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# In persons with astigmatism, the clear outer layer of the eye is defor

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parkhydel wrote:
In persons with astigmatism, the clear outer layer of the eye is deformed in a way that impairs and sometimes distorts vision. The elongated figures in the paintings of El Greco (1541–1614) were so unusual that some critics sought to explain them by hypothesizing that, without knowing it, El Greco had an astigmatism that caused everything to appear to him in the distorted way that was characteristic of his painted figures.

The proposed explanation is most vulnerable to the criticism that it fails to

A. establish that during the period in which El Greco lived, there was any correction available to those who did realize their vision was distorted
B. provide evidence that astigmatism was common in the 1500s and 1600s
C. consider that the critics who proposed the explanation might have suffered from astigmatism
D. consider the effect of the hypothesized astigmatism on El Greco's perception of his own paintings
E. allow for the possibility that artists see the world differently than do nonartists

CR18310.02

Conclusion: El Greco's astigmatism explains the unusual elongation of figures in his paintings
Pre-thinking: In what scenario, astigmatism could not explain the unusual elongation? Well, if you think about it a blind person would know that he is blind. Similarly, if EL Greco had astigmatism, he probably knew he saw things more elongated than they actually were and hence would have drawn them in the original way but they would still appear elongated to his eye!

(A) So what? That's not a flaw. Even if there was correction available, El Greco would not used it.
(B) So what? That's not a flaw. It could be unique to El Greco that's not what we are concerned about
(C) Passage reads The elongated figures in the paintings of El Greco (1541–1614) were so unusual.
(E)The elongated figures in the paintings of El Greco (1541–1614) were so unusual - Then why has the author brought up ONLY the case of 'El Greco'?

Originally posted by jayarora on 04 May 2020, 12:15.
Last edited by jayarora on 06 May 2020, 05:15, edited 1 time in total.
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parkhydel wrote:
In persons with astigmatism, the clear outer layer of the eye is deformed in a way that impairs and sometimes distorts vision. The elongated figures in the paintings of El Greco (1541–1614) were so unusual that some critics sought to explain them by hypothesizing that, without knowing it, El Greco had an astigmatism that caused everything to appear to him in the distorted way that was characteristic of his painted figures.

The proposed explanation is most vulnerable to the criticism that it fails to

A. establish that during the period in which El Greco lived, there was any correction available to those who did realize their vision was distorted
B. provide evidence that astigmatism was common in the 1500s and 1600s
C. consider that the critics who proposed the explanation might have suffered from astigmatism
D. consider the effect of the hypothesized astigmatism on El Greco's perception of his own paintings
E. allow for the possibility that artists see the world differently than do nonartists

CR18310.02

TARGET: IDENTIFY FLAW in EXPLAINATION
REASONING: As paintings appear distorted EG has an eye disease.

Pre-thinking: Should find flaw in Exp.>>> Why didn't they test that with someone who has the same disease

A)Why should they establish this ?>> irreleavant

B)No need to provide evidence. Because their aim is not to prove it was common.

C)Here clear wording: the question asked "Flaw in the explanation provided by critics" >>>> This choice could have been correct if the question was flaw in whole argumentand if there's no better choice available. But we have better option in line with our prethinking.

D)Perfectly inline with our prethinking: critics didn't consider effect of people who have disease>> whether they have clear view of EG's painting. Here's the FLAW our answer

E)Non artists are no where discussed. Irrelavant

Simple enough ?
Thanks
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Here is my 2 cents:

Choice D: notice that the stimulus said critics assume that El Greco drew paintings "without knowing it" (the disease). If we want to counter critics' claim, we can just say that El Greco actually knew it (he knew that the disease)! And this is exactly what D is talking about.

Choice E: E is comparing artists and nonartists. IMO, E would be true if we compare El Greco and other artists, but the comparison between artist and nonartists won't work because:

critics are critics because they know stuffs. Art critics are art critics because they know art. Then why would any critics compare paintings of an artist with those of a nonartist? It would make more sense if we say: El Greco sees the world differently than other artists. You might know that a lot of critics are themselves, artists. Then if E is the case, these would be on El Greco's side / have the same aesthetics, seeing differently than nonartists. Then these critics wouldn't say that El Greco has a disease because he see things differently when critics and El Greco have the same aesthetics.

