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In the Wealth of Nations (1776), Scottish economist Adam Smith...

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In the Wealth of Nations (1776), Scottish economist Adam Smith...  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 27 Apr 2018, 21:00
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Question 1
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A
B
C
D
E

based on 1159 sessions

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B
C
D
E

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B
C
D
E

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In the wealth of nations (1776), Scottish economist Adam Smith asserted that the propensity of “truck, barter and exchange” was both the foundation of commerce and a given quality of human nature, driven by individual desire. Smith’s view that self-interest dominated the business that emerged in early modern (sixteenth- and seventeenth century) England has had tremendous effects on how such relations have been perceived. Today it is typically assumed, for instance, that the development of business relations weakened the spirit of cooperation that characterized village communities and encouraged a spirit of individualism and self-betterment that ran counter to community interest.

However, such a view fails to account for the language that people in early modern England used to articulate their understanding of business relations, language that stressed credit, trust, obligations, and contracts, rather than self-interest. Throughout this period, most business transactions were conducted on credit—of plain dealing and of the keeping of promises —dominated the way in which business relations were conceived. Individual profit and solvency were important, but neither could be achieved without the trust and direct cooperation of one’s neighbours. As a result, buying and selling, far from breaking up communities, actually created numerous bonds that held villages together.

The author of the passage refers to “truck, barter and exchange” in the highlighted text most likely in order to

(A) lend authority to the argument that commerce is characterized by self-interest
(B) identify activities that embody essential qualities of human relationships
(C) indicate the terms Adam Smith used to define business relations
(D) represent the everyday speech used in village communities in England
(E) introduces key terms used in credit transactions in early England



It can be inferred that the author of the passage believes that economic historians whose views have been influenced by Adam Smith have failed to examine which of the following?

(A) The power of business relations to shape moral values and beliefs
(B) The significance of human nature in shaping economic developments and social structure
(C) The importance of village communities in determining the economic well-being of larger society
(D) The consequence of individual communities of changes in a country’s economic structure
(E) The actual language used to by people in village communities to refer to their business dealings



The passage is primarily concerned with which of the following?

(A) Criticizing a theory of human nature
(B) Evaluating the impact of a particular economist on modern theories of economic history
(C) Chronicling the early history of the use of credit in business relations
(D) Reconsidering accepted ideas about the history of business relations
(E) Explaining the decline of cooperation in village communities


Originally posted by DensetsuNo on 26 Jul 2016, 02:43.
Last edited by hazelnut on 27 Apr 2018, 21:00, edited 3 times in total.
fixed typo in passage
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Re: In the Wealth of Nations (1776), Scottish economist Adam Smith...  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Sep 2018, 11:09
2
1

Q2: A closer look at who's concerned with "human nature"


hassu13 wrote:
GMATNinjaI understand that for Q#2 option E is a restatement and hence is correct. But How can B not be correct. The author has emphasised in second para that it is because of the human nature- ie on basis of giving credit or promises- that the business flourished. it becomes quite obvious that the economic historians didnt consider this aspect. Can you pl correct me.

In the second paragraph, the author never claims that credit, promisees, and trust are part of human nature.

Instead, the author focuses explicitly on the language that people in early modern England used when doing business. The author points to this use of language as something that the typical view (which does depend on a Smith-like view of human nature) fails to consider:

Quote:
However, such a view fails to account for the language that people in early modern England used to articulate their understanding of business relations, language that stressed credit, trust, obligations, and contracts, rather than self-interest.

I hope this clarifies why we eliminate (B). Choice (E) is much better supported by the passage, and directly answers the question that we're being asked: What have these economic historians failed to examine?

Q3: Why did the author write this passage?


aviejay wrote:
Hi GMATNinja

I marked option Bas the correct answer for question3 and got it wrong

My reasoning was, in the the first paragraph, the author says "Today it is typically assumed, for instance, that the development of business relations weakened the spirit of cooperation that characterized village communities and encouraged a spirit of individualism and self-betterment that ran counter to community interest.". This is a modern assumption (can also be taken as a modern theory) and this comes after the author says "Smith’s view that self-interest dominated the business that emerged in early modern (sixteenth- and seventeenth century) England has had tremendous effects on how such relations have been perceived. " So, we can see that Smith definitely had an impact of modern theories.

From here, we move on to the secong paragraph in which the author starts with "However, such a view fails to account for the language that people in early modern England..." and goes on to explain "why does the view fail".

You've got a good grasp of the passage! When we want to state the primary concern of a passage, we're basically asking, "Why, overall, did the author write this thing?"

Breaking it down once more:

  • The author wrote paragraph 1 to present today's typical view of what the development of business relations did to village communities (and to tell us that that view is informed by Smith's work).
  • The author wrote paragraph 2 to explain how today's typical view has failed to take into account language used in these village communities.

