Ethicist: Many environmentalists hold that the natural environment is morally valuable for its own sake, regardless ...

on January 14 at 08:29PM

Answer choice (e)

Can you explain why (e) is the correct answer? Thank you!

1 Reply

Ravi on January 15 at 02:28AM

@Boram,

Happy to help!

The argument begins by providing us with some context (many
environmentalists hold that the natural environment is morally
valuable for its own sake, regardless of any benefits it provides us)
before diving into the premises. Beginning with "however," we're
introduced to the argument. The ethicist says that even if nature has
no moral value, nature can be regarded as worth preserving because
it's beautiful. This is a premise.

The beginning of the next sentence is another premise, and the
ethicist says that it's disputable whether nature is morally valuable
but undeniable that it's beautiful. The author then concludes that
because of this, an argument for preserving nature that emphasizes
nature's beauty will be less vulnerable to logical objections than one
that emphasizes its moral value.

The question stem asks us to choose the answer that displays a
principle that the ethicist's reasoning most closely conforms to in
the stimulus.

From our analysis above, we know that the ethicist is basically saying
that if an argument for preserving nature focuses on something that is
indisputable (nature's beauty) rather than something that is debatable
(the moral value of nature), then it will be less vulnerable to
logical objection.

Answer A is incorrect because the conclusion is not that any argument
in favor of preserving nature will be less open to logical objection;
the conclusion is that one argument in favor of preserving nature
(nature's beauty) will be less open to logical objection than another
(the moral value of nature).

Answer B is incorrect because it does not match the structure of the
argument we outlined above.

Answer C is incorrect because its conclusion (that nature would be
more clearly worth preserving if it did not have a disputable
characteristic) does not match the argument's conclusion that one
argument in favor of preserving nature (nature's beauty) will be less
open to logical objection than another (the moral value of nature).

Answer D is incorrect because does not come close to matching the
argument. It doesn't have anything to deal with one argument (nature's
beauty) being less open to logical objections than another argument
(the moral value of nature).

Answer E is correct, as it accurately matches the argument structure
we outlined above. E's premises (if an argument for preserving nature
appeals to a characteristic that can be regarded as a basis for
preserving nature and that philosophically indisputably belongs to
nature) and E's conclusion (an argument for preserving nature will be
less open to logical objections) are a perfect match with our analysis
of the ethicist's argument. This is our answer choice.

Does this make sense? Let us know if you have any more questions!