QUESTION TEXT: Linguist: One group of art critics claims…
QUESTION TYPE: Role in Argument
CONCLUSION: The disagreement isn’t about the word ‘art’.
REASONING: The second group agrees that some paintings are not art and should be ignored.
ANALYSIS: This is a bad argument. The two groups disagree on whether some paintings are art.
Just because they both agree that some painting are not art, that doesn’t mean they agree 100% on what the word ‘art’ means.
The first group might have a definition of art that excludes 70% of paintings, while the second group only excludes 20% of paintings. There would agree that certain paintings aren’t art, but their definitions are different.
The argument cites the statement in question to attempt to prove that both groups agree about the meaning of the word art.
- The main point of disagreement is whether post-impressionist paintings are art. The two groups agree that some other paintings are not art.
- Complicated nonsense. The argument hasn’t given any other evidence that the two groups agree on the definition of art. And this evidence is hardly a commonly accepted reason for concluding that the two groups do agree. I doubt enough people care about these groups for us to describe beliefs about them as ‘common’.
- The argument doesn’t say whether the groups are correct that certain paintings aren’t art. They just claim that the two groups agree with each other.
- We have no idea if the dispute is only about aesthetic concerns. This is a nonsense answers designed to sound important.
- CORRECT. Both groups accept that some paintings aren’t art. The argument uses this to conclude (incorrectly) that both groups agree what art is.
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