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# If the artificial is not better than the natural, to what

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Director
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If the artificial is not better than the natural, to what [#permalink]

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02 Feb 2004, 13:10
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If the artificial is not better than the natural, to what end are all the arts of life? To dig, to plow, to build, to wear clothesтАФall are direct violations of the injunction to follow nature.

17. Which one of the following is an assumption made by the author of the passage?

(A) The arts of life have no useful end.

(B) The artificial is not better than the natural.

(C) Digging, plowing, building, and wearing clothes are better than nature.

(D) The injunction to follow nature should not be violated.

(E) The arts of life are indirect means of following nature.

18. If the authorтАЩs argument were challenged on the grounds that the construction of buildings has adverse effects on the natural environment, which of the following replies might the author use to respond to the challenge logically?

(A) There are human activities, such as making music, that are environmentally harmless.

(B) Harming the environment is not an end, of purpose, of the arts of life.

(C) The construction could involve the use of natural, not artificial, materials.

(D) Constructing buildings is not an тАЬart of life.тАЭ

(E) Even if the natural environment is disturbed by the construction of buildings, it is improved for human use.

What is the meaning of the phrase "to what end are all the arts of life?"

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02 Feb 2004, 13:20
Those are two difficult questions.

By POE, I get C and B, but I suspect that I'm wrong.

These are Studa questions?

"To what end are all the arts of life?" means, more or less, "What good are the arts of life?", "What is the purpose of the arts of life?" or "What are the arts of life for?"

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Director
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02 Feb 2004, 13:57
stoolfi wrote:

"To what end are all the arts of life?" means, more or less, "What good are the arts of life?", "What is the purpose of the arts of life?" or "What are the arts of life for?"

Then, can the premise
"If the artificial is not better than the natural, to what end are all the arts of life?"
be losely construed as
"If the artificial is not better than the natural, then aritfical is no good"

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02 Feb 2004, 14:05
For the first question, B cannot be the answer as it is a restatement of the premise rather than an assumption. C should be the answer to the first question because if you try to negate it, you will destroy the very argument that the author is trying to prove, that Digging, plowing, building, and wearing clothes, which are artificial and arts of life, are not better than the natural. Still working on the second one which is giving me the goose bumps
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02 Feb 2004, 18:09
I go with C for the first one. not sure abt 2nd qustion
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02 Feb 2004, 20:57
A for the first one and E for the 2 nd one...

The first was quite mind-boggling....

Vivek.
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03 Feb 2004, 04:56
If the artificial is not better than the natural, to what end are all the arts of life? To dig, to plow, to build, to wear clothesтАФall are direct violations of the injunction to follow nature.

17. Which one of the following is an assumption made by the author of the passage?

(A) The arts of life have no useful end.

(B) The artificial is not better than the natural.

(C) Digging, plowing, building, and wearing clothes are better than nature.

(D) The injunction to follow nature should not be violated.

(E) The arts of life are indirect means of following nature.

18. If the authorтАЩs argument were challenged on the grounds that the construction of buildings has adverse effects on the natural environment, which of the following replies might the author use to respond to the challenge logically?

(A) There are human activities, such as making music, that are environmentally harmless.

(B) Harming the environment is not an end, of purpose, of the arts of life.

(C) The construction could involve the use of natural, not artificial, materials.

(D) Constructing buildings is not an тАЬart of life.тАЭ

(E) Even if the natural environment is disturbed by the construction of buildings, it is improved for human use.

What is the meaning of the phrase "to what end are all the arts of life?"

C and E.The rhetorical question is the first passage asks if "technology" didn't improve life, then why did it evolve in the first place? The unstated/implied assumption is that "arts of life" clearly and obviously are an improvement over raw nature. Hence, while stating the "clothing, et al" violate the "injuction" to follow nature, he implies that there is no reason to follow such injunction if our lives are clearly improved. Another way of analyzing this is to restate the author's point in pure logic:

Premise: If "arts of life" are not better than nature, then we would not have adopted "arts of life" in our culture. (Not P->Not Q)
Premise: We have adopted "arts of life" in our culture. (Q)
Conclusion: "arts of life" are better than nature (P: contrapositive of 1st premise, hence a valid conclusion).

Hence, C is the only choice that fits that interpretation of the stimulus.

Consequently, it is clear that the more important criterion for the author is whether something improves life for humans, not whether it is "natural" (he couldn't care less). This lead to the conclusion that the author would agree most with choice E in the second passage.
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AkamaiBrah
Former Senior Instructor, Manhattan GMAT and VeritasPrep
Vice President, Midtown NYC Investment Bank, Structured Finance IT
MFE, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Class of 2005
MBA, Anderson School of Management, UCLA, Class of 1993

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Director
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03 Feb 2004, 15:35
AkamaiBrah wrote:
C and E.The rhetorical question is the first passage asks if "technology" didn't improve life, then why did it evolve in the first place? The unstated/implied assumption is that "arts of life" clearly and obviously are an improvement over raw nature. Hence, while stating the "clothing, et al" violate the "injuction" to follow nature, he implies that there is no reason to follow such injunction if our lives are clearly improved. Another way of analyzing this is to restate the author's point in pure logic:

Premise: If "arts of life" are not better than nature, then we would not have adopted "arts of life" in our culture. (Not P->Not Q)
Premise: We have adopted "arts of life" in our culture. (Q)
Conclusion: "arts of life" are better than nature (P: contrapositive of 1st premise, hence a valid conclusion).

Hence, C is the only choice that fits that interpretation of the stimulus.

Consequently, it is clear that the more important criterion for the author is whether something improves life for humans, not whether it is "natural" (he couldn't care less). This lead to the conclusion that the author would agree most with choice E in the second passage.

What a splindid explanation! Thanks !!

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Re: LS-T1-CR4-17& 18   [#permalink] 03 Feb 2004, 15:35
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# If the artificial is not better than the natural, to what

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