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# The value of a society must be judged on the total amount of

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Manager
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The value of a society must be judged on the total amount of  [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2010, 12:15
2
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Difficulty:

95% (hard)

Question Stats:

37% (01:55) correct 63% (01:55) wrong based on 100 sessions

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The value of a society must be judged on the total amount of satisfaction that exists within it. Clearly, the best society is the one that allows every individual the opportunity to unleash, and to seek to gratify, his or her personal desires.

The argument above assumes which of the following?

A. People's desires and pursuits are mutually compatible, and the gratification of one person's desires never excludes the gratification of another's.
B. Laws have been imposed only to ensure the even distribution of the available amount of group satisfaction.
C. Each individual has it within his or her power to gratify all of his or her personal desires, provided the state does not interfere.
D. The total amount of satisfaction within any given society would be greatest if that society left all desires unfettered.
E. It is possible to erect a completely peaceful and harmonious society solely on the basis of individual power struggles.

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Re: The value of a society must be judged on the total amount of  [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2010, 22:44
4
1
The evidence that that the author provides is his supposition about satisfaction being the best measure of society; his conclusion is that an absolutely free society is the best one.

Whenever we see a shift in terminology like this, we should instantly recognize a classic Scope Shift error. The author's evidence is about satisfaction, but his conclusion is about opportunities to unleash individual desire. His assumption must bridge that gap. So, we make our prediction (Kaplan recommends always predicting!): "Citizens free to fulfill their desires have the most satisfaction"

(D) matches perfectly.

The best thing about spotting the scope shift, and making this prediction, is that you won't be tempted by the very attractive (A)--an answer so misleading that we accidentally marked it as the OA! Fortunately, our brand-new 2010 GMAT course includes a revision of the few errors floating in our system, but I'm digressing. (A)'s problem is the phrase "never". This make it too extreme to be a necessary assumption.

It may be a bit tricky to grasp why on first glance; on Test Day, you want to simply pick (D) because it matches our prediction and move on. But if you're really stuck, or if you want to understand this for study purposes, the best way to think about it is with Kaplan's Denial Test. The question stem is asking us for the answer that must be true for the argument to hold; so if we deny (state the opposite of) the correct answer choice, then the argument should fall apart. On the other hand, negating a false answer should have no effect on the validity of the argument. Remember, the opposite of "never" isn't "always." It's "not never," or "at least one." So, the opposite of (D) is "People's desires are sometime incompatible, and there is at least one person's desires exclude the gratification of another's."

All right, so we've got Bob and Joe living in Egopotamia. Both want to marry Mary--and only one will get his way. The other will be left sad.
Meanwhile, the other 100 Million Egopotamian citizens get to do exactly what they want.
Could Egopotamia be the best society? Certainly! Two unhappy citizens don't somehow negate the million of other satisfied ones. In other words, (A) can be made false, and the author's conclusion could easily still be the case. (A) therefore cannot be said to be a necessary assumption, and is therefore incorrect.
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Re: The value of a society must be judged on the total amount of  [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2010, 12:40
The value of a society must be judged on the total amount of satisfaction that exists within it. Clearly, the best society is the one that allows every individual the opportunity to unleash, and to seek to gratify, his or her personal desires.

The argument above assumes which of the following?

A.People's desires and pursuits are mutually compatible, and the gratification of one person's desires never excludes the gratification of another's.
B.Laws have been imposed only to ensure the even distribution of the available amount of group satisfaction.
C.Each individual has it within his or her power to gratify all of his or her personal desires, provided the state does not interfere.
D.The total amount of satisfaction within any given society would be greatest if that society left all desires unfettered.
E.It is possible to erect a completely peaceful and harmonious society solely on the basis of individual power struggles.

Explanation:
The CN says the best society is the one that allows every individual the opportunity to unleash, and to seek to gratify, his or her personal desires.
Option A clear shows the assumption. A person X's opportunity to seek personal desire might not be the same for Person Y. Hence the assumption has been made that Person X's wishes are in line with Person Y's wishes and won't oppose it.
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Re: The value of a society must be judged on the total amount of  [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2010, 04:58
should the answer not be D.

the assumption that desires being unfettered directly leads to satisfaction seems to be right.
if the completion of desires does not lead to satisfaction, then it should not be essential for a society to be the best.

moreover it fills up the gap between the premise and the conclusion.
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Re: The value of a society must be judged on the total amount of  [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2010, 08:50
This is how I review it:

A.People's desires and pursuits are mutually compatible, and the gratification of one person's desires never excludes the gratification of another's. = I feel the q/stem does not talk about how one's desires affects the other.
B.Laws have been imposed only to ensure the even distribution of the available amount of group satisfaction. = no laws.
C.Each individual has it within his or her power to gratify all of his or her personal desires, provided the state does not interfere.
D.The total amount of satisfaction within any given society would be greatest if that society left all desires unfettered.
E.It is possible to erect a completely peaceful and harmonious society solely on the basis of individual power struggles = gosh beyond the q/stem.

