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# J. G. A. Pocock’s numerous investigations have all revolved around the

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J. G. A. Pocock’s numerous investigations have all revolved around the  [#permalink]

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29 Jul 2019, 08:59
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 235, Date : 29-Jul-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details

J. G. A. Pocock’s numerous investigations have
all revolved around the fruitful assumption that a
work of political thought can only be understood in
light of the linguistic constraints to which its author
(5) was subject, for these prescribed both the choice of
subject matter and the author’s conceptualization of
this subject matter. Only the occasional epic
theorist, like Machiavelli or Hobbes, succeeded in
breaking out of these bonds by redefining old terms
(10) and inventing new ones. The task of the modern
commentator is to identify the “language” or
“vocabulary” with and within which the author
operated. While historians of literature have always
been aware that writers work within particular
(15) traditions, the application of this notion to the
history of political ideas forms a sharp contrast to
the assumptions of the 1950s, when it was naïvely
thought that the close reading of a text by an
analytic philosopher was sufficient to establish its
(20) meaning, even if the philosopher had no knowledge
of the period of the text’s composition.

The language Pocock has most closely
investigated is that of “civic humanism.” For much
of his career he has argued that eighteenth-century
(25) English political thought should be interpreted as a
conflict between rival versions of the “virtue” central
to civic humanism. On the one hand, he argues, this
virtue is described by representatives of the Tory
opposition using a vocabulary of public spirit and
(30) self-sufficiency. For these writers the societal ideal is
the small, independent landowner in the
countryside. On the other hand, Whig writers
describe such virtue using a vocabulary of
commerce and economic progress; for them the
(35) ideal is the merchant.

In making such linguistic discriminations
Pocock has disassociated himself from historians
like Namier, who deride all eighteenth-century
English political language as “cant.” But while
(40) Pocock’s ideas have proved fertile when applied to
England, they are more controversial when applied
to the late-eighteenth-century United States.
Pocock’s assertion that Jefferson’s attacks on the
commercial policies of the Federalists simply echo
(45) the language of the Tory opposition in England is at
odds with the fact that Jefferson rejected the elitist
implications of that group’s notion of virtue and
asserted the right of all to participate in commercial
society. Indeed, after promptings by Quentin
(50) Skinner, Pocock has admitted that a
counterlanguage—one of rights and liberties—was
probably as important in the political discourse of
the late-eighteenth-century United States as the
language of civic humanism. Fortunately, it is not
(55) necessary to rank the relative importance of all the
different vocabularies in which eighteenth-century
political argument was conducted. It is sufficient to
recognize that any interesting text is probably a
mixture of several of these vocabularies, and to
(60) applaud the historian who, though guilty of some
exaggeration, has done the most to make us aware of
their importance.

1. The main idea of the passage is that

(A) civic humanism, in any of its manifestations, cannot entirely explain eighteenth-century political discourse
(B) eighteenth-century political texts are less likely to reflect a single vocabulary than to combine several vocabularies
(C) Pocock’s linguistic approach, though not applicable to all eighteenth-century political texts, provides a useful model for historians of political theory
(D) Pocock has more successfully accounted for the nature of political thought in eighteenthcentury England than in the eighteenthcentury United States
(E) Pocock’s notion of the importance of language in political texts is a logical extension of the insights of historians of literature

2. According to the passage, Pocock most clearly associates the use of a vocabulary of economic progress with

(A) Jefferson
(B) Federalists
(C) English Whigs
(D) English Tories
(E) rural English landowners

3. The author’s attitude toward Pocock is best revealed by which of the following pairs of words?

(A) “fruitful” (line 2) and “cant” (line 39)
(B) “sharp” (line 16) and “elitist” (line 46)
(C) “naively” (line 17) and “controversial” (line 41)
(D) “fertile” (line 40) and “applaud” (line 60)
(E) “simply” (line 44) and “importance” (line 55)

4. The passage suggests that one of the “assumptions of the 1950s” (line 17) regarding the meaning of a political text was that this meaning

(A) could be established using an approach similar to that used by literary historians
(B) could be definitively established without reference to the text’s historical background
(C) could be closely read in several different ways depending on one’s philosophic approach
(D) was constrained by certain linguistic preconceptions held by the text’s author
(E) could be expressed most clearly by an analytic philosopher who had studied its historical context

5. The author of the passage would most likely agree that which one of the following is a weakness found in Pocock’s work?

