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# Dean: The mathematics department at our university has said

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Dean: The mathematics department at our university has said [#permalink]

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07 Mar 2013, 00:56
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Dean: The mathematics department at our university has said that it should be given sole responsibility for teaching the course Statistics for the Social Sciences. But this course has no more mathematics in it than high school algebra does. The fact that a course has mathematics in it does not mean that it needs to be taught by a mathematics professor, any more than a course approaching its subject from a historical perspective must be taught by a history professor. Such demands by the mathematics department are therefore unjustified.

The dean’s argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that it
(A) presumes, without providing justification, that expertise in a subject does not enable one to teach that subject well
(B) purports to refute a view by showing that one possible reason for that view is insufficient
(C) presumes, without providing justification, that most students are as knowledgeable about mathematics as they are about history
(D) fails to establish that mathematics professors are not capable of teaching Statistics for the Social Sciences effectively
(E) presumes, without providing justification, that any policies that apply to history courses must be justified with respect to mathematics courses

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Last edited by PrashantPonde on 07 Mar 2013, 08:09, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Dean: The mathematics department at our university has said [#permalink]

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10 Mar 2013, 23:33
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Expert's post
PraPon wrote:
Dean: The mathematics department at our university has said that it should be given sole responsibility for teaching the course Statistics for the Social Sciences. But this course has no more mathematics in it than high school algebra does. The fact that a course has mathematics in it does not mean that it needs to be taught by a mathematics professor, any more than a course approaching its subject from a historical perspective must be taught by a history professor. Such demands by the mathematics department are therefore unjustified.

The dean’s argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that it
(A) presumes, without providing justification, that expertise in a subject does not enable one to teach that subject well
(B) purports to refute a view by showing that one possible reason for that view is insufficient
(C) presumes, without providing justification, that most students are as knowledgeable about mathematics as they are about history
(D) fails to establish that mathematics professors are not capable of teaching Statistics for the Social Sciences effectively
(E) presumes, without providing justification, that any policies that apply to history courses must be justified with respect to mathematics courses

Since we are asked to attack the Dean's argument , let us take his premise.

Dean's Premise: The fact that a course has mathematics in it does not mean that it needs to be taught by a mathematics professor, any more than a course approaching its subject from a historical perspective must be taught by a history professor

Dean's Conclusion: The demands of the mathematics department are unjustified

This is for all practical purposes equivalent to a weaken question. So the right choice should provide an alternate explanation or should reduce the force of the premise. Thus, this is done if

(i) The choice provides an alternate reason why the demands of the mathematics department are indeed justified or

(ii) The choice provides a valid reason why a course with mathematics content even though elementary should be taught by a mathematics professor.

In (i) the right choice will refute the conclusion reached by the dean by providing alternate explanations and in (ii) the right choice will refute/weaken the premise of the dean.

Choice B is correct because it says that the dean's argument only purports to refute the view and does not really refute the view since it shows that only one of the reasons of the view is insufficient. It doesn't fully refute because the argument is not airtight i.e., the conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premise. Thus in effect it says there may be other reasons which may support the view or in other words it says what our (i) above says.
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Re: Tough CR: Teaching Statistics for the Social Sciences [#permalink]

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07 Mar 2013, 02:16
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PraPon wrote:
Dean: The mathematics department at our university has said that it should be given sole responsibility for
teaching the course Statistics for the Social Sciences. But this course has no more mathematics in it than high school algebra does. The fact that a course has mathematics in it does not mean that it needs to be taught by a
mathematics professor, any more than a course approaching its subject from a historical perspective must be taught by a history professor. Such demands by the mathematics department are therefore unjustified.

The dean’s argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that it
(A) presumes, without providing justification, that expertise in a subject does not enable one to teach that subject well
(B) purports to refute a view by showing that one possible reason for that view is insufficient
(C) presumes, without providing justification, that most students are as knowledgeable about mathematics as they are about history
(D) fails to establish that mathematics professors are not capable of teaching Statistics for the Social Sciences effectively
(E) presumes, without providing justification, that any policies that apply to history courses must be justified with respect to mathematics courses

OA will follow.

Hi PraPon,
I'll go with B : purports to refute a view by showing that one possible reason for that view is insufficient
the view is : The mathematics department at our university has said that it should be given sole responsibility for
teaching the course Statistics for the Social Sciences.
Refute this view : But this course has no more mathematics in it than high school algebra does ; i.e ourse approaching its subject from a historical perspective must be taught by a history professor.
Possible reason: a course has mathematics in it
insufficient : unjustified
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Re: Tough CR: Teaching Statistics for the Social Sciences [#permalink]

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07 Mar 2013, 08:11
Rock750 wrote:
PraPon wrote:
Dean: The mathematics department at our university has said that it should be given sole responsibility for
teaching the course Statistics for the Social Sciences. But this course has no more mathematics in it than high school algebra does. The fact that a course has mathematics in it does not mean that it needs to be taught by a
mathematics professor, any more than a course approaching its subject from a historical perspective must be taught by a history professor. Such demands by the mathematics department are therefore unjustified.