So the author wrote this passage to raise doubts about how business relations during early modern England are perceived today. Note that the main concern here is not Adam Smith. It's the conventional wisdom that his work helped to create.

Quote:
So, he is definitely evaluating the modern views which goes with option B.

Let's be careful here. Yes, the author is evaluating modern views of business relations during early modern England. However, what does answer choice (B) say?

Quote:
(B) Evaluating the impact of a particular economist on modern theories of economic history

"Evaluating modern views" is not the same as "Evaluating the impact of a particular economist." The author mentions Smith to help us understand the modern view, but as a whole this passage evaluates the view of early modern England's business relations and how we come to believe it -- not Smith's impact on modern theories. As explained earlier, that's why we eliminate (B).

aviejay wrote:
Option D would have been correct if "such a view fails to account for the language that people in early modern England" would not have been mentioned. The author passes his own judgement and this should be seen as evaluating.

Please explain where am I going wrong.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by this hypothetical statement. To stick with the passage as it's written, the author is telling us that today's typical view fails to account for important information that could change our understanding of business relations in early modern England. The passage pushes us to question this view and consider a different interpretation of business relations.

Quote:
(D) Reconsidering accepted ideas about the history of business relations

This closely matches our understanding of why the author wrote this passage, and that's why (D) is the best answer choice as it's written.


Q1: The Question is "Why?"


sdlife wrote:
Hi CrackVerbalGMAT/ GMATNinja / Other Experts,

Thank you for the great explanations for this question. Very helpful. I usually get the questions - "the author mentions XXX in line YY in order to" - wrong in RC. This is one of the question type that I am not able to improve on. Can you please advise on how to attack these question types? I would really appreciate it.

As usual, when I'm asked for help with a specific question type, I don't have a very satisfying answer. :)

The key to RC is how well you read the passage: if you do a bulletproof job of reading for structure and purpose, then it will become easier to see how a specific detail fits in with the purpose of a paragraph or with the overall purpose of the passage. (More on these general ideas here.)

At the end of the day, this kind of question basically asks, "Why does the author mention this detail?"

This is very different from asking questions like:

  • "Does the author mention this detail?"
  • "Do you see this detail in the passage?"
  • "Would the author agree with this detail?"

This distinction may seem obvious, but in practice it can be tough to stay focused on the author's purpose, especially when you're under time pressure. If you're only looking for details that seem like they were in the passage, or kind of fit with things the author might say, then you'll have a very hard time eliminating wrong answer choices. So always remember that you're looking for the answer choice that best explains why the author has brought up the detail in this exact part of the passage.

I hope this all helps!
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Re: In the Wealth of Nations (1776), Scottish economist Adam Smith...  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 13 Dec 2017, 01:28
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2
let us read the passage -
sentence 1 talks about Adam Smith's assertion that propensity to truck, barter and trade was foundation of commerce and driven by human desire. The 2nd sentence expands on the first by stating that Smith's views have had tremendous impact on how business relations have been perceived.
the 3rd sentence explains the impact - it is typically assumed that business relations discouraged cooperation.
Note the usage of the word 'typically'. It is an indication that the author will disagree with the statement.

Para 2 - Note the usage of the word 'however'. the author disagrees with the last statement in paragraph 1. the rest of the paragraph then expands on this.

The last sentence - 'As a result, buying and selling, far from breaking up communities actually created numerous bonds that held villages together' - is the conclusion.

Question 3.
A - there is no mention of any 'theory of human nature'. the passage criticizes some 'assumptions held on the impact of the development of business relations'.
B - there is no mention of 'modern theories of economic history'.
C - there is no timeline/chronicle. Also, the main idea of the passage is not about the history of the use of credit in business transactions.
D - correct answer. "accepted ideas" = "typically assumed".
E - the second paragraph states exactly the opposite.

Question 1
Let us read the first two sentences.
A - "lend authority to the argument" - the author does not mention any argument besides that of Smith. Nor is the first sentence supporting any argument.
B - no mention of "human relationships". the passage states that the highlighted text is a given quality of human nature.
the passage does not talk about "essential qualities" only about A "given nature"
C - correct answer.
D - "everyday speech" is not mentioned in the first paragraph.
E - Not mentioned in the first paragraph.

Question 2
"however, such a view fails to account for the language that people in early england used to articulate their understanding of business relations".
Only E talks about this.

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Originally posted by CrackVerbalGMAT on 02 Nov 2016, 23:06.
Last edited by CrackVerbalGMAT on 13 Dec 2017, 01:28, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: In the Wealth of Nations (1776), Scottish economist Adam Smith...  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2016, 01:33
i think it is C
this is short and hard passage. I like to read this type of passage . but I dont see many passage of this type.
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New post 28 Jul 2016, 01:51
thangvietnam wrote:
i think it is C
this is short and hard passage. I like to read this type of passage . but I don't see many passage of this type.