(A) the use of the term “language” to describe the expressive features of several diverse kinds of discourse
(B) the overemphatic denigration of the role of the analytic philosopher in establishing the meaning of a political, or indeed any, text
(C) the emphasis on the overriding importance of civic humanism in eighteenth-century English political thought
(D) the insistence on a single linguistic dichotomy to account for political thought in eighteenth century England and the United States
(E) the assignment of certain vocabularies to particular parties in eighteenth-century England without taking note of how these vocabularies overlapped

6. Which one of the following best describes the organization of the passage?

(A) A description of a thesis is offered, specific cases are considered, and an evaluation is given.
(B) A thesis is brought forward, the thesis is qualified, and evidence that calls the qualification into question is stated.
(C) A hypothesis is described, examples that suggest it is incorrect are summarized, and supporting examples are offered.
(D) A series of evaluations are given, concrete reasons are put forward, and a future direction for research is suggested.
(E) Comparisons and contrasts are made, some categories of evaluation are suggested, and a framework for applying these categories is implied.

• Source: LSAT Official PrepTest 15 (June 1995)
• Difficulty Level: 700

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J. G. A. Pocock’s numerous investigations have all revolved around the  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 31 Oct 2019, 02:55
4
Hi everyone,
Got 5/6 correct in 15:30 minutes.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

P1

Paragraph one gives us the point of view o the writer J.G.A. Pocock (JP) on what is necessary to understand political thoughts. What is needed is knowing the language because the latter identifies the subject matter and the conceptualization. We are also given two examples of people to which this standard does not apply: M&H. Lastly we are given a contrast: while it is acknowledged that when evaluating a writer traditions should be taken into consideration, most of the times this concept is not applied. Plus it is thought that the close analysis of a Philosopher is enough.

Brief summary: JP's view on how to understand political thoughts.

P2

Paragraph 2 tells us that JP investigated Civic Humanism and that Jp thinks that political though in England in the 18th century is expressed by a conflict of virtues.
These virtues are very well identified in the two main english political parties: Tories and Whigs. Through the language used by each of the parties we can infer that the first one had an ideal linked with the landowner while the second one had an ideal linked with the merchant

Brief summary: Jp investigates CH and gives us two examples of where contrasting virtues are applied.

P3

Paragraph 3 tells us that JP's studies cannot be applied to the united states as well. An example about Jefferson supports this idea and the same JP admits that what is valid for 18th century England is not as well valid for the late18th century United stated. Lastly we are given that rankings are not important and that what's ideal is just to consider the different implications of language while studying political thought.

Brief summary: JP's studies cannot be applied to US

Main point

The Main point is to discuss JP's studies on political thought and to understand their scope and validity

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. The main idea of the passage is that

Pre-thinking

Main point question

Refer to main point above

(A) civic humanism, in any of its manifestations, cannot entirely explain eighteenth-century political discourse
partial scope

(B) eighteenth-century political texts are less likely to reflect a single vocabulary than to combine several vocabularies
Not in line with pre-thinking

(C) Pocock’s linguistic approach, though not applicable to all eighteenth-century political texts, provides a useful model for historians of political theory
This is very in line with the structure of the passage

(D) Pocock has more successfully accounted for the nature of political thought in eighteenthcentury Englandthan in the eighteenthcentury United States
Not in line with pre-thinking.

(E) Pocock’s notion of the importance of language in political texts is a logical extension of the insights of historians of literature
Not in line with pre-thinking

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. According to the passage, Pocock most clearly associates the use of a vocabulary of economic progress with

Pre-thinking

Detail question

Refer to P2. Economic progress is used for Whighs and merchants

(A) Jefferson
Not in line with pre-thinking. out of context

(B) Federalists
Not in line with pre-thinking

(C) English Whigs
In line with pre-thinking

(D) English Tories
Not in line with pre-thinking. opposite

(E) rural English landowners
Not in line with pre-thinking. opposite

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. The author’s attitude toward Pocock is best revealed by which of the following pairs of words?

