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In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front

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In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Apr 2019, 04:28
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In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front of an existing wall a new wall on which he painted a mural. Investigators recently discovered a gap between Vasari's wall and the original, large enough to have preserved anything painted on the original. Historians believe that Leonardo da Vinci had painted, but left unfinished, a mural on the original wall; some historians had also believed that by 1563 the mural had been destroyed. However, it is known that in the late 1560s, when renovating another building, Santa Maria Novella, Vasari built a façade over its frescoes, and the frescoes were thereby preserved. Thus, Leonardo's Palazzo Vecchio mural probably still exists behind Vasari's wall.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. Leonardo rarely if ever destroyed artworks that he left unfinished.
B. Vasari was likely unaware that the mural in the Palazzo Vecchio had willingly been abandoned by Leonardo.
C. Vasari probably would not have built the Palazzo Vecchio wall with a gap behind it except to preserve something behind the new wall.
D. Leonardo would probably have completed the Palazzo Vecchio mural if he had had the opportunity to do so.
E. When Vasari preserved the frescoes of Santa Maria Novella he did so secretly.


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Re: In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2019, 08:59
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In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front of an existing wall a new wall on which he painted a mural. Investigators recently discovered a gap between Vasari's wall and the original, large enough to have preserved anything painted on the original. Historians believe that Leonardo da Vinci had painted, but left unfinished, a mural on the original wall; some historians had also believed that by 1563 the mural had been destroyed. However, it is known that in the late 1560s, when renovating another building, Santa Maria Novella, Vasari built a façade over its frescoes, and the frescoes were thereby preserved. Thus, Leonardo's Palazzo Vecchio mural probably still exists behind Vasari's wall.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. Leonardo rarely if ever destroyed artworks that he left unfinished.
B. Vasari was likely unaware that the mural in the Palazzo Vecchio had willingly been abandoned by Leonardo.
C. Vasari probably would not have built the Palazzo Vecchio wall with a gap behind it except to preserve something behind the new wall.
D. Leonardo would probably have completed the Palazzo Vecchio mural if he had had the opportunity to do so.
E. When Vasari preserved the frescoes of Santa Maria Novella he did so secretly.


We'll want to keep in mind that for assumption questions, we aren't just looking for something that adds validity to the argument, instead, we want something that must be true for the argument to make sense. So, if we break down the construction of the argument:

Premise: A gap has been discovered between Vasari's wall and the original wall
Premise: Da Vinci was believe to have painted, but left unfinished a mural on the original wall
Premise: In a different situation, Vasari built a facade that preserved the frescoes behind the facade
Conclusion: Leonardo's mural likely still exists behind the wall

We're looking for something that must be true to connect the use of the frescoes example to the assumed same use of the space between the walls. Here, we're assuming the space was set for the same reason as the facade over the fresnoes - to preserve what's behind it. Let's take a look at the answer choices!

A. Leonardo rarely if ever destroyed artworks that he left unfinished. <- this could be true, or could be false, and the argument could still stand, so it's not an assumption.
B. Vasari was likely unaware that the mural in the Palazzo Vecchio had willingly been abandoned by Leonardo. <- Again, whether or not this is true doesn't impact whether it makes sense to use the frescoes example and the existing space to conclude that the mural is likely still there.
C. Vasari probably would not have built the Palazzo Vecchio wall with a gap behind it except to preserve something behind the new wall. <- This one must be true for the argument to make sense. If Vasari built the wall with a gap for any other reason than to preserve something (the mural) behind it, it would no longer make sense to use the premises outlined above to draw the conclusion that the mural still likely exists.
D. Leonardo would probably have completed the Palazzo Vecchio mural if he had had the opportunity to do so. <- Again, irrelevant to us here. Could be true, could be false, doesn't impact our argument.
E. When Vasari preserved the frescoes of Santa Maria Novella he did so secretly. <- Whether or not Vasari preserved the frescoes secretly doesn't impact whether it makes sense to use that example to draw conclusions about the potential mural behind the wall.

