QUESTION TYPE: Role in Argument
CONCLUSION: Social scientists need data from several societies to explain cultural phenomena.
REASONING: Suppose you think that a certain political structure is due only to certain ecological or cultural factors. You can only prove this if you know two things:
- There are no countries with similar political structures that don’t face those factors.
- There are no countries that face those factors, and aren’t structured the same way.
ANALYSIS: This question uses unusually complex wording. It’s simplest to look for structural words to figure it out. The phrase ‘for example’ introduces reasoning to support a previous statement.
In this question, the colon after the first sentence further supports the idea that the first sentence is the conclusion and what follows is evidence.
- The philosopher didn’t say that social scientists need certainty. He said that if they want to be certain they need data from several societies.
- Pure bunk. What general theoretical claim about cause and effect relationships? An example of such a claim would be “no matter how many times two events occur together, you can not prove they will always occur together”.
The philosopher mentioned specific, non-general causal claims relating to particular societies.
- The philosopher never said that there is a causal relationship between environmental factors and political structure.
Instead, the philosopher described what evidence you would need to prove such a claim.
- The philosopher never said whether it is difficult to figure out the causes of political structures.
- CORRECT. This answer means the sentence is a conclusion. Which it is. The phrase “for example” shows that the preceding sentence is the conclusion. The example in the stimulus shows the requirements for proving that a certain political structure was caused by political or environmental conditions.
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