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The Iliad and the Odyssey were both attributed to Homer in ancient

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The Iliad and the Odyssey were both attributed to Homer in ancient  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2019, 07:56
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The Iliad and the Odyssey were both attributed to Homer in ancient times. But these two poems differ greatly in tone and vocabulary and in certain details of the fictional world they depict. So they are almost certainly not the work of the same poet.

Which one of the following statements, if true, most weakens the reasoning above?

(A) Several hymns that were also attributed to Homer in ancient times differ more from the Iliad in the respects mentioned than does the Odyssey.
(B) Both the Iliad and the Odyssey have come down to us in manuscripts that have suffered from minor copying errors and other textual corruptions.
(C) Works known to have been written by the same modern writer are as different from each other in the respects mentioned as are the Iliad and the Odyssey.
(D) Neither the Iliad nor the Odyssey taken by itself is completely consistent in all of the respects mentioned.
(E) Both the Iliad and the Odyssey were the result of an extended process of oral composition in which many poets were involved.

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Re: The Iliad and the Odyssey were both attributed to Homer in ancient  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2019, 10:09
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Answer to this question should be C.
The argument says that Illiad and Odyssey differ in many contexts ( language, tone and fictional world).
So the author could not be same.
One obvious thought that comes to mind, with the intention to criticise the argument is:
What if the tone of the author's writing changed? ( It has happened to many authors. Take the tone of J K Rowling for example b/w her first book and her last book in H.P. Series)
So an option which helps us evaluate this will be our answer.

A. THis option compares some other homer-written hymns' similarity to Illiad and to odyssey. If this is the case, then this option shows a slight belief that Odyssey might be written by Homer and not Illiad. So this is opposite of what we need. ( This is because the similarity is to one rather than second and these sets are given to be written by Homer, so it gives me a belief that probably the author of Illiad might be different one)

B. Now if both have some SLIGHT modifications, then there would be varying TYPING mistakes? But it seems a bit non-sensical that manuscript errors will also showcase itself in TONE and FICTION WORLD. This option defies COMMON SENSE logic, if it were to weaken the claim.

C. CORRECT. If today it's possible that a single writer could write different tones, then we know that it COULD have been possible earlier as well. So, this option creates a doubt ( a scenario of causality of some other Setup A can well be used to evaluate a similar setup B ) -> thanks for this concept to VeritasKarishma ma'am.

D. The relation of inconsistency is not related to the difference of authorship in the given context of the argument. So it's out of scope.

E. This option also STRENGTHENS the answer a little bit. Because it opens up a possibility of varied poets for the two works.

Correct answer should be C.

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Re: The Iliad and the Odyssey were both attributed to Homer in ancient  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2020, 20:31
But A says that these hymns differ more (from Illiad) than Odyssey in all respects mentioned above but still are Homer's works. Whereas C gives examples of modern poets which could be true now but not then. My point is you can interpret A and C in other ways as well, so that they can both be correct or incorrect


rish2708 wrote:
Answer to this question should be C.
The argument says that Illiad and Odyssey differ in many contexts ( language, tone and fictional world).
So the author could not be same.
One obvious thought that comes to mind, with the intention to criticise the argument is:
What if the tone of the author's writing changed? ( It has happened to many authors. Take the tone of J K Rowling for example b/w her first book and her last book in H.P. Series)
So an option which helps us evaluate this will be our answer.

A. THis option compares some other homer-written hymns' similarity to Illiad and to odyssey. If this is the case, then this option shows a slight belief that Odyssey might be written by Homer and not Illiad. So this is opposite of what we need. ( This is because the similarity is to one rather than second and these sets are given to be written by Homer, so it gives me a belief that probably the author of Illiad might be different one)

B. Now if both have some SLIGHT modifications, then there would be varying TYPING mistakes? But it seems a bit non-sensical that manuscript errors will also showcase itself in TONE and FICTION WORLD. This option defies COMMON SENSE logic, if it were to weaken the claim.

C. CORRECT. If today it's possible that a single writer could write different tones, then we know that it COULD have been possible earlier as well. So, this option creates a doubt ( a scenario of causality of some other Setup A can well be used to evaluate a similar setup B ) -> thanks for this concept to VeritasKarishma ma'am.

D. The relation of inconsistency is not related to the difference of authorship in the given context of the argument. So it's out of scope.

E. This option also STRENGTHENS the answer a little bit. Because it opens up a possibility of varied poets for the two works.

Correct answer should be C.