The dean’s argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that it
(A) presumes, without providing justification, that expertise in a subject does not enable one to teach that subject well
(B) purports to refute a view by showing that one possible reason for that view is insufficient
(C) presumes, without providing justification, that most students are as knowledgeable about mathematics as they are about history
(D) fails to establish that mathematics professors are not capable of teaching Statistics for the Social Sciences effectively
(E) presumes, without providing justification, that any policies that apply to history courses must be justified with respect to mathematics courses

OA will follow.

Hi PraPon,
I'll go with B : purports to refute a view by showing that one possible reason for that view is insufficient
the view is : The mathematics department at our university has said that it should be given sole responsibility for
teaching the course Statistics for the Social Sciences.
Refute this view : But this course has no more mathematics in it than high school algebra does ; i.e ourse approaching its subject from a historical perspective must be taught by a history professor.
Possible reason: a course has mathematics in it
insufficient : unjustified

Yes (B) is the answer. Nice work.
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Re: Tough CR: Teaching Statistics for the Social Sciences [#permalink]

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07 Mar 2013, 10:28
PraPon wrote:
Dean: The mathematics department at our university has said that it should be given sole responsibility for teaching the course Statistics for the Social Sciences. But this course has no more mathematics in it than high school algebra does. The fact that a course has mathematics in it does not mean that it needs to be taught by a mathematics professor, any more than a course approaching its subject from a historical perspective must be taught by a history professor. Such demands by the mathematics department are therefore unjustified.

The dean’s argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that it
(A) presumes, without providing justification, that expertise in a subject does not enable one to teach that subject well
(B) purports to refute a view by showing that one possible reason for that view is insufficient
(C) presumes, without providing justification, that most students are as knowledgeable about mathematics as they are about history
(D) fails to establish that mathematics professors are not capable of teaching Statistics for the Social Sciences effectively
(E) presumes, without providing justification, that any policies that apply to history courses must be justified with respect to mathematics courses

I am finding it difficult for me.can someone explain it in details plz................

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Re: Tough CR: Teaching Statistics for the Social Sciences [#permalink]

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07 Mar 2013, 11:47
mun23 wrote:
PraPon wrote:
Dean: The mathematics department at our university has said that it should be given sole responsibility for teaching the course Statistics for the Social Sciences. But this course has no more mathematics in it than high school algebra does. The fact that a course has mathematics in it does not mean that it needs to be taught by a mathematics professor, any more than a course approaching its subject from a historical perspective must be taught by a history professor. Such demands by the mathematics department are therefore unjustified.

The dean’s argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that it
(A) presumes, without providing justification, that expertise in a subject does not enable one to teach that subject well
(B) purports to refute a view by showing that one possible reason for that view is insufficient
(C) presumes, without providing justification, that most students are as knowledgeable about mathematics as they are about history
(D) fails to establish that mathematics professors are not capable of teaching Statistics for the Social Sciences effectively
(E) presumes, without providing justification, that any policies that apply to history courses must be justified with respect to mathematics courses

I am finding it difficult for me.can someone explain it in details plz................

Hi mun23,

Here is what i did :
* Identify the logical structure of the argument :

Dean: The mathematics department at our university has said that it should be given sole responsibility for teaching the course Statistics for the Social Sciences[Fact or view]. But[connecting word using to refute the precedent view] this course has no more mathematics in it than high school algebra does. The fact that a course has mathematics in it[one possible reason for the view] does not mean that it needs to be taught by a mathematics professor, any more than a course approaching its subject from a historical perspective must be taught by a history professor[refute again]. Such demands by the mathematics department are therefore unjustified.[concludes using therefore that the reason is insufficent]

*Choose the answer choice that fit perfectly with the structure of the original argument :
(A) presumes, without providing justification, that expertise in a subject does not enable one to teach that subject well
Clearly out of scope, the argument never mentionned anything about HOW the expertise enables or not one to teach well or bad

(B) purports to refute a view by showing that one possible reason for that view is insufficient
Correct, it follows the structure of the argument

(C) presumes, without providing justification, that most students are as knowledgeable about mathematics as they are about history
Again, this is out of scope , the argument never mentionned anything about students and their knowledge [always remember that you should stay with the perimeter of the argument]

(D) fails to establish that mathematics professors are not capable of teaching Statistics for the Social Sciences effectively
this is not what the author was trying to do, i.e his purpose wasn't to establish that mathematics professors are not capable of teaching Statistics for the Social Sciences effectively , he was just implying that the course Statistics for the Social Sciences contains such a basic mathematics in it and does'nt require to be teached by a mathematic expert and so this option is WRONG
(E) presumes, without providing justification, that any policies that apply to history courses must be justified with respect to mathematics courses
Again, this is out of scope, policies / respect ?!

