enlightened even though they had never lived among the cultures they studied.
B. To be enlightened requires spending time among the people being studied.
C. The goal of contemporary anthropology is to become enlightened.
D. A person who has been enlightened can not, by definition, be called a savage.
E. Anthropologists must be enlightened before they are properly prepared to spend time among the people they study.


The answer MUST be B. This is a good example of a GMAT CR question, because it follows the basic tenet of CR questions: if you keep your eye on exactly what's being claimed, the answer comes directly out of it.

In this case, the claim in the argument is as follows:
1) Victorian anthropologists did not go countries and called people "savages"
2) Contemporary anthropologists did go, and use the term "indigenous people".
3) The term "indigenous people" is more "enlightened" than the term "savages."

So what's the missing connection? Well, the people who went to the countries use the more enlightened term. There is NO other difference mentioned between the two sets of anthropologists, so the right answer MUST hinge on this difference. B simply makes this connection, clearly and accurately, and must be right. To test it, use the negation test:

Quote:
-b) To be enlightened DOES NOT require spending time among the people being studied.

If this were true, then the argument would not be true, because neither group would be any more likely than the other to be "enlightened" (or, more accurately, to use a more "enlightened" term).

All the other choices distort the entities in the argument in various ways, usually by moving the term "enlightenment" to the wrong entities in the argument (Victorian anthropologists, "savages," etc.) It is only contemporary anthropologists who are "enlightened."
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Re: Armchair anthropologists of the Victorian Era rarely visited the lands  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2009, 19:15
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tough question , is this from GMAT or LSAT
anyways ,my pic is B
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Re: Armchair anthropologists of the Victorian Era rarely visited the lands  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2009, 03:16
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IMO B is the ans.
The new anthropologists are enlightened by their association with the other culture. They must be knowing enough about the culture so as not to call them "savages", but rather "indigenous people".
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Re: Armchair anthropologists of the Victorian Era rarely visited the lands  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 27 Oct 2009, 23:23
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IEsailor wrote:
18. Armchair anthropologists of the Victorian Era rarely visited the lands in whose cultures they proclaimed themselves experts, and were as likely as not to call the inhabitants “savages.” By contrast, contemporary anthropologists, who are not taken seriously unless they have lived for a time among the people they study, are likely to use the more enlightened term “indigenous people.”

The author’s assertion about the superiority of contemporary anthropologists rests on which of the following assumptions about the word enlightened?

A. Victorian Era anthropologists often considered themselves enlightened even though they had never lived among the cultures they studied.
B. To be enlightened requires spending time among the people being studied.
C. The goal of contemporary anthropology is to become enlightened.
D. A person who has been enlightened can not, by definition, be called a savage.
E. Anthropologists must be enlightened before they are properly prepared to spend time among the people they study.


This is indeed a tough question, but I do find that B is the best answer. Start using poe to exclude c+d+e

C. Nowhere is it stated that the goal of anthropology is to become enlightened. That would be rubbish anyway.
D. The word "savage" was used by anthropologists to describe the people they studied while "enlightened" refers to the anthropologists themselves.
E. This is a reversal of causality. The true causality is that they become enlightened by spending time with the people that they study.

Now it's down to A and B.

While A may be true it is not explicitly stated anywhere how the Victorian Era anthropologists considered themselves. While it is reasonable to assume that they thought they we're making "enlighted" descriptions this cannot be inferred from the text.

So answer is B. The text states the the anthropologists of today sees it necessary to spend time with the study subjects and thus are able to make more enlightened descriptions than their predecessors did.

Hope that clears it up.

Originally posted by Augustus on 27 Oct 2009, 23:14.
Last edited by Augustus on 27 Oct 2009, 23:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Armchair anthropologists of the Victorian Era rarely visited the lands  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Oct 2009, 23:17
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A The passage does not discuss whether Victorian Era anthropologists considered themselves enlightened.
B Correct. Contemporary anthropologists are considered more enlightened because, unlike Victorian Era anthropologists, they are likely to have lived among the people they study.
C The passage does not make this claim.
D The passage does not address the application of the word enlightened to people being studied.
E The passage actually argues that anthropologists are enlightened because, or after, they spend time among the people they study.

The correct answer is B.
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Re: Armchair anthropologists of the Victorian Era rarely visited the lands  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2011, 12:03
I chose B

A. Victorian Era anthropologists often considered themselves enlightened even though they had never lived among the cultures they studied. - Does not relate back to contemporary anthropologists.
B. To be enlightened requires spending time among the people being studied. - Makes sense, because that seems to be the main difference between the type of anthropologists in the passage. Keep it
C. The goal of contemporary anthropology is to become enlightened. - That's not what the author seems to be conveying
D. A person who has been enlightened can not, by definition, be called a savage. - This sounds as though the indigenous people are being called enlightened. We want to know about anthropologists.
E. Anthropologists must be enlightened before they are properly prepared to spend time among the people they study. - This almost says the opposite of what the passage says.

B is the only one that seems reasonable.
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Re: Armchair anthropologists of the Victorian Era rarely visited the lands  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jun 2012, 01:09
IEsailor wrote:
18. Armchair anthropologists of the Victorian Era rarely visited the lands in whose cultures they proclaimed themselves experts, and were as likely as not to call the inhabitants “savages.” By contrast, contemporary anthropologists, who are not taken seriously unless they have lived for a time among the people they study, are likely to use the more enlightened term “indigenous people.”

The author’s assertion about the superiority of contemporary anthropologists rests on which of the following assumptions about the word enlightened?

B. To be enlightened requires spending time among the people being studied.
D. A person who has been enlightened can not, by definition, be called a savage.


Surprising choosing the D is the correct one. However, I still want to express my reasoning below by negate technique:
A person who has been enlightened CAN, by definition, be called a savage. Actually, this negated statement is "maybe" true, not "sure".

In choice B, negate it: "To be enlightened does NOT require spending time among the people being studied" => collapse with the argument. Therefore, choice B must be the correct answer, I chose D, which is wrong.
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Re: Armchair anthropologists of the Victorian Era rarely visited the lands  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2012, 11:05
IMO B.. Thanks Alex for the detailed explanation...
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Re: Armchair anthropologists of the Victorian Era rarely visited the lands  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2019, 04:36
can someone please boil down the argument? what does " were as likely as not to call the inhabitants “savages.” " mean?
finding it hard to understand the argument.
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Re: Armchair anthropologists of the Victorian Era rarely visited the lands   [#permalink] 07 Feb 2019, 04:36
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