QUESTION TEXT: • • Philosopher: Scientists talk about the…
QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: The activities of the scientific community as a whole are directed towards enhancing the status of that community. They only further truth as a side effect.
REASONING: Individual scientists are mostly interested in enhancing their own status. Individual scientists only further the pursuit of truth as a side effect.
ANALYSIS: This argument assumes that the whole (the scientific community) is just the sum of its parts (the individual scientists). But it’s possible that the scientific community as a whole is directed at the pursuit of truth even if all individual scientists are merely trying to further their own interests.
- The stimulus didn’t say that every scientist is self-interested. It just said that most are and as a result the whole community was mainly self-interested.
- CORRECT. The scientific community isn’t necessarily the same as individual scientists.
- The argument said that the truth might be advanced but that it would be only incidental (an unintended side-effect.)
- Self-interested is clear: mainly looking out for one’s own interests.
- The cause was the fact that most scientists are self-interested. The effect was that the entire scientific community was therefore self-interested. The stimulus didn’t add any new information about the cause.
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