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Zoologist: Animals can certainly signal each other with sounds and ges

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Zoologist: Animals can certainly signal each other with sounds and ges [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2017, 05:23
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63% (01:18) correct 37% (02:04) wrong based on 156 sessions

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Zoologist: Animals can certainly signal each other with sounds and gestures. However, this does not confirm the thesis that animals possess language, for it does not prove that animals possess the ability to use sounds or gestures to refer to concrete objects or abstract ideas.
Which one of the following is an assumption on which the zoologist’s argument depends?
(A) Animals do not have the cognitive capabilities to entertain abstract ideas.
(B) If an animal’s system of sounds or gestures is not a language, then that animal is unable to entertain abstract ideas.
(C) When signaling each other with sounds of gestures, animals refer neither to concrete objects nor abstract ideas.
(D) If a system of sounds or gestures contains no expressions referring to concrete objects or abstract ideas, then that system is not a language.
(E) Some animals that possess a language can refer to both concrete objects and abstract ideas.

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Re: Zoologist: Animals can certainly signal each other with sounds and ges [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2017, 05:26
What is premise and conclusion of this sentence unable to get that
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Zoologist: Animals can certainly signal each other with sounds and ges [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2017, 06:22
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rahulkiller321 wrote:
What is premise and conclusion of this sentence unable to get that

The conclusion is: [The fact that animals can certainly signal each other with sounds and gestures] does not confirm the thesis that animals possess language.

Why? Because it does not prove that animals possess the ability to use sounds or gestures to refer to concrete objects or abstract ideas.

How do we find the conclusion? There are many ways, but one of the ways is to use certain indicator words to guide us. Premises are normally preceded by words such as since, because, or for. In this case, the premise is preceded by the word for.

Premises answer the question why? We should be able to take the conclusion, ask the question why, and use the premises to answer that question.

In this case the premise and the conclusion contain different words. The conclusion talks about animals possessing language whereas the premise talks about concrete objects or abstract ideas. What's the connection between the two? Is there a connection? This connection will be in the assumption. Accordingly, we can determine that the assumption must contain the words "concrete objects or abstract ideas" and "language."

This realization makes (D) our top candidate. But how can we be certain that (D) is the best answer? Well, we can use the why test again. State the conclusion: [The fact that animals and can certainly signal each other with sounds and gestures] does not confirm the thesis that animals possess language and ask the question why? Does "if a system of sounds or gestures contains no expressions referring to concrete objects or abstract ideas, then that system is not a language" answer that question? I think it does.

Alternatively, you can use the negation test. The negated assumption should disprove the argument. Here's the negated assumption:

If a system of sounds or gestures contains no expressions referring to concrete objects or abstract ideas, then that system is not a language.

I think we can see that it does disprove the conclusion.

Accordingly, when looking for assumptions follow these three steps:

1. Look for new, surprising words in the conclusion that are not mentioned in the premises.
2. Use the why? test.
3. Use the negation test.
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Re: Zoologist: Animals can certainly signal each other with sounds and ges [#permalink]

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New post 20 May 2017, 12:46
Thanks eliaslatour for the explanation!

Feel free to use the Request Expert Reply button when posting follow-up questions.
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Re: Zoologist: Animals can certainly signal each other with sounds and ges   [#permalink] 20 May 2017, 12:46
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