DISCUSSION: Passage A is entirely theoretical. Passage B is practical. The two passages agree with each other, but they’re discussing different aspects of the issue.
The right answer focusses on a subtle aspect of passage B. The second paragraph of passage B is not necessarily the author’s opinion. Instead, the author is merely sketching out a method of reasoning.
This is common in arguments. Authors will describe an argument without necessarily endorsing it. This allows the author to then discuss aspects of the argument or disagree with the argument.
- CORRECT. Passage A is entirely theoretical. The first part of this answer is clear.
You might have hesitated about the description of passage B. But look at lines 48-50….the author says “one natural way of reasoning….is this”.
The author isn’t saying that’s their way of reasoning. They might not agree with it. A central feature of arguments is being able to make an argument you don’t agree with in order to discuss or disagree with that argument.
- Passage A never mentions any competing views of property. They talk as if they’re describing the only possible just theory of property.
- Passage A makes no policy recommendations. Policy recommendations are practical, but passage A is entirely theoretical.
- Passage A doesn’t briefly state a view. Passage A’s view is the entire passage. And passage A doesn’t provide an argument to justify their view. We’re just supposed to take their word that this is a good theory of property. The author writes as if they’re obviously describing the only valid principles of property.
- Passage B doesn’t attempt to undermine any views. The author presents a view in the second paragraph, but they don’t agree or disagree with that view.
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