Hope that is clear enough !!!
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Re: Dean: The mathematics department at our university has said [#permalink]

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08 Mar 2013, 21:16
PraPon wrote:
Dean: The mathematics department at our university has said that it should be given sole responsibility for teaching the course Statistics for the Social Sciences. But this course has no more mathematics in it than high school algebra does. The fact that a course has mathematics in it does not mean that it needs to be taught by a mathematics professor, any more than a course approaching its subject from a historical perspective must be taught by a history professor. Such demands by the mathematics department are therefore unjustified.

The dean’s argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that it
(A) presumes, without providing justification, that expertise in a subject does not enable one to teach that subject well
(B) purports to refute a view by showing that one possible reason for that view is insufficient
(C) presumes, without providing justification, that most students are as knowledgeable about mathematics as they are about history
(D) fails to establish that mathematics professors are not capable of teaching Statistics for the Social Sciences effectively
(E) presumes, without providing justification, that any policies that apply to history courses must be justified with respect to mathematics courses

Logical Structure - Maths dept - It should have the responsibility of teaching stats.
Dean - it has only school algebra.
If a course contains maths then allocate it to maths dept = a course containing history in it allocate to history

Pre - thinking - if a course contains maths, asking a math prof to teach is no more better than course containing historical perspective to be taught by history prof.
And
assumption - stats has historical perspective

Lets look at the options
(A) presumes, without providing justification, that expertise in a subject does not enable one to teach that subject well - This passage is not about expertise. He never mentioned who is expert. Also expertise enabling one to teach well is a clear case of scope shift.
(B) purports to refute a view by showing that one possible reason for that view is insufficient - from our prethinking it is right
(C) presumes, without providing justification, that most students are as knowledgeable about mathematics as they are about history - No where in the passage it talks about most students. And it says it has high school algebra but that doesn`t mean students are knowledgeable and about history as well.
(D) fails to establish that mathematics professors are not capable of teaching Statistics for the Social Sciences effectively - the authors intention is not prove math prof are not capable. His intention is to prove other departments have equally likely chances to teach the same and math dept don`t have an edge.
(E) presumes, without providing justification, that any policies that apply to history courses must be justified with respect to mathematics courses - He is not bench-marking math courses. - Out of context.

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Re: Dean: The mathematics department at our university has said [#permalink]

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Re: Dean: The mathematics department at our university has said [#permalink]

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08 Mar 2017, 10:42
Good one indeed.
The dean did not provide his own reason why he believes that the view of the maths department is unjustifed.
He just refuted the reason provided by the department. There might be other reasons that justify the view of the maths department.
refuting one possible reason does not mean that the claim is unjustified.
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Dean: The mathematics department at our university has said [#permalink]

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11 Oct 2017, 12:35
Dean: The mathematics department at our university has said that it should be given sole responsibility for teaching the course Statistics for the Social Sciences. But this course has no more mathematics in it than high school algebra does. The fact that a course has mathematics in it does not mean that it needs to be taught by a mathematics professor, any more than a course approaching its subject from a historical perspective must be taught by a history professor. Such demands by the mathematics department are therefore unjustified.

This question appears to be hard but it's actually just a process of elimination. One should focus on WHY the other answers are wrong. Let's BOIL the argument down:

Dean: Social Science Stat Course doesn't REQUIRE a math PROF to teach it, because
1) It's relatively easy math (high school)
2) Just because one aspect of course X is required to SUBJECT M doesn't mean we need a PROF specializing in subject M to teach X.

The dean’s argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that it
(A) presumes, without providing justification, that expertise in a subject does not enable one to teach that subject well
Out of scope: "teach that subject well" this isn't part of the Dean's argument
(B) purports to refute a view by showing that one possible reason for that view is insufficient
Sounds alright: (B) says the argument has 1 piece of support (one possible reason), implying that 1 is NOT enough. We literally can make this claim for many GMAT argument but it's not really wrong. Let's leave it here for now.
(C) presumes, without providing justification, that most students are as knowledgeable about mathematics as they are about history
Ridiculous: Does the Dean assume "most students are as knowledgeable about mathematics as they are about history?" Of course not and in no way the STEM supports this. No Dean should have such a notorious assumption!
(D) fails to establish that mathematics professors are not capable of teaching Statistics for the Social Sciences effectively
Out of scope: The dean is arguing for REQUIREMENT not capability or "not capable of teaching". This is similar to (A)
(E) presumes, without providing justification, that any policies that apply to history courses must be justified with respect to mathematics courses
Ridiculous: Policy isn't even in the question! This is obviously not related.

Because it's very obvious that all the others are wrong, the answer must be B. (B) in a way is basically an extreme version of: Most argument doesn't have sufficient evidence to support it. Well duh! But this is where the trick is, it's like saying the sky is mostly blue. It's always true that it doesn't sound like a weakener but it indeed is.

[Reveal] Spoiler:

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