QUESTION TEXT: Fraenger’s assertion that the artist Hieronymus…
QUESTION TYPE: Role in Argument
CONCLUSION: It’s not likely that Hieronymus Bosch was a member of the Brethren of the Free Spirit.
REASONING: There’s no evidence that Bosch was a member, and there’s evidence he was a member of a different, mainstream church.
ANALYSIS: This is a strong argument. The author says that there’s evidence against Fraenger’s argument, and no evidence in favor of Fraenger’s argument.
The two statements aren’t linked. We don’t know why there’s evidence Bosch was in a mainstream church. Maybe scholars found church records or letters where Bosch mentions going to church.
The statement that there’s no evidence Bosch was a member of the Brotherhood is exactly that: we’ve found no evidence. It’s a negative statement: there is a void of evidence on this point.
The only support for Fraenger’s hypothesis is that it would explain Bosch’s subject matter. But a hypothesis isn’t correct just because it allows a convenient explanation.
- The author didn’t say that Fraenger is definitely wrong. They just say Fraenger’s conclusion is “unlikely” to be correct.
- The two claims aren’t linked. The fact that there is no evidence Bosch was a member of the brotherhood can’t serve as positive evidence Bosch was a member of any other organization. The evidence that Bosch was a member of a church would be something like: church records, letters, tax receipts, etc.
- The author didn’t attack Fraenger personally.
- CORRECT. Fraenger’s hypothesis is that Bosch was a member of the Brotherhood. The fact that there’s no evidence Bosch was a member demonstrates a serious insufficiency in Fraenger’s argument. (Essentially, the author argues that Franeger’s evidence is 100% insufficient.)
- The author didn’t say that we can’t explain Bosch’s work. Fraenger’s hypothesis was one explanation, but it’s possible that there are other plausible explanations that don’t depend on Bosch being a member of the Brotherhood.
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