Here is the official answer (from OG 2021) in case anyone needs it:

D. Correct. If El Greco had astigmatism and did not know it, his perception of human
figures (including any models used for his painting) could have shown them as taller
(or wider) and perhaps with longer limbs than in reality. Did such distorted perception
also operate when El Greco looked at brush strokes in his paintings of those figures? If
so, he would have perceived those brush strokes as longer than they really were and
the completed representation of each human figure in the painting as also more
elongated than it was. If the degree of distortion was the same both in his perceptions
of people and in his perceptions of the painted representations of them, then one
would expect his paintings to be perceived by non-astigmatic viewers as having no
unusual distortions. But that is not the case. So the critics' proposed explanation
seems dubious.
E. The explanation offered by the critics is consistent with the possibility that—in a literal
sense—artists see the world differently than do nonartists. The critics' hypothesis is
aimed at explaining a difference between El Greco's paintings and those of many other
artists, not a difference between artists in general and nonartists. The possibility that
artists in general see things differently does not challenge the hypothesis that El Greco
differed from many other artists in having astigmatism.
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emcheeks wrote:
Here is my 2 cents:

Choice D: notice that the stimulus said critics assume that El Greco drew paintings "without knowing it" (the disease). If we want to counter critics' claim, we can just say that El Greco actually knew it (he knew that the disease)! And this is exactly what D is talking about.

Choice E: E is comparing artists and nonartists. IMO, E would be true if we compare El Greco and other artists, but the comparison between artist and nonartists won't work because:

critics are critics because they know stuffs. Art critics are art critics because they know art. Then why would any critics compare paintings of an artist with those of a nonartist? It would make more sense if we say: El Greco sees the world differently than other artists. You might know that a lot of critics are themselves, artists. Then if E is the case, these would be on El Greco's side / have the same aesthetics, seeing differently than nonartists. Then these critics wouldn't say that El Greco has a disease because he see things differently when critics and El Greco have the same aesthetics.

Here is the official answer (from OG 2021) in case anyone needs it:

D. Correct. If El Greco had astigmatism and did not know it, his perception of human
figures (including any models used for his painting) could have shown them as taller
(or wider) and perhaps with longer limbs than in reality. Did such distorted perception
also operate when El Greco looked at brush strokes in his paintings of those figures? If
so, he would have perceived those brush strokes as longer than they really were and
the completed representation of each human figure in the painting as also more
elongated than it was. If the degree of distortion was the same both in his perceptions
of people and in his perceptions of the painted representations of them, then one
would expect his paintings to be perceived by non-astigmatic viewers as having no
unusual distortions. But that is not the case. So the critics' proposed explanation
seems dubious.
E. The explanation offered by the critics is consistent with the possibility that—in a literal
sense—artists see the world differently than do nonartists. The critics' hypothesis is
aimed at explaining a difference between El Greco's paintings and those of many other
artists, not a difference between artists in general and nonartists. The possibility that
artists in general see things differently does not challenge the hypothesis that El Greco
differed from many other artists in having astigmatism.

Thanks for the explanation. I have to admit that I still not get the point: how can EG’s perception of reality and his paintings can cancel out to the eyes of non-astigmatic people? It seems to me that they actually could reinforce..

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Quote:
Thanks for the explanation. I have to admit that I still not get the point: how can EG’s perception of reality and his paintings can cancel out to the eyes of non-astigmatic people? It seems to me that they actually could reinforce..

Let us say he sees a line that for our normal eyes appear 10 cm long to be 15cm long. That means the length of anything appears to be 1.5 times the original size to him. Accordingly, if EC tries to draw the same line on a canvas, he would draw a line that will look 15 cm to him. But still the actual length of it would be only 10 cm. Essentially when he copies it in his view, the effect cancels to the other viewers.

Hope the concept is clear now!
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In persons with astigmatism, the clear outer layer of the eye is defor [#permalink]
Similar question with a different stem and different options - https://gmatclub.com/forum/the-figures-in-portraits-by-the-spanish-painter-el-greco-1541-1614-a-107298-20.html#p2616109

From Manhattan:

The language vulnerable to the criticism in the question stem indicates that this is a Find the Flaw question. This can be confirmed by glancing at the answer choices, which describe flaws with the existing argument, rather than additional facts as in a weaken questions.