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Re: The Iliad and the Odyssey were both attributed to Homer in ancient  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jun 2020, 12:49
How do we connect Homer with modern writers as in (C)?
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Re: The Iliad and the Odyssey were both attributed to Homer in ancient  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2020, 03:58
lakshya14 wrote:
How do we connect Homer with modern writers as in (C)?


The Iliad and the Odyssey were both attributed to Homer in ancient times. But these two poems differ greatly in tone and vocabulary and in certain details of the fictional world they depict. So they are almost certainly not the work of the same poet.

Which one of the following statements, if true, most weakens the reasoning above?

(A) Several hymns that were also attributed to Homer in ancient times differ more from the Iliad in the respects mentioned than does the Odyssey.
(B) Both the Iliad and the Odyssey have come down to us in manuscripts that have suffered from minor copying errors and other textual corruptions.
(C) Works known to have been written by the same modern writer are as different from each other in the respects mentioned as are the Iliad and the Odyssey.
(D) Neither the Iliad nor the Odyssey taken by itself is completely consistent in all of the respects mentioned.
(E) Both the Iliad and the Odyssey were the result of an extended process of oral composition in which many poets were involved.

You do not need to connect Homer with modern writers, your task in weaken questions is to debilitate the argument. From the passage, we got the conclusion that, given the differences in tone and vocabulary and in certain details, they are not the work of the same poet.

How we can debilitate the conclusion? By giving extra information that debilitates the connection between the evidence (differences between the books) and the conclusion (not the work of the same poet). Option (C) does that by adding the fact that there are some works from the same author that present those kind of differences.

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Re: The Iliad and the Odyssey were both attributed to Homer in ancient  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jun 2020, 12:11
In answer choice D - It specifically says 'in all of the respects (I believe they mean tone, vocab and.....) mentioned............' which draws me to conclude that it has inconsistency in its own text which, therefore implies inconsistency in the two pieces can justify these being written by the same author. Wouldn't that be closer than to compare it to a modern writer?
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Re: The Iliad and the Odyssey were both attributed to Homer in ancient  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jun 2020, 16:28
lakshya14 wrote:
How do we connect Homer with modern writers as in (C)?

We don't have to connect Homer with the modern writer mentioned in (C) to answer this question. We have to find the answer that most weakens the reasoning in the passage.

The author concludes that Homer could not have written both the Iliad and the Odyssey. His/her reasoning to support this conclusion is that "these two poems differ greatly in tone and vocabulary and in certain details of the fictional world they depict."

(C) tells us:
Quote:
(C) Works known to have been written by the same modern writer are as different from each other in the respects mentioned as are the Iliad and the Odyssey.

This tells us that there is a writer with works that differ from each other in the same way, and differ as much as, the Iliad and the Odyssey differ. This means the author cannot use these differences as proof that Homer couldn't have written both ancient poems. In other words, his/her reasoning is invalid.

It doesn't matter that the writer is a modern writer, the answer choice would work as well with a writer from the past. All we need is to know for sure that the writer has many works that differ in the same ways the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Providing an example that suggests a single writer can write several works that differ in this way weakens the reasoning in the passage. This is why (C) is the answer to this question.

I hope that helps!
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Re: The Iliad and the Odyssey were both attributed to Homer in ancient  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jun 2020, 16:56
VeritasKarishma

Can you please elaborate on the "a scenario of causality of some other Setup A can well be used to evaluate a similar setup B" concept?

I eliminated C because it was talking about modern writers. Instead, I was looking for a reason specifically to Homer (I chose A).
When is it okay to use another setup to weaken/strengthen a given argument?
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Re: The Iliad and the Odyssey were both attributed to Homer in ancient  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2020, 01:26
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Akela wrote:
The Iliad and the Odyssey were both attributed to Homer in ancient times. But these two poems differ greatly in tone and vocabulary and in certain details of the fictional world they depict. So they are almost certainly not the work of the same poet.

Which one of the following statements, if true, most weakens the reasoning above?

(A) Several hymns that were also attributed to Homer in ancient times differ more from the Iliad in the respects mentioned than does the Odyssey.
(B) Both the Iliad and the Odyssey have come down to us in manuscripts that have suffered from minor copying errors and other textual corruptions.
(C) Works known to have been written by the same modern writer are as different from each other in the respects mentioned as are the Iliad and the Odyssey.
(D) Neither the Iliad nor the Odyssey taken by itself is completely consistent in all of the respects mentioned.
(E) Both the Iliad and the Odyssey were the result of an extended process of oral composition in which many poets were involved.