Pre-thinking

inference question

The strategy here is to look for the words in the passage and to analyze the context in which they are present. For example the word "can't" of option A is used in the third passage to tdescribe the point of view f someone else. So it can be eliminated because it is not about JP. Also we don't need to do this analysis for both the words. Once we can rule out one option, then we can rule out the entire answer choice

(A) “fruitful” (line 2) and “cant” (line 39)
Cant is wrong

(B) “sharp” (line 16) and “elitist” (line 46)
The 2 words do not refer to JP

(C) “naively” (line 17) and “controversial” (line 41)
The 2 words do not refer to JP

(D) “fertile” (line 40) and “applaud” (line 60)
Correct as there is a reference to JP

(E) “simply” (line 44) and “importance” (line 55)
The 2 words do not refer to JP

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

4. The passage suggests that one of the “assumptions of the 1950s” (line 17) regarding the meaning of a political text was that this meaning

Pre-thinking

inference question

We can infer that the meaning was examined without looking at the context/historical background. Refer to the last sentence of the paragraph

(A) could be established using an approach similar to that used by literary historians
Not in line with pre-thinking

(B) could be definitively established without reference to the text’s historical background
in line with pre-thinking

(C) could be closely read in several different ways depending on one’s philosophic approach
Not in line with pre-thinking

(D) was constrained by certain linguistic preconceptions held by the text’s author
Not in line with pre-thinking

(E) could be expressed most clearly by an analytic philosopher who had studied its historical context
Not in line with pre-thinking. this is opposite

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. The author of the passage would most likely agree that which one of the following is a weakness found in Pocock’s work?

Pre-thinking

Inference

It cannot be applied to contexts such as the one in the united states

(A) the use of the term “language” to describe the expressive features of several diverse kinds of discourse
Not in line with pre-thinking

(B) the overemphatic denigration of the role of the analytic philosopher in establishing the meaning of a political, or indeed any, text
Not in line with pre-thinking

(C) the emphasis on the overriding importance of civic humanism in eighteenth-century English political thought
Jp does not give an overriding importance to CH.

(D) the insistence on a single linguistic dichotomy to account for political thought in eighteenth century England and the United States
in line with pre-thinking

(E) the assignment of certain vocabularies to particular parties in eighteenth-century England without taking note of how these vocabularies overlapped
Not in line with pre-thinking

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

6. Which one of the following best describes the organization of the passage?

Pre-thinking

Structure question

JP's methodology to analyze political thought is described--> an example of language investigated is given---> a context in which his methodology does not apply is presented

(A) A description of a thesis is offered, specific cases are considered, and an evaluation is given.
in line with pre-thinking

(B) A thesis is brought forward, the thesis is qualified, and evidence that calls the qualification into question is stated.
altough P3 gives us an example in which the JP's methodology does not work, P3 does not undermine the qualification of JP's methodology, which remains valid for england.

(C) A hypothesis is described, examples that suggest it is incorrect aresummarized, and supporting examples are offered.
Not in line with pre-thinking

(D) A series of evaluations are given, concrete reasons are put forward, and a future directionfor research is suggested.
Not in line with pre-thinking

(E) Comparisons and contrasts are made, some categories of evaluation are suggested, and a framework for applying these categories is implied.
Not in line with pre-thinking

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's a good day to be alive!

Originally posted by auradediligodo on 28 Oct 2019, 01:52.
Last edited by auradediligodo on 31 Oct 2019, 02:55, edited 2 times in total.
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J. G. A. Pocock’s numerous investigations have all revolved around the  [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2019, 22:55
1
saurabh9gupta wrote:
+1 Kudos to posts containing answer explanation of all questions

plz post the solutions of question 1 and 6

for 1, i marked B

for 6, I marked E

Passage Map

Topic and Scope:

Pocock’s approach to political discourse; specifically, his use of linguistic analysis to interpret the political discourse of the past.

Purpose and Main Idea:

The author’s purpose is to describe and critique Pocock’s methodology. His specific main idea is that Pocock’s methodology is a valuable tool for understanding past political discourse, even if it doesn’t fully explain each and every historical document.

Paragraph Structure:

Para 1 describes Pocock’s basic methodology and compares it (favorably) to traditional methods of interpreting political texts of the past.

Para 2 describes Pocock’s work: how he has applied his methodology to investigate “civic humanism” in eighteenth-century England.

Para 3 continues the discussion of Pocock’s work, noting that his analysis of political discourse in eighteenth-century America doesn’t ring as true as his analysis of English political discourse. Nevertheless, the author ends the passage by saying that, although Pocock’s work isn’t entirely on the mark, his methodology is certainly on the right track.

Explanation

1. The main idea of the passage is that

Difficulty Level: 650

Explanation

This choice neatly captures the author’s topic, scope, and purpose; and it clearly echoes the last sentence of the passage in its critical approval of Pocock’s work.