So, in this case, answer (C) is the only one that must be true to connect the premises to the conclusion. If Vasari would have created the gap for any other reason than to preserve what was behind the wall, it wouldn't make sense to use that premise, and the example that he preserved the frescoes behind his facade to draw the conclusion that a mural likely exists behind the wall.

Keep in mind, several of these answer choices certainly strengthened in one way or another, but only one must be true for the argument to have the potential to be valid. Strengtheners can be some of the most convincing wrong answers for assumption questions. So, we can always test answer choices to the question "does this have to be true for the argument to make sense" (or, more directly, apply the negation technique) to differentiate between the correct answer, and convincing wrong answers.

Hope this helps! :)
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In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Apr 2019, 13:15
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Bunuel wrote:
In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front of an existing wall a new wall on which he painted a mural. Investigators recently discovered a gap between Vasari's wall and the original, large enough to have preserved anything painted on the original. Historians believe that Leonardo da Vinci had painted, but left unfinished, a mural on the original wall; some historians had also believed that by 1563 the mural had been destroyed. However, it is known that in the late 1560s, when renovating another building, Santa Maria Novella, Vasari built a façade over its frescoes, and the frescoes were thereby preserved. Thus, Leonardo's Palazzo Vecchio mural probably still exists behind Vasari's wall.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. Leonardo rarely if ever destroyed artworks that he left unfinished.
B. Vasari was likely unaware that the mural in the Palazzo Vecchio had willingly been abandoned by Leonardo.
C. Vasari probably would not have built the Palazzo Vecchio wall with a gap behind it except to preserve something behind the new wall.
D. Leonardo would probably have completed the Palazzo Vecchio mural if he had had the opportunity to do so.
E. When Vasari preserved the frescoes of Santa Maria Novella he did so secretly.


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The passage builds an analogy between the facade that Vasari built and the wall that he built. In other words, it suggests that the wall will protect the mural just as the facade protected the frescos.
For this argument to hold, the analogy has to be correct, meaning that Vasari needed to have built the wall for the same reason or with the same effect.
Since we know what sort of answer to look for, we'll look for it directly (without wasting time thinking about irrelevant answers). This is Precise approach.

(B) and (C) both address this connection, but (B) is weaker: even if Vasari was aware that the mural had been abandoned, he could still have wanted to preserve it. (C) directly states that Vasari wanted to preserve the mural.

(C) is our answer.
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Re: In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Apr 2019, 05:12
I have some doubt regarding A: what if Leonardo destroyed the unfinished work? It it was the case then today this is no mural. Can anyone elaborate?
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Re: In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Apr 2019, 07:31
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Snezanelle wrote:
I have some doubt regarding A: what if Leonardo destroyed the unfinished work? It it was the case then today this is no mural. Can anyone elaborate?


Hey Snezanelle,
There are 2 answers. First, the negation of (A) is not 'Leonardo destroyed all unfinished work' but only that this didn't occur rarely. So it is still possible/likely that the work is there. The second answer is that the argument does not focus on whether Leonardo did or did not destroy the work, but on Vasari's actions. Therefore (A) is a bit off-target: it does not directly address the given argument.
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In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Apr 2019, 04:10
After repeated reading also, I can't get a grip over this question. Is it really a sub 700 level question?

Can someone explain the correct answer in some more detail. Suppose we negate C:

Vasari did build the Palazzo Vecchio wall with a gap behind it for some reason other than preserving something behind the new wall.

But does this negation really make this conclusion invalid:

Leonardo's Palazzo Vecchio mural probably still exists behind Vasari's wall.

How does Vasari's intention matter here?

Also, what is the significance of this sentence: some historians had also believed that by 1563 the mural had been destroyed.
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Re: In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Apr 2019, 07:19
Using the analogy, we can find out the assumption. Vasari built façade on frescoes so that frescoes are preserved. Similarly, Vasari built a new wall to preserve the original wall (thereby preserving the paintings on original wall)

choice C gives the above information by putting words in a complex way.
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Re: In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Apr 2019, 22:06
kris19 wrote:
Using the analogy, we can find out the assumption. Vasari built façade on frescoes so that frescoes are preserved. Similarly, Vasari built a new wall to preserve the original wall (thereby preserving the paintings on original wall)

choice C gives the above information by putting words in a complex way.

