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Deirdre: Many philosophers have argued that the goal of

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Deirdre: Many philosophers have argued that the goal of  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2017, 06:50
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Deirdre: Many philosophers have argued that the goal of every individual is to achieve happiness—that is, the satisfaction derived from fully living up to one’s potential. They have also claimed that happiness is elusive and can be achieved only after years of sustained effort. But these philosophers have been unduly pessimistic, since they have clearly exaggerated the difficulty of being happy. Simply walking along the seashore on a sunny afternoon causes many people to experience feelings of happiness.

Which one of the following most accurately describes a reasoning flaw in Deirdre’s argument?

(A) It dismisses a claim because of its source rather than because of its content.
(B) It fails to take into account that what brings someone happiness at one moment may not bring that person happiness at another time.
(C) It allows the key term “happiness” to shift in meaning illicitly in the course of the argument.
(D) It presumes, without providing justification, that happiness is, in fact, the goal of life.
(E) It makes a generalization based on the testimony of a group whose views have not been shown to be representative.
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Re: Deirdre: Many philosophers have argued that the goal of  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Apr 2017, 19:24
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Let us simplify the argument given --

PHILOSOPHERS' ARGUMENT --
Goal of an individual = Achieve happiness (= joy from living up to one's potential) + This happiness can be achieved only through years of sustained effort

AUTHOR'S ARGUMENT --
Walking on a seashore on sunny afternoon --> feelings of happiness --> Philosophers have exaggerated the difficulty of being happy --> their view is pessimistic

Note that this directly attacks the second part of the philosophers' argument -- "can be achieved only through years of effort" -- by giving an example.

We have been asked to find a flaw in the argument -- some kind of inconsistency that the author did not account for.

By comparing the two arguments, we can see that happiness in the author's argument = feeling of contentment BUT happiness in philosophers' argument = joy from living up to one's potential. Two very different things.

Which answer option states this? Option C.

Let us take a look at other answer options --

Option A - Incorrect
No. the author does not dismiss the philosophers' claim because it came from philosophers (=source).

Option B - Incorrect
This is probably not true. The author clearly states that it is momentary (experience on sunny afternoons, not at other times).
Moreover, this does not point a flaw in the author's reasoning --

Walking on a seashore on sunny afternoon --> feelings of happiness --> Philosophers have exaggerated the difficulty of being happy

This does not depend on whether the happiness is temporary or permanent. Only thing that matters is it can be achieved in a short amount of time and thus philosophers are wrong.

Option D - Incorrect

This pertains to the philosophers' argument. Not relevant.

Option E - Incorrect

"testimony of a group whose views have not been shown to be representative." -- no testimony is offered. No group is talked about. Also, we cannot infer anything about the representativeness of the group.
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Re: Deirdre: Many philosophers have argued that the goal of  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Dec 2018, 23:31
Is there any official explanation provided for this question.
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Deirdre: Many philosophers have argued that the goal of  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Dec 2018, 05:19
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Deirdre: Many philosophers have argued that the goal of  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2018, 11:39
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Deirdre: Many philosophers have argued that the goal of every individual is to achieve happiness—that is, the satisfaction derived from fully living up to one’s potential. They have also claimed that happiness is elusive and can be achieved only after years of sustained effort. But these philosophers have been unduly pessimistic, since they have clearly exaggerated the difficulty of being happy. Simply walking along the seashore on a sunny afternoon causes many people to experience feelings of happiness.

Deirdre, says that many philosophers claim that it takes many efforts to achieve a a desired level of happiness, but those philosophers exagerrate the difficulty level to beome happy. E.g walking along seashore can make a person happy.

(ok here one can note a shift in the term "happiness": one guy says it takes efforts to achieve happiness; another one says it can be experienced effortlessly, in other words "happiness" is interepreted differently by Deirdre)

So, what is the reasoning flaw in Deirdre’s argument ?

Which one of the following most accurately describes a reasoning flaw in Deirdre’s argument?

(A) It dismisses a claim because of its source rather than because of its content. ( No, it doesnt dismiss the claim of its source. Deidre didnt critisize philosophers, he just claimed it can be experienced effortlessly)

(B) It fails to take into account that what brings someone happiness at one moment may not bring that person happiness at another time.( This cant be assumed. It is not mentioned. What are not concerned with types of happiness. we are concerned with level of difficulty at which THAT happiness implied by philosophers, is achieved)

(C) It allows the key term “happiness” to shift in meaning illicitly in the course of the argument. (so, this is in line with my reasoning )

(D) It presumes, without providing justification, that happiness is, in fact, the goal of life. (out of scope. Goal of life -not mentioned)

(E) It makes a generalization based on the testimony of a group whose views have not been shown to be representative. (it doesnt make any generalization of any group. FALSE)
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Deirdre: Many philosophers have argued that the goal of &nbs [#permalink] 26 Dec 2018, 11:39
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