That some arguments "never receive institutional imprimatur" (lines 22—23) most likely means that these arguments

Shiyi on May 8 at 08:55AM

Why is A correct?

I am very confused about the second paragraph. Why are the rest of the answers incorrect? Why is A correct?

1 Reply

Ravi on May 9 at 07:35PM

@Shiyi-Zhang,

Happy to help.

The question says, "That some arguments “never receive institutional
imprimatur” (line 23) most likely means that these arguments..."

The question is asking us what the author means when she says that
some arguments "never receive institutional imprimatur" (line 23).
Based on the context, we can figure out what "imprimatur" means. In
this paragraph, the author discusses a weakness in the argument that
courts only hold institutional authority. She says in lines 