DISCUSSION: This is a hard question to pin down using the passage. The author doesn’t give an opinion about several of the answer choices.
You’re allowed to use common sense (as long as you don’t contradict the passage), and it comes in handy here. It’s unlikely that institutions never accept good arguments. The world wouldn’t work very well that way. Since the author seems sensible, he probably disagrees with that as well.
- Lines 1-3 say that intellectual authority never forces its opinion on anyone.
- CORRECT. This is no good. Intellectual authority always accepts well-reasoned arguments. And institutions might accept well-reasoned arguments if the conclusions helped the institution. The author is unlikely to agree with this very extreme statement.
- Lines 1-3 say that intellectual authority never depends on convention.
- The argument never says whether institutional authority can attack institutional beliefs. It might: we’ve all heard of the head of some corporation challenging the corporation’s values. Since the author doesn’t give his opinion, this doesn’t contradict him.
- Institutional authority could conflict with precedent if institutional beliefs change (the institutional attacks wouldn’t have to be well-reasoned). The author gives no opinion on this point, but this is reasonable based on what we know of institutions.
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