I added two additional questions from this stem to the first post. \(;)\)
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New post 28 Jul 2016, 12:17
Just wondering, were you scoring around 700+ when you saw these questions? Thought passage was somewhat easier.
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New post 28 Jul 2016, 12:55
bballallstar6464 wrote:
Just wondering, were you scoring around 700+ when you saw these questions? Thought passage was somewhat easier.

It's hard to say what the score was halfway through the simulation, but yeah from the final score they should be in the lower end of the 700s.
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Re: In the Wealth of Nations (1776), Scottish economist Adam Smith...  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Sep 2016, 05:00
Took 7 mins, 30 seconds. Question is definitely in the 720+ range.

B E D was my answer . Got the first one incorrect .

Thanks for this passage.
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New post 09 Oct 2016, 14:55
DensetsuNo I got 2/3 correct. I was down to option C and option E and picked up on the wrong one.

Can you throw light on the correctness of option C in Q1.

Thank You.
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Re: In the Wealth of Nations (1776), Scottish economist Adam Smith...  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2016, 05:01
Can some explain for above RC

For Q3: Primary purpose
Please explain why A or B is incorrect and D is the right answer.
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Re: In the Wealth of Nations (1776), Scottish economist Adam Smith...  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2016, 00:17
Tough Passage. Can someone please provide the proper reasoning for all the questions?
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New post 31 Oct 2016, 03:18
3/3 , 1.45 minute / question.
I find RC quite easy when I make practice; yet, in the CAT simulations I struggle a lot (e.g, in the last one I got half wrong). I think mine is a stamina issue.
The only way is to keep training :D
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Re: In the Wealth of Nations (1776), Scottish economist Adam Smith...  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2017, 12:45
@Gmatninja, Experts,

Could you please help me decode the answer to question 2.

Why is C incorrect ?

and why is E correct ?
Is E a DOUBLE TRICK answer choice as when i read it i could trace it back to the 1st line of para 2 but i thought that its not referring to the "language used" in literal sense and in figurative sense.

Waiting eagerly for your reply !
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Re: In the Wealth of Nations (1776), Scottish economist Adam Smith...  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Sep 2017, 08:50
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kunal1608 wrote:
Could you please help me decode the answer to question 2.

Why is C incorrect ?

and why is E correct ?
Is E a DOUBLE TRICK answer choice as when i read it i could trace it back to the 1st line of para 2 but i thought that its not referring to the "language used" in literal sense and in figurative sense.

Waiting eagerly for your reply !

The passage suggests that historians influenced by Adam Smith believe that the development of business relations weakened the spirit of cooperation that characterized village communities, but it does not suggest that those historians failed to examine the IMPORTANCE of those village communities in determining the economic well being of a larger society. That's why (C) doesn't work.

Choice (E) is not a trick answer (and in general, dismissing anything as a "trick answer" or "trick question" is very unlikely to help you develop a deeper understanding of the GMAT). The first sentence of the second paragraph tells us that those historians failed to account for the language that people in early modern England used to articulate (i.e. communicate) their understanding of business relations. We can infer that the actual language used by people in the villages to refer to their business dealings would be encompassed by this general statement about the language. Thus, choice (E) is the best answer.

I hope this helps!
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Re: In the Wealth of Nations (1776), Scottish economist Adam Smith...  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Sep 2017, 10:00
GMATNinja wrote:
kunal1608 wrote:

Choice (E) is not a trick answer (and in general, dismissing anything as a "trick answer" or "trick question" is very unlikely to help you develop a deeper understanding of the GMAT).

I hope this helps!


Thankyou

I guess this is one of those “finding the detail” type question.


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New post 30 Sep 2017, 04:57
GMATNinja

Thanks for ur explanation!! I am having a problem marking off A.

End of first paragraph states that " development of business relations has caused has weakened the spirit of cooperation......counter to community interest ".

Taking this into consideration the author mentions his views and in the second paragraph (second line) states that "most business transactions were .........villages together".

Do these lines not account for option A.

Could u please give ur perspective on this.

Thanks.
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Re: In the Wealth of Nations (1776), Scottish economist Adam Smith...  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Oct 2017, 21:26
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gmatdemolisher1234 wrote:
GMATNinja

Thanks for ur explanation!! I am having a problem marking off A.

End of first paragraph states that " development of business relations has caused has weakened the spirit of cooperation......counter to community interest ".

Taking this into consideration the author mentions his views and in the second paragraph (second line) states that "most business transactions were .........villages together".

Do these lines not account for option A.

Could u please give ur perspective on this.

Thanks.

This post refers to question #2...

