QUESTION TEXT: Seventeenth-century proponents of the philosophical school of…
QUESTION TYPE: Role in Argument
CONCLUSION: The principles of mechanism probably support democracy.
REASONING: In the 17th century, philosophers produced many arguments in support of monarchy using the principles of mechanism.
ANALYSIS: This is potentially a confusing argument. Rather than rushing to the answers, read it again. Break the sentences down part by part. It’s within your capability to make at least some sense of them. Focus on one element, rephrase it into something simpler, and then focus on the next element. Here’s a summary
Sentence 1: Mechanists made a lot of arguments for kings. They used “the principles of mechanism”.
Sentence 2: Some say this means the principles of mechanism support kings.
Sentence 3: It’s possible philosophers needed to try so many arguments because all of the arguments were bad. Perhaps the principles of mechanism actually support democracy instead of kings.
This is plausible. Generally, if you have a good argument, you don’t need to make ten more arguments. The question itself is asking about the role of the sentence starting with “this proliferation”. There are a few keys words in here.
- “Has been construed”. This means has been construed by people other than the author. The author is going to disagree with this idea.
- “But”. This shows the authors opinion. It means they disagree with the previous sentence.
So the sentence in question is the opposing opinion.
- Nonsense. The word “but” shows that the author disagrees with the sentence in question.
- Same as A. The author disagrees with the opinion in the second-to-last sentence.
- CORRECT. Indeed. The word “but” shows that the author disagrees.
- The conclusion is the sentence starting with “but”. That shows the author disagrees with the previous sentence. So the previous sentence is not evidence!
- Same as A, B and D. The author says “but”, which shows they disagree with the quoted sentence.
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