Hi kris19, what I am struggling to figure out is that how does this assumption lead us to the conclusion that Leonardo's Palazzo Vecchio mural probably still exists behind Vasari's wall.
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Re: In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front  [#permalink]

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New post 02 May 2019, 20:47
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PavaniRaghunath wrote:
kris19 wrote:
Using the analogy, we can find out the assumption. Vasari built façade on frescoes so that frescoes are preserved. Similarly, Vasari built a new wall to preserve the original wall (thereby preserving the paintings on original wall)

choice C gives the above information by putting words in a complex way.

Hi kris19, what I am struggling to figure out is that how does this assumption lead us to the conclusion that Leonardo's Palazzo Vecchio mural probably still exists behind Vasari's wall.


Hi PavaniRaghunath,
The given conclusion is 'Leonardo's Palazzo Vecchio mural probably still exists behind Vasari's wall', and we are not questioning this conclusion. While making this conclusion, the author of the argument would have assumed something, so we need to find out what did he assume.

In order to think about what could be the assumption, we will use the information given in the argument. The argument says as a matter of fact that in late 1560s, while renovating another building, Vasari built facade over frescoes to preserve the frescoes. While renovating Santa Maria Novella, why would he care so much to build a facade. May be the frescoes was a very important structure or it had lot of significance. So, in order to preserve it, he would have built the facade. On a similar observation, there was a wall on which Da Vinci painted a (unfinished) mural. Later, Vasari built another wall and painted a mural. If at all Vasari wanted to paint a mural, he could have painted on the existing wall (on which Da Vinci's unfinished mural was present).

Vasari built facade and it preserved frescoes in late 1560s, similarly, he could have acted in 1563 by building a new wall to preserve the existing wall. Hope this brings little more clarity.
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Re: In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front  [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2019, 05:56
VeritasPrepHailey wrote:
Quote:
In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front of an existing wall a new wall on which he painted a mural. Investigators recently discovered a gap between Vasari's wall and the original, large enough to have preserved anything painted on the original. Historians believe that Leonardo da Vinci had painted, but left unfinished, a mural on the original wall; some historians had also believed that by 1563 the mural had been destroyed. However, it is known that in the late 1560s, when renovating another building, Santa Maria Novella, Vasari built a façade over its frescoes, and the frescoes were thereby preserved. Thus, Leonardo's Palazzo Vecchio mural probably still exists behind Vasari's wall.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. Leonardo rarely if ever destroyed artworks that he left unfinished.
B. Vasari was likely unaware that the mural in the Palazzo Vecchio had willingly been abandoned by Leonardo.
C. Vasari probably would not have built the Palazzo Vecchio wall with a gap behind it except to preserve something behind the new wall.
D. Leonardo would probably have completed the Palazzo Vecchio mural if he had had the opportunity to do so.
E. When Vasari preserved the frescoes of Santa Maria Novella he did so secretly.


We'll want to keep in mind that for assumption questions, we aren't just looking for something that adds validity to the argument, instead, we want something that must be true for the argument to make sense. So, if we break down the construction of the argument:

Premise: A gap has been discovered between Vasari's wall and the original wall
Premise: Da Vinci was believe to have painted, but left unfinished a mural on the original wall
Premise: In a different situation, Vasari built a facade that preserved the frescoes behind the facade
Conclusion: Leonardo's mural likely still exists behind the wall

We're looking for something that must be true to connect the use of the frescoes example to the assumed same use of the space between the walls. Here, we're assuming the space was set for the same reason as the facade over the fresnoes - to preserve what's behind it. Let's take a look at the answer choices!