(A), (B) “Civic humanism” (A) and “eighteenth-century political texts” (B) are certainly prominent aspects of this passage. But the main focus of this text is on Pocock’s methodology and its application to eighteenth-century political texts. Yet neither of these choices even mentions Pocock.

(D) concentrates on a detail that emerges only in Para 3.

(E) plays on a detail in Para 1.

6. Which one of the following best describes the organization of the passage?

Difficulty Level: 650

Explanation

Para 1 describes Pocock’s basic method of studying political discourse; Paras 2 and 3 describe the application of this method to the cases of eighteenth-century England and America; and Para 3 evaluates the merits of Pocock’s method in light of its application to these cases. (A) reflects this sequence.

(B) The author has reservations about Pocock’s work, and he states them after a presentation of the evidence.

(C) What hypothesis? This passage describes and evaluates a scholarly mode of inquiry.

(D) The author does evaluate Pocock’s work and does suggest a future direction for research, but this choice says nothing about all of the description of Pocock’s work.

(E) What comparisons and contrasts? What categories of evaluation? What framework?

Hope it helps
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Re: J. G. A. Pocock’s numerous investigations have all revolved around the  [#permalink]

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28 Oct 2019, 02:39
+1 Kudos to posts containing answer explanation of all questions

plz post the solutions of question 1 and 6

for 1, i marked B

for 6, I marked E
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Re: J. G. A. Pocock’s numerous investigations have all revolved around the  [#permalink]

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24 Jan 2020, 23:26

Can you post the explanation for Q5?
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Re: J. G. A. Pocock’s numerous investigations have all revolved around the  [#permalink]

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25 Jan 2020, 09:09

Can you post the explanation for Q5?

Explanation

5. The author of the passage would most likely agree that which one of the following is a weakness found in Pocock’s work?

Difficulty Level: 700

Explanation

In lines 41-54, the author argues that Pocock erred in applying the same “linguistic dichotomy” to both England and America. What works for England, the author asserts, doesn’t necessarily work for America.

(A) is beyond the scope of the passage. Pocock concerns himself with political discourse only.

(B) It’s the author, not Pocock, who “denigrates” the role of analytic philosophers in analyzing political texts.

(C), (E) The author wholeheartedly endorses Pocock’s interpretation of eighteenth-century political discourse in England.

This is an excellent example of why it’s important to keep track of the gist of each paragraph of the passage. If you remembered that the author critiques Pocock only in the last paragraph, you could have gone straight there and quickly discovered that (D) is correct.

Hope it helps
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J. G. A. Pocock’s numerous investigations have all revolved around the  [#permalink]

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18 May 2020, 22:36
1
Hi everyone,
Got 5/6 correct in 15:30 minutes.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

P1

Paragraph one gives us the point of view o the writer J.G.A. Pocock (JP) on what is necessary to understand political thoughts. What is needed is knowing the language because the latter identifies the subject matter and the conceptualization. We are also given two examples of people to which this standard does not apply: M&H. Lastly we are given a contrast: while it is acknowledged that when evaluating a writer traditions should be taken into consideration, most of the times this concept is not applied. Plus it is thought that the close analysis of a Philosopher is enough.

Brief summary: JP's view on how to understand political thoughts.

P2

Paragraph 2 tells us that JP investigated Civic Humanism and that Jp thinks that political though in England in the 18th century is expressed by a conflict of virtues.
These virtues are very well identified in the two main english political parties: Tories and Whigs. Through the language used by each of the parties we can infer that the first one had an ideal linked with the landowner while the second one had an ideal linked with the merchant

Brief summary: Jp investigates CH and gives us two examples of where contrasting virtues are applied.

P3

Paragraph 3 tells us that JP's studies cannot be applied to the united states as well. An example about Jefferson supports this idea and the same JP admits that what is valid for 18th century England is not as well valid for the late18th century United stated. Lastly we are given that rankings are not important and that what's ideal is just to consider the different implications of language while studying political thought.

Brief summary: JP's studies cannot be applied to US

Main point

The Main point is to discuss JP's studies on political thought and to understand their scope and validity

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. The main idea of the passage is that

Pre-thinking

Main point question

Refer to main point above

(A) civic humanism, in any of its manifestations, cannot entirely explain eighteenth-century political discourse
partial scope

(B) eighteenth-century political texts are less likely to reflect a single vocabulary than to combine several vocabularies
Not in line with pre-thinking

(C) Pocock’s linguistic approach, though not applicable to all eighteenth-century political texts, provides a useful model for historians of political theory
This is very in line with the structure of the passage

(D) Pocock has more successfully accounted for the nature of political thought in eighteenthcentury Englandthan in the eighteenthcentury United States
Not in line with pre-thinking.