I don't like it when I am stuck btw C and D. I lean more towards C, because provided state does not interfere, overall society's satisfaction depends upon each indivdual's desires.

OA pls ????
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Re: The value of a society must be judged on the total amount of  [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2010, 15:13
D
support underlying assumption of unhindered society has the greatest chance of high satisfaction.
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Re: The value of a society must be judged on the total amount of  [#permalink]

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03 Feb 2010, 09:53
A!! Really!!

I still feel D is the best choice.

If I rewrite the passage: value of a society <- judging by level of satisfaction. Then it goes on to say the best one will have total freedom, seek to gratify etc etc.

best society then translates to highest satisfaction. That is not mentioned, but 'opportunity to unleash etc' is. I thought D bridges that gap as an assumption.
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Re: The value of a society must be judged on the total amount of  [#permalink]

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03 Feb 2010, 17:33
1
As a Kaplan rep, I'll tell you that A) is a mistake; fortunately, our brand new 2010 GMAT intdoruces, in addition to 20 hours of video and an extra 2.5 hour teaching session, introduces fixes for the occasional errors that cropped up in our previous course work. The correct answer is D)
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Re: The value of a society must be judged on the total amount of  [#permalink]

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13 Sep 2012, 02:21
mojorising800 wrote:
The value of a society must be judged on the total amount of satisfaction that exists within it. Clearly, the best society is the one that allows every individual the opportunity to unleash, and to seek to gratify, his or her personal desires.

The argument above assumes which of the following?

A.People's desires and pursuits are mutually compatible, and the gratification of one person's desires never excludes the gratification of another's.
B.Laws have been imposed only to ensure the even distribution of the available amount of group satisfaction.
C.Each individual has it within his or her power to gratify all of his or her personal desires, provided the state does not interfere.
D.The total amount of satisfaction within any given society would be greatest if that society left all desires unfettered.
E.It is possible to erect a completely peaceful and harmonious society solely on the basis of individual power struggles.

D is the best answer. Initially I got stuck between A and D but D bridges the gap bw the premise and the conclusion
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Re: The value of a society must be judged on the total amount of  [#permalink]

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03 Jul 2016, 13:45
KapTeacherEli wrote:
The evidence that that the author provides is his supposition about satisfaction being the best measure of society; his conclusion is that an absolutely free society is the best one.

Whenever we see a shift in terminology like this, we should instantly recognize a classic Scope Shift error. The author's evidence is about satisfaction, but his conclusion is about opportunities to unleash individual desire. His assumption must bridge that gap. So, we make our prediction (Kaplan recommends always predicting!): "Citizens free to fulfill their desires have the most satisfaction"

(D) matches perfectly.

The best thing about spotting the scope shift, and making this prediction, is that you won't be tempted by the very attractive (A)--an answer so misleading that we accidentally marked it as the OA! Fortunately, our brand-new 2010 GMAT course includes a revision of the few errors floating in our system, but I'm digressing. (A)'s problem is the phrase "never". This make it too extreme to be a necessary assumption.

It may be a bit tricky to grasp why on first glance; on Test Day, you want to simply pick (D) because it matches our prediction and move on. But if you're really stuck, or if you want to understand this for study purposes, the best way to think about it is with Kaplan's Denial Test. The question stem is asking us for the answer that must be true for the argument to hold; so if we deny (state the opposite of) the correct answer choice, then the argument should fall apart. On the other hand, negating a false answer should have no effect on the validity of the argument. Remember, the opposite of "never" isn't "always." It's "not never," or "at least one." So, the opposite of (D) is "People's desires are sometime incompatible, and there is at least one person's desires exclude the gratification of another's."

All right, so we've got Bob and Joe living in Egopotamia. Both want to marry Mary--and only one will get his way. The other will be left sad.
Meanwhile, the other 100 Million Egopotamian citizens get to do exactly what they want.
Could Egopotamia be the best society? Certainly! Two unhappy citizens don't somehow negate the million of other satisfied ones. In other words, (A) can be made false, and the author's conclusion could easily still be the case. (A) therefore cannot be said to be a necessary assumption, and is therefore incorrect.

Hi Eli,

Thank you for the detailed explanation! I was stumped on this question and not very convinced with the OA, but your reasoning makes sense to me. It has been six years since your post but Kaplan still has not fixed the official answer to the question. Incredible...
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Re: The value of a society must be judged on the total amount of  [#permalink]

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04 Aug 2019, 06:15
KapTeacherEli wrote:
As a Kaplan rep, I'll tell you that A) is a mistake; fortunately, our brand new 2010 GMAT intdoruces, in addition to 20 hours of video and an extra 2.5 hour teaching session, introduces fixes for the occasional errors that cropped up in our previous course work. The correct answer is D)

Fun fact! Your "GMAT Prep Plus 2020" still marks the correct answer as A and still manages to provide an explanation for it. Good going kaplan
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Re: The value of a society must be judged on the total amount of   [#permalink] 04 Aug 2019, 06:15
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