A. Leonardo rarely if ever destroyed artworks that he left unfinished. <- this could be true, or could be false, and the argument could still stand, so it's not an assumption.
B. Vasari was likely unaware that the mural in the Palazzo Vecchio had willingly been abandoned by Leonardo. <- Again, whether or not this is true doesn't impact whether it makes sense to use the frescoes example and the existing space to conclude that the mural is likely still there.
C. Vasari probably would not have built the Palazzo Vecchio wall with a gap behind it except to preserve something behind the new wall. <- This one must be true for the argument to make sense. If Vasari built the wall with a gap for any other reason than to preserve something (the mural) behind it, it would no longer make sense to use the premises outlined above to draw the conclusion that the mural still likely exists.
D. Leonardo would probably have completed the Palazzo Vecchio mural if he had had the opportunity to do so. <- Again, irrelevant to us here. Could be true, could be false, doesn't impact our argument.
E. When Vasari preserved the frescoes of Santa Maria Novella he did so secretly. <- Whether or not Vasari preserved the frescoes secretly doesn't impact whether it makes sense to use that example to draw conclusions about the potential mural behind the wall.

So, in this case, answer (C) is the only one that must be true to connect the premises to the conclusion. If Vasari would have created the gap for any other reason than to preserve what was behind the wall, it wouldn't make sense to use that premise, and the example that he preserved the frescoes behind his facade to draw the conclusion that a mural likely exists behind the wall.

Keep in mind, several of these answer choices certainly strengthened in one way or another, but only one must be true for the argument to have the potential to be valid. Strengtheners can be some of the most convincing wrong answers for assumption questions. So, we can always test answer choices to the question "does this have to be true for the argument to make sense" (or, more directly, apply the negation technique) to differentiate between the correct answer, and convincing wrong answers.

Hope this helps! :)


Well, I was torn between A and C, and chose the wrong answer at last.

"If Vasari built the wall with a gap for any other reason than to preserve something (the mural) behind it, it would no longer make sense to use the premises outlined above to draw the conclusion that the mural still likely exists." But Vasari could have built the wall with a gap to preserve what remains after the mural is destroyed. Even if it is totally destroyed with nothing to show for, there is still value (sentimental value, or just GMAT question value) to preserve the exact condition after the destruction. In that case, “Leonardo's Palazzo Vecchio mural probably still exists behind Vasari's wall” cannot be true.
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Re: In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front  [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2019, 08:37
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zhanbo wrote:
VeritasPrepHailey wrote:
Quote:
In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front of an existing wall a new wall on which he painted a mural. Investigators recently discovered a gap between Vasari's wall and the original, large enough to have preserved anything painted on the original. Historians believe that Leonardo da Vinci had painted, but left unfinished, a mural on the original wall; some historians had also believed that by 1563 the mural had been destroyed. However, it is known that in the late 1560s, when renovating another building, Santa Maria Novella, Vasari built a façade over its frescoes, and the frescoes were thereby preserved. Thus, Leonardo's Palazzo Vecchio mural probably still exists behind Vasari's wall.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. Leonardo rarely if ever destroyed artworks that he left unfinished.
B. Vasari was likely unaware that the mural in the Palazzo Vecchio had willingly been abandoned by Leonardo.
C. Vasari probably would not have built the Palazzo Vecchio wall with a gap behind it except to preserve something behind the new wall.
D. Leonardo would probably have completed the Palazzo Vecchio mural if he had had the opportunity to do so.
E. When Vasari preserved the frescoes of Santa Maria Novella he did so secretly.


We'll want to keep in mind that for assumption questions, we aren't just looking for something that adds validity to the argument, instead, we want something that must be true for the argument to make sense. So, if we break down the construction of the argument:

Premise: A gap has been discovered between Vasari's wall and the original wall
Premise: Da Vinci was believe to have painted, but left unfinished a mural on the original wall
Premise: In a different situation, Vasari built a facade that preserved the frescoes behind the facade
Conclusion: Leonardo's mural likely still exists behind the wall

We're looking for something that must be true to connect the use of the frescoes example to the assumed same use of the space between the walls. Here, we're assuming the space was set for the same reason as the facade over the fresnoes - to preserve what's behind it. Let's take a look at the answer choices!