Step 2: Deconstruct the Argument

astig: eye deform → distorts vision

EG paintings = weird, distorted

Ⓒcritics: EG →astig

Step 3: Pause and State the Goal

On Flaw questions, the correct answer will essentially be the opposite to those for Find the Assumption problems. Here, the goal is to identify a valid criticism of the argument or a flawed assumption that the argument is making. In this case, the question asks for a criticism of the conclusion that EG’s paintings were distorted because of the artist’s distorted vision.

Step 4: Work from Wrong to Right

(A) The critics hypothesize that El Greco was painting in this way because of an astigmatism that he was unaware of (without knowing it). Therefore, whether correction was available to those who were aware of their condition is irrelevant.

(B) An astigmatism need not be common in order for El Greco to have had one. Failing to mention its prevalence is not a flaw of the argument.

(C) Whether the critics themselves had an astigmatism does not impact the connection they are trying to make between the distorted figures that EG painted and the distorted vision of someone with an astigmatism.

(D) CORRECT. If EG had had an astigmatism, then it is likely that the figures EG painted would have appeared even more distorted to EG himself. In fact, the astigmatism might have exacerbated his perception of the elongation of the figures. In that case he might have naturally corrected, resulting in images that would look more normal to those without the astigmatism. That he did not naturally correct for this distortion suggests that EG would have been aware of his condition if he had one.

(E) Although the critics hypothesize that El Greco’s distorted vision was responsible for the elongated figures in his work, they are not saying that artists cannot see the world differently than non-artists, in either the case of all artists or in the case of El Greco specifically. There is no evidence to suggest that they are reaching this conclusion.
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GMATNinja EMPOWERgmatVerbal VeritasKarishma egmat I understand why D is the correct one. However, I don't understand why E is far from the correct one. I think that it's just another reason/explanation why the figures were unusual (instead of astigmatism).
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krittapat wrote:
GMATNinja EMPOWERgmatVerbal VeritasKarishma egmat I understand why D is the correct one. However, I don't understand why E is far from the correct one. I think that it's just another reason/explanation why the figures were unusual (instead of astigmatism).

The critics hypothesize that the elongated figures in El Greco's work are "so unusual" that he must have had an astigmatism. This implies that El Greco's work is substantially different from the work of other artists -- if ALL artists drew elongated figures, then El Greco's work wouldn't be "so unusual" that it required a specific explanation.

The relevant issue in the passage isn't whether artists in general see the world differently than non-artists. Instead, the critics specifically care about the difference between El Greco's weirdly elongated figures and the less-weirdly-proportioned figures in other artists' paintings. Even if artists in general the world differently, we still need an explanation for El Greco's specific tendency to elongate figures, when other artists don't have that tendency. The critics explain this phenomenon by saying that he must have had an astigmatism.

The critics' hypothesis still has merit even if artists see the the world differently. So, we can't criticize their hypothesis by saying that they don't "allow for the possibility that artists see the world differently than do nonartists."

(E) can be eliminated.

I hope that helps!
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I can eliminate A,B,C,E but I don't understand why D is correct and what it actually means
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Hey folks!

This is a super interesting question. Here is a rough drawing I made for option D. Hope this helps clear the confusions about this option, from students! (Right click and open in a new tab if the image is not loading). I have tried to explain the logic below, just in case the image does not load .

Option D: the explanation fails to consider the effect of the hypothesized astigmatism on El Greco's perception of his own paintings

What this means: While the explanation suggests that Greco suffered from Astigmatism, and that this would impact how he perceived an object (it would look more elongated), the explanation fails to consider the fact that Greco's astigmatism would also apply to how he would view the painting he would make.

What would happen: As Greco makes the painting based on what he sees (elongated object), his painting will look exactly the same as the actual object to a non-astigmatic eye (i.e. without elongation - because only then would the painting look exactly the same for Greco (who has astigmatism) as the object)

In other words, if Greco had astigmatism, it would apply not just to his perception of the object, but also to his perception of the painting. This would ensure that the painting and the object would look exactly the same. However, in reality, the objects in the painting are elongated. Which implies that astigmatism cannot be the reason for the elongation in Greco's paintings.

Hope this helps!

Harsha

Attachment:

Astigmatism (1).PNG [ 96.3 KiB | Viewed 7698 times ]
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Tanchat wrote:
I can eliminate A,B,C,E but I don't understand why D is correct and what it actually means

Astigmatism- eye defect- the clear outer layer of the eye is deformed in a way that impairs and sometimes distorts vision.