(E) Pocock’s notion of the importance of language in political texts is a logical extension of the insights of historians of literature
Not in line with pre-thinking

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. According to the passage, Pocock most clearly associates the use of a vocabulary of economic progress with

Pre-thinking

Detail question

Refer to P2. Economic progress is used for Whighs and merchants

(A) Jefferson
Not in line with pre-thinking. out of context

(B) Federalists
Not in line with pre-thinking

(C) English Whigs
In line with pre-thinking

(D) English Tories
Not in line with pre-thinking. opposite

(E) rural English landowners
Not in line with pre-thinking. opposite

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. The author’s attitude toward Pocock is best revealed by which of the following pairs of words?

Pre-thinking

inference question

The strategy here is to look for the words in the passage and to analyze the context in which they are present. For example the word "can't" of option A is used in the third passage to tdescribe the point of view f someone else. So it can be eliminated because it is not about JP. Also we don't need to do this analysis for both the words. Once we can rule out one option, then we can rule out the entire answer choice

(A) “fruitful” (line 2) and “cant” (line 39)
Cant is wrong

(B) “sharp” (line 16) and “elitist” (line 46)
The 2 words do not refer to JP

(C) “naively” (line 17) and “controversial” (line 41)
The 2 words do not refer to JP

(D) “fertile” (line 40) and “applaud” (line 60)
Correct as there is a reference to JP

(E) “simply” (line 44) and “importance” (line 55)
The 2 words do not refer to JP

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

4. The passage suggests that one of the “assumptions of the 1950s” (line 17) regarding the meaning of a political text was that this meaning

Pre-thinking

inference question

We can infer that the meaning was examined without looking at the context/historical background. Refer to the last sentence of the paragraph

(A) could be established using an approach similar to that used by literary historians
Not in line with pre-thinking

(B) could be definitively established without reference to the text’s historical background
in line with pre-thinking

(C) could be closely read in several different ways depending on one’s philosophic approach
Not in line with pre-thinking

(D) was constrained by certain linguistic preconceptions held by the text’s author
Not in line with pre-thinking

(E) could be expressed most clearly by an analytic philosopher who had studied its historical context
Not in line with pre-thinking. this is opposite

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. The author of the passage would most likely agree that which one of the following is a weakness found in Pocock’s work?

Pre-thinking

Inference

It cannot be applied to contexts such as the one in the united states

(A) the use of the term “language” to describe the expressive features of several diverse kinds of discourse
Not in line with pre-thinking

(B) the overemphatic denigration of the role of the analytic philosopher in establishing the meaning of a political, or indeed any, text
Not in line with pre-thinking

(C) the emphasis on the overriding importance of civic humanism in eighteenth-century English political thought
Jp does not give an overriding importance to CH.

(D) the insistence on a single linguistic dichotomy to account for political thought in eighteenth century England and the United States
in line with pre-thinking

(E) the assignment of certain vocabularies to particular parties in eighteenth-century England without taking note of how these vocabularies overlapped
Not in line with pre-thinking

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

6. Which one of the following best describes the organization of the passage?

Pre-thinking

Structure question

JP's methodology to analyze political thought is described--> an example of language investigated is given---> a context in which his methodology does not apply is presented

(A) A description of a thesis is offered, specific cases are considered, and an evaluation is given.
in line with pre-thinking

(B) A thesis is brought forward, the thesis is qualified, and evidence that calls the qualification into question is stated.
altough P3 gives us an example in which the JP's methodology does not work, P3 does not undermine the qualification of JP's methodology, which remains valid for england.

(C) A hypothesis is described, examples that suggest it is incorrect aresummarized, and supporting examples are offered.
Not in line with pre-thinking

(D) A series of evaluations are given, concrete reasons are put forward, and a future directionfor research is suggested.
Not in line with pre-thinking

(E) Comparisons and contrasts are made, some categories of evaluation are suggested, and a framework for applying these categories is implied.
Not in line with pre-thinking

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's a good day to be alive!

WOW! I found your passage summary really useful. The way you systematically explained P1, P2, and P3 is way better than the official explanation! Thank you!
J. G. A. Pocock’s numerous investigations have all revolved around the   [#permalink] 18 May 2020, 22:36