A. Leonardo rarely if ever destroyed artworks that he left unfinished. <- this could be true, or could be false, and the argument could still stand, so it's not an assumption.
B. Vasari was likely unaware that the mural in the Palazzo Vecchio had willingly been abandoned by Leonardo. <- Again, whether or not this is true doesn't impact whether it makes sense to use the frescoes example and the existing space to conclude that the mural is likely still there.
C. Vasari probably would not have built the Palazzo Vecchio wall with a gap behind it except to preserve something behind the new wall. <- This one must be true for the argument to make sense. If Vasari built the wall with a gap for any other reason than to preserve something (the mural) behind it, it would no longer make sense to use the premises outlined above to draw the conclusion that the mural still likely exists.
D. Leonardo would probably have completed the Palazzo Vecchio mural if he had had the opportunity to do so. <- Again, irrelevant to us here. Could be true, could be false, doesn't impact our argument.
E. When Vasari preserved the frescoes of Santa Maria Novella he did so secretly. <- Whether or not Vasari preserved the frescoes secretly doesn't impact whether it makes sense to use that example to draw conclusions about the potential mural behind the wall.

So, in this case, answer (C) is the only one that must be true to connect the premises to the conclusion. If Vasari would have created the gap for any other reason than to preserve what was behind the wall, it wouldn't make sense to use that premise, and the example that he preserved the frescoes behind his facade to draw the conclusion that a mural likely exists behind the wall.

Keep in mind, several of these answer choices certainly strengthened in one way or another, but only one must be true for the argument to have the potential to be valid. Strengtheners can be some of the most convincing wrong answers for assumption questions. So, we can always test answer choices to the question "does this have to be true for the argument to make sense" (or, more directly, apply the negation technique) to differentiate between the correct answer, and convincing wrong answers.

Hope this helps! :)


Well, I was torn between A and C, and chose the wrong answer at last.

"If Vasari built the wall with a gap for any other reason than to preserve something (the mural) behind it, it would no longer make sense to use the premises outlined above to draw the conclusion that the mural still likely exists." But Vasari could have built the wall with a gap to preserve what remains after the mural is destroyed. Even if it is totally destroyed with nothing to show for, there is still value (sentimental value, or just GMAT question value) to preserve the exact condition after the destruction. In that case, “Leonardo's Palazzo Vecchio mural probably still exists behind Vasari's wall” cannot be true.


I can definitely see the point of confusion there, zhanbo - but keep in mind, an assumption is something that must be true for the argument to have the potential to make sense, an assumption does not guarantee that the argument is true/sound. So, rather than making a case for whether the argument could be false given the statement, we want to think about whether it could be true if the assumption were negated, or not the case.

With that strategy in mind, (A) could be true, or it could be false - Leonardo could have destroyed unfinished artworks more than rarely, and we could still have a sound argument - since the negation of (A) doesn't mean he always destroys them, just that it's more frequent than rarely. So, if a statement could be false, and the argument could still be valid, it isn't an assumption.

With (C) on the other hand, it would completely destroy the validity of the argument, or the connection between the premises and the conclusion, if Vasari might have had other reasons for maintaining a gap in the wall.

So, we're not looking for a way the argument could be false given the assumption, we're looking for whether it could be true/a valid argument if the assumption were not the case.

Additionally, we want to be sure that if we choose to use the negation technique to solve, we keep in mind that "Leonardo rarely if ever destroyed artworks that he left unfinished." negated, is not "Leonardo always destroyed artworks that he left unfinished," but rather, that "Leonardo did not, rarely if ever, destroy artworks that he left unfinished," or, he did so more frequently than rarely. This still leaves space for Leonardo not to have destroyed this particular piece, and thus, the argument could still be valid even if (A) were untrue.

How we analyze assumption questions is hugely impactful to using process of elimination to effectively and consistently arrive at the correct answer - so when in doubt, test the answer choice to the question "does this have to be true for the argument to make sense?"
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Re: In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front  [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2019, 19:19
Hi VeritasPrepHailey

How would you reword "C. Vasari probably would not have built the Palazzo Vecchio wall with a gap behind it except to preserve something behind the new wall."