The elongated figures in the paintings of El Greco (1541–1614) were unusual

some critics sought to explain the paintings by hypothesizing that, without knowing it, El Greco had an astigmatism that caused everything to appear to him in the distorted way that was characteristic of his painted figures.

We need to find the flaw in the argument.

The critics say that El Greco had astigmatism. Everything he saw appeared distorted to him and that was characteristic of his painted figures.

Let’s assume that El Greco had astigmatism. In that case, he sees everything elongated. Including the canvas and his paintings. So if he draws a circle, that will appear elongated to him. The circle will appear circle to others and elongated to El Graco. Hence, the paintings cannot be proof that he has astigmatism.. The critics fail to consider this. Therefore the critics’ hypothesis is vulnerable to criticism.

This is what is stated in Option D

D. consider the effect of the hypothesized astigmatism on El Greco's perception of his own paintings.

The critics fail to consider the effect of hypothesized astigmatism on El Greco's perception of his own paintings- how the paintings appear to him.

Hope this helps

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Re: In persons with astigmatism, the clear outer layer of the eye is defor [#permalink]
I have been using the Wiley online question bank of the 2021 official guide and I am surprised to see they have categorized this question as an "Easy" question. I doubt how they go about arranging that.

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kittle wrote:
I have been using the Wiley online question bank of the 2021 official guide and I am surprised to see they have categorized this question as an "Easy" question. I doubt how they go about arranging that.

kittle - The question is not easy. I would call it above 700 level. Yes, to some it is natural (the ones with strong reasoning skills) and occurs in pre-thinking itself that he would see his own paintings distorted too. The critics are assuming that he would see his muse distorted and would accurately paint that on canvas (as per his view). That cannot happen. Everything he sees is distorted, even his own painted figure.

But when it doesn't strike the students, it becomes quite challenging to convince them of the logic. There is a lightbulb moment when it suddenly fits but till then, it is a struggle. Whether it will fit in those 2 mins of high pressure during the test is hard to say.
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I have gone through the available explanations to this solution but i am still not clear why D is the correct answer choice.
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Pracheta09 wrote:
I have gone through the available explanations to this solution but i am still not clear why D is the correct answer choice.

The passage proposes that if El Greco had astigmatism, this would explain why he painted elongated figures in his paintings. In other words, because astigmatism would have distorted El Greco's vision, it would have caused him to paint distorted figures.

The correct answer should provide a strong criticism of this explanation. Basically, it should call into question the idea that distorted vision would cause El Greco to paint distorted figures.

Let's now examine (D):

Quote:
The proposed explanation is most vulnerable to the criticism that it fails to

D. consider the effect of the hypothesized astigmatism on El Greco's perception of his own paintings

To analyze (D), let's imagine El Greco had distorted vision, and that he tried to paint a short tree. Because of his distorted vision, El Greco would see the short tree as tall, even though in reality it was short. Next, he would paint an image of this tree. The question is - would the image he painted be short or tall?

Well, imagine the image he painted was short. To him, the image would look tall. To us, however, the image would still look short. In other words, because his astigmatism would affect the way he perceives his own paintings, he would not actually paint a tall (i.e. distorted) image. He would simply paint a short (i.e. normal) image that would appear tall to him.

So astigmatism would not explain why El Greco painted distorted images. Because even if he had astigmatism, it would distort his perception of his own paintings.

I hope that helps!
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Consider a similar question to the one in this problem:

If The way I see 'red' things is the way you see 'blue,' and the way I see 'blue' is the way you see 'red,' and I sit down to paint a red apple as I see it, what color will you *see* it? You might be tempted to say 'blue,' but that's actually not accurate. Since my red and blue is reversed, if I paint a red apple, I'll grab red paint to do so--even though I'll *see* it as blue, it matches what the apple is. If I painted the apple with blue paint, it would not look the way I see apples! (Painted an apple with blue paint is the way I could see the *accurate* version of an apple, but it would not be how I actually see apples).

So here, the theory is: if I perceive people as elongated, I wouldn't *paint* them as elongated also... because then my perception would make them even MORE elongated. I would paint the bodies as normal shaped, because that would make them appear 'normal' by my perception (even if my perception of them is 'elongated' compared to yours).
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