QUESTION TEXT: Whenever an artist endowed with both a…
QUESTION TYPE: Necessary Assumption
CONCLUSION: Great artworks will be rare.
REASONING: High degree of artistic skill AND high degree of creativity –> great artwork
great artwork –> High degree of artistic skill AND high degree of creativity
(Note: these statements refer to using skill and creativity together. Not merely having them)
ANALYSIS: This stimulus tells us that skill + creativity are both necessary and sufficient for a great work of art. It then states that such works will be rare.
It gives no reason for this. If you read this argument and thought “duh, of course great art is rare” then you must have shared the argument’s unstated assumption: it is rare that a high level of talent will be combined with a high level of creativity.
If this isn’t true, then there will be many great works of art created, because great art happens every time those two things are combined.
- This actually isn’t necessary. When negating, try to make a statement false while still leaving the conclusion true. On the correct answer, this will be impossible.
Negation: Every artist possesses a high degree of artistic skill, but it is rarely used in combination with great creativity.
- CORRECT. If this is true, then the argument is true. And if this isn’t true, then the argument is false. (It is rare to have polar opposites for a necessary assumption, but clearly possible.)
Negation: It is not rare that a high level of artistic skill and a high level of creativity are combined in the creation of a work of art.
- This completely fails to match the argument. The author didn’t say that having skill and creativity was sufficient. The author said that using them together is the key.
- Like A, this actually isn’t necessary. If you negate it while trying to keep the conclusion true, you’ll see it has little effect.
Negation: Many artists are endowed with a high degree of creativity, but they tend not to use it in combination with skill.
- This actually isn’t necessary. The negation of “anyone will produce only” is “at least one person will produce many”
Negation: Almost every artist who has skill and creativity will produce only a few great works of art. But, once in history, there will come a great artist who has both of those things, and produces more than twenty great works of art.
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