Quote:
(A) The power of business relations to shape moral values and beliefs.

The passage does not suggest that those historians failed to consider the power of business relations to shape moral values and beliefs. In fact, the last sentence of the first paragraph demonstrates that those historians felt that business relations had the power to weaken the spirit of cooperation and encourage of individualism.

In other words, the author and those historians would disagree about how business relations shaped moral values and beliefs but not about whether business relations have the power to shape a moral values and beliefs.

As described in this post, choice (E) is a better answer.

I hope that helps
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New post 13 Nov 2017, 08:23
In the wealth of nations (1776), Scottish economist Adam Smith asserted that the propensity of “truck, barter and exchange” was both the foundation of commerce and a given quality of human nature, driven by individual desire. Smith’s view that self-interest dominated the business that emerged in early modern (sixteenth- and seventeenth century) has had tremendous effects on how such relations have been perceived. Today it is typically assumed, for instance, that the development of business relations weakened the spirit of cooperation that characterized village communities and encouraged a spirit of individualism and self-betterment that ran counter to community interest.

However, such a view fails to account for the language that people in early modern England used to articulate their understanding of business relations, language that stressed credit, trust, obligations, and contracts, rather than self-interest. Throughout this period, most business transactions were conducted on credit – of plain dealing and of the keeping of promises – dominated the way in which business relations were conceived. Individual profit and solvency were important, but neither could be achieved without the trust and direct cooperation of one’s neighbours. As a result, buying and selling, far from breaking up communities, actually created numerous bonds that held villages together.


It can be inferred that the author of the passage believes that economic historians whose views have been influenced by Adam Smith have failed to examine which of the following?
(a) The power of business relations to shape moral values and beliefs
(b) The significance of human nature in shaping economic developments and social structure
(c) The importance of village communities in determining the economic well-being of larger society
(d) The consequence of individual communities of changes in a country’s economic structure
(e) The actual language used to by people in village communities to refer to their business dealings

The passage is primarily concerned with which of the following?
(a) Criticizing a theory of human nature
(b) Evaluating the impact of a particular economist on modern theories of economic history
(c) Chronicling the early history of the use of credit in business relations
(d) Reconsidering accepted ideas about the history of business relations
(e) Explaining the decline of cooperation in village communities

The author of the passage refers to “truck, barter and exchange” in the highlighted text most likely in order to
(a) lend authority to the argument that commerce is characterized by self-interest
(b) identify activities that embody essential qualities of human relationships
(c) indicate the terms Adam Smith used to define business relations
(d) represent the everyday speech used in village communities in England
(e) introduces key terms used in credit transactions in early England
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New post 14 Nov 2017, 07:21
GMATNinja, Could you help with Question 3?
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Re: In the Wealth of Nations (1776), Scottish economist Adam Smith...  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Nov 2017, 14:57
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hazelnut wrote:
GMATNinja, Could you help with Question 3?

The passage is primarily concerned with which of the following?

Quote:
(A) Criticizing a theory of human nature

According to Adam Smith, the "truck, barter, and exchange" system was a product of human self-interest. Although the author criticizes this view, the author is not trying to say anything about human nature in general. Maybe people are self-interested in general. Regardless, the author is only concerned with whether the BUSINESS RELATIONS of that time were dominated by self-interest. in other words, the author is primarily concerned with the business relations, not human nature itself. Eliminate (A).

Quote:
(B) Evaluating the impact of a particular economist on modern theories of economic history

The author does mention that Smith's view "has had tremendous effects on how such relations have been perceived." However, is the author's primary intention to examine how Smith's views impacted modern theories of economic history? In other words, is the author trying to answer the question, "How has Adam Smith impacted modern theories of economic history?" Not quite... instead, the author wants us to see how Smith's views have led to misinterpretations. The author is basically saying, "Hey, we've been basing our interpretations of history on Smith's views, but what if those views aren't entirely accurate?" Choice (B) doesn't quite cut it.

Quote:
(C) Chronicling the early history of the use of credit in business relations

The passage mentions the use of credit in business relations, but the passage is NOT primarily concerned with describing the early history of credit in business relations. Eliminate (C).

Quote:
(D) Reconsidering accepted ideas about the history of business relations

As explained for choice (B), most interpretations of the business relations of that time have been significantly influenced by Smith's commonly-accepted views. The author wants us to question Smith's views and thus reexamine the interpretations that were based on those commonly-held ideas. This fits with choice (D).

Quote:
(E) Explaining the decline of cooperation in village communities

The author does criticize the view that buying and selling disrupted cooperation in village communities, but the author does not attempt to explain the decline of that cooperation. Eliminate (E).

(D) is the best answer.
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Re: In the Wealth of Nations (1776), Scottish economist Adam Smith...   [#permalink] 16 Nov 2017, 14:57

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