QUESTION TEXT: Critic: Political utility determines the popularity of…
QUESTION TYPE: Weaken
CONCLUSION: The society as a body metaphor promotes authoritarian repression. It is more authoritarian than the metaphor of society as a family.
REASONING: Political usefulness determines how popular metaphors are. The metaphor of society as a body is very popular in authoritarian societies. It implies a connection between society working well and having a government as its head.
ANALYSIS: It’s important to note that the conclusion is comparing the society as a body metaphor to other metaphors. That’s all.
It isn’t talking about how common metaphors or, or what metaphors are used elsewhere, etc.
The best way to weaken it is to show that another metaphor is more popular in authoritarian societies. Answer choice A does this.
- CORRECT. If the society as a family metaphor is equally popular then it must be equally useful to authoritarian governments. This contradicts the conclusion that the society as a body metaphor is the most useful metaphor for authoritarians.
- This strengthens the argument slightly by showing that political metaphors are real and common. But it doesn’t tell us anything specific to authoritarian societies.
- We would expect the metaphor to occasionally be used elsewhere. That’s fine as long as it tends to be more common in authoritarian societies.
- So? We’re mainly concerned with whether the body or the family metaphor is more useful to authoritarian governments.
- This slightly strengthens the argument by showing that the metaphor is not so popular in countries that are not authoritarian.
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