Iliad and Odyssey are attributed to Homer.
But they differ greatly in tone, vocab and details of the world they depict.

Conclusion: Same poet did not write both poems (because of the differences in them)

We have to weaken the reasoning.

(A) Several hymns that were also attributed to Homer in ancient times differ more from the Iliad in the respects mentioned than does the Odyssey.

This tells us that several hymns attributed to Homer also differ from Iliad. Again, these hymns are 'attributed' to Homer. It doesn't tell us that they were written by Homer. Even if we know that they were written by Homer, it suggests that Homer did not write Iliad. That tends to support our reasoning.
Whenever I am confused whether an option makes sense or not, I imagine 2 people debating.
One - Iliad and Odyssey are v different in tone, vocab etc. Homer did not write them both.
Other - Many hymns attributed to Homer are even more different from Iliad.
One - Then perhaps Homer did not write those hymns either. Or perhaps Homer did not write Iliad.

(The other person's logic is not strong enough to weaken one's logic)

(B) Both the Iliad and the Odyssey have come down to us in manuscripts that have suffered from minor copying errors and other textual corruptions.

This tells us the similarities between the two (and hence tries to establish that both were written by the same poet). But that could be a feature of all the works of that time, we don't know. Doesn't weaken.

(C) Works known to have been written by the same modern writer are as different from each other in the respects mentioned as are the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Some works KNOWN to be of the same author are as different in tone, vocab etc as are Iliad and Odyssey. Now here, the author's reasoning is questioned. He says that because the two works are so different in these respects, they cannot belong to the same poet. But we know of works belonging to the same poet which are just as different. This means one poet can write two different works which are very different in these aspects. Then the author's reasoning falls apart. Correct.

(D) Neither the Iliad nor the Odyssey taken by itself is completely consistent in all of the respects mentioned.

They are not completely consistent in ALL respects mentioned but they could be consistent enough in some of the respects mentioned.

(E) Both the Iliad and the Odyssey were the result of an extended process of oral composition in which many poets were involved.

We don't know how oral composition impacts attribution.

Answer (C)
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Re: The Iliad and the Odyssey were both attributed to Homer in ancient  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2020, 07:30
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simran2505 wrote:
In answer choice D - It specifically says 'in all of the respects (I believe they mean tone, vocab and.....) mentioned............' which draws me to conclude that it has inconsistency in its own text which, therefore implies inconsistency in the two pieces can justify these being written by the same author. Wouldn't that be closer than to compare it to a modern writer?


Hi Simran

It is an interesting point you bring up.

You are right that if the texts themselves are inconsistent, then it could possibly justify that inconsistencies in the two pieces could be overlooked while attributing it to a single author. However, kindly note that we are asked to weaken the assertion that Iliad and Odyssey are written by different authors. Option (D), if true, continues to raise a few questions:

i) Option (D) states that the books themselves are not "completely consistent" - this leaves room for doubt. To what degree are they inconsistent? Are they inconsistent to a greater or lesser degree internally than between each other? If the latter, then the argument could still hold.

ii) Could it be that Iliad and Odyssey themselves are products of more than one author (each)? Could this explain the inconsistencies? If so, it does not weaken the assertion that they are written by different authors.

As such, there are a few more questions raised by option (D) rather than merely weakening the argument. Option (C) is much cleaner as explained in multiple posts above.

Hope this helps.
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Re: The Iliad and the Odyssey were both attributed to Homer in ancient  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2020, 14:57
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simran2505 wrote:
In answer choice D - It specifically says 'in all of the respects (I believe they mean tone, vocab and.....) mentioned............' which draws me to conclude that it has inconsistency in its own text which, therefore implies inconsistency in the two pieces can justify these being written by the same author. Wouldn't that be closer than to compare it to a modern writer?

A certain piece can be just shy of COMPLETELY consistent in ALL of the aspects mentioned, while still being QUITE consistent in those aspects. Maybe the author slips in a strange vocab word here and there, or shifts his/her tone every once in a while. That doesn't matter, so long as the two pieces mentioned (the Iliad and the Odyssey) are different enough from one another for the author to conclude that they are the works of two different poets. (D) is not the right answer.

For an explanation of how (C) most weakens the author's reasoning, check out this post.

I hope that helps!
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Re: The Iliad and the Odyssey were both attributed to Homer in ancient   [#permalink] 25 Jun 2020, 14:57

The Iliad and the Odyssey were both attributed to Homer in ancient

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