QUESTION TYPE: Necessary Assumption
ARGUMENTS: Chan argues that the literature department should only study literary works and that it should avoid studying advertisements.
Professor Wigmore isn’t sure if ads are literary works. But he is sure that they influence society because people can’t figure out their true messages. The literature department trains people to understand what they read. Therefore it should train people to understand ads.
ANALYSIS: Wigmore is assuming that the literature department has broad responsibilities. If it doesn’t (and can only study true literature) then his argument might be wrong.
- Professor Wigmore isn’t arguing that ads are literary works. So it’s irrelevant what qualities literary works have.
- Actually Wigmore assumes that courses could teach both true literature and ads.
- If students also learned how to write essays (a new skill,) that would not harm Wigmore’s argument. He only needs to assume that students don’t learn how to figure out ads from the course as it’s currently taught.
- If visual ads did hurt society then Wigmore would probably feel it was even more important to study ads.
- CORRECT. If the literary department is limited to teaching true literary work then Wigmore might be wrong. He admits that ads might not be true literary works.
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