Would it be "Vasari would have built the Palazzo Vecchio wall with a gap behind it to preserve something behind the new wall."?
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Re: In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front  [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2019, 19:39
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rnn wrote:
Hi VeritasPrepHailey

How would you reword "C. Vasari probably would not have built the Palazzo Vecchio wall with a gap behind it except to preserve something behind the new wall."

Would it be "Vasari would have built the Palazzo Vecchio wall with a gap behind it to preserve something behind the new wall."?


This is tricky rnn - but keep in mind, the original phrasing of the answer is "Vasari probably would not have built the Palazzo Vecchio wall with a gap behind it except to preserve something behind the new wall." - or "Vasari would likely only have built the wall with a gap behind it to preserve something behind the new wall."

So, to negate the statement - or to test whether it must be true for the argument to make sense, we want the compliment/logical opposite, or - "Vasari would likely not only have built the wall with a gap behind it to preserve something behind the new wall." In this case, if there is another reason Vasari might have created space between the wall - it doesn't make sense to use the parallel (or posed as parallel) example, and the space in the wall to draw the given conclusion - thus destroying the argument.

So, we can always either pose the question "does this have to be true for the argument to make sense?" or see if "not" what is given (aka - its complement) could maintain the conclusion to test for assumptions.

So, to answer your question in short - your rephrasing is on the right track, but not quite how I'd phrase it to maintain the original meaning - but the bigger picture there is ensuring you correctly apply the meaning :)

Keep in mind, there's a difference between "this is a reason he would have done so" and "this is the only reason he would have done so." -The latter is the implied meaning here.

Hope this helps! :)
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Re: In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2019, 01:27
I still do not see how Vasari's intent of erecting the wall in front of the Da Vinci's wall is relevant to whether Leonardo's Palazzo Vecchio mural probably still exists behind Vasari's wall.

Negating Option C -> Even if Vasari built the wall with a gap for any other reason than to preserve something (the mural) behind it (let's say Vasari might have wanted to hide Leonardo's Palazzo Vecchio mural from the world!), even then Leonardo's Palazzo Vecchio mural may still exists behind Vasari's wall.

In this case, negating option C still keeps the conclusion that Leonardo's Palazzo Vecchio mural probably still exists behind Vasari's wall standing.

GMATNinja, @VeritasPrepKarishma and other experts, could you please shed some light?
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Re: In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2019, 11:14
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Hey PriyankaPalit7 - I'd be happy to chime back in on that response!

The idea behind an assumption is that it must be true to logically connect the dots between premise/evidence and conclusion. So, it's not that the conclusion couldn't be true when negated, but rather that it destroys the argument in that it no longer makes sense to use the premises given to draw the conclusion stated. In this case, if Vasari would have had any other reason to create space between the wall and the facade, it wouldn't make sense to move from:

-A gap has been discovered between Vasari's wall and the original wall
-Da Vinci was believe to have painted, but left unfinished a mural on the original wall
-In a different situation, Vasari built a facade that preserved the frescoes behind the facade

to:

Leonardo's mural likely still exists behind the wall.

Basically, his intentions would need to have been to preserve the mural in order for it to make sense to use the other example in which a mural was preserved, the existing space between the walls (not that it was "covering," the wall - but rather, that space was left), and the belief that Da Vinci painted but left unfinished a mural to conclude that the mural was still likely there.

So, it's not that the conclusion absolutely couldn't be true - just as an assumption doesn't absolutely ensure that a conclusion is true. Instead, the negation of the assumption destroys the argument as a whole - the connection between conclusion and premises.

Does that clarify at all?

Let me know! This is definitely an interesting example that I think varies from some of the usual patterns seen in many CR assumption questions - I'd be happy to chat about it further! :)
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Re: In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2019, 10:27
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PriyankaPalit7 wrote:
I still do not see how Vasari's intent of erecting the wall in front of the Da Vinci's wall is relevant to whether Leonardo's Palazzo Vecchio mural probably still exists behind Vasari's wall.

