QUESTION TEXT: Albert: Swenson’s popular book, which argues…
QUESTION TYPE: Point at Issue
Albert argues that Swenson’s book is valuable, because it has lead to research. Albert agrees that the scholarship in Swenson’s book is useless.
Yvonne thinks it’s silly to argue Swenson’s book is valuable. That’s like saying viruses are valuable because they put epidemiologists to work.
ANALYSIS: Yvonne and Albert both agree that Swenson’s book is very wrong. However, Albert thinks the book was nonetheless useful because it led to research.
- Neither Albert nor Yvonne give an opinion on this point.
(Saying the book is poor scholarship doesn’t imply that the book’s conclusion is right or wrong. The book’s conclusion could be correct, despite the book having lousy scholarly reasoning.)
- Albert agrees with Yvonne that the book is poor scholarship.
- CORRECT. Albert says yes. Yvonne says no: it’s silly to call a bad thing valuable just because it has some good effects.
- Yvonne appears to agree that Swenson’s book led to new research. That’s the point of her analogy. Viruses = Swenson and Epidemiologists = Research.
- This is insane. Lots of things that aren’t research have value. Both people would probably agree, for example, that a friendly smile can be valuable even though it generates no new research.
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