QUESTION TYPE: Weaken
CONCLUSION: One of Laroque’s students made the painting.
REASONING: The painting was either made by Laroque or one of his students. The painting has a pigment that has never been found in Laroque’s paintings before.
ANALYSIS: This is a classic error. The argument tells us something about one group (Laroque), and then implies that the argument has given us information about another group (Laroque’s students).
We don’t know anything about Laroque’s students’ paintings. Maybe they didn’t have the pigment either.
In that case we’d be back to square one – we have no idea whether Laroque made the painting, or whether his students did. Neither of them used the pigment.
You can’t choose between two possibilities unless you have information about both of them.
- This slightly strengthens the idea that one of Laroque’s students made the painting. They all used a similar style.
- This explains why we’re confused about the painting. It doesn’t show that Laroque painted it.
- CORRECT. This shows we know nothing about the painting. Orpiment has never been found in Laroque’s paintings OR in paintings made by his students. So we have no evidence which one of the two groups painted this painting.
- It doesn’t matter whether Laroque’s students are important. They could still have made the painting.
- This might explain why Laroque didn’t use orpiment, and why his students would have used it. If anything, it strengthens the argument.
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