Negating Option C -> Even if Vasari built the wall with a gap for any other reason than to preserve something (the mural) behind it (let's say Vasari might have wanted to hide Leonardo's Palazzo Vecchio mural from the world!), even then Leonardo's Palazzo Vecchio mural may still exists behind Vasari's wall.

In this case, negating option C still keeps the conclusion that Leonardo's Palazzo Vecchio mural probably still exists behind Vasari's wall standing.

GMATNinja, @VeritasPrepKarishma and other experts, could you please shed some light?

Great explanation by VeritasPrepHailey! I'll add my two cents in case it helps...

The question is whether Leonardo's mural was even THERE when Vasari built the wall. Remember, some historians believed that by 1563 (i.e. before Vasari built the wall) the mural had been destroyed.

Thinking through the structure of the passage, we know that:

  • The gap between Vasari's wall and the original wall is large enough to have preserved Leonardo's mural
  • "Some historians" believe that the mural was destroyed before Vasari built his wall. So, two possibilities are presented -- either the mural still exists, or it does not.
  • When renovating a different building, Vasari built a facade that protected frescos underneath.
  • Therefore, Leonardo's mural probably still exists

Looking at this structure, there is a pretty clear gap in the logic -- how does the author get from the possibility that the mural might have been destroyed to the conclusion that it probably still exists? S/he cites evidence about a completely different building. So, there MUST be an unstated assumption that links the evidence (that the gap COULD have preserved the mural, and that Vasari protected works of art in another building) to the conclusion that the mural in question PROBABLY still exists.

If (C) is true, then Vasari probably would have left a gap for only one reason: to preserve something behind the new wall. If that's true and IF Leonardo's mural had been destroyed, then there probably would NOT be a gap! If Vasari had only one reason for leaving a gap (to preserve something) and if, as was the case, he DID leave a gap, then we can conclude that there probably WAS a mural behind the new wall.

If (C) is NOT true, then Vasari might have left that gap for a variety of reasons (i.e. to hide Leonardo's mural, to be a vindictive jerk, whatever). Without (C), the presence of a gap is NOT evidence that a mural was behind the new wall. So, without (C) it is not logically sound to conclude that the mural probably still exists based on the evidence presented in the passage. So (C) is a required assumption.

I hope this helps!
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Re: In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2019, 19:29
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[/quote]

So, we're not looking for a way the argument could be false given the assumption, we're looking for whether it could be true/a valid argument if the assumption were not the case.

[/quote]

This statement is gold for assumption questions. It clarifies a lot. Thank you!
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In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2019, 04:20
GMATNinja wrote:
If (C) is NOT true, then Vasari might have left that gap for a variety of reasons (i.e. to hide Leonardo's mural, to be a vindictive jerk, whatever). Without (C), the presence of a gap is NOT evidence that a mural was behind the new wall. So, without (C) it is not logically sound to conclude that the mural probably still exists based on the evidence presented in the passage. So (C) is a required assumption.


What if the gap preserved Leonardo's mural even though Vasari left the gap out of reasons other than the intention to protect the mural? No matter what Vasari's intention was, the gap could still somehow protect Leonardo's mural----maybe an unintended consequence. In this case, what really matters is not Vassari's intention but the fact that the gap preserved the mural (or not). With that in mind, I cannot say with confidence that, if negating option (C), the mural probably not exists.

I tried to develop another explanation. Let's summarize the conclusion this way: The argument speculates that Leonardo's mural probably still exists behind Vasari's wall.

Then go back to option (C). If it is true, the argument would have reason to speculate such conclusion.
If (C) is negated, the argument would have no ground to speculate that the mural still exists.
Either way, we don't have to exam whether the mural exists (probably or not). And the reasoning starts to make sense to me.
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In 1563, in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, Giorgio Vasari built in front   [#permalink] 21 Aug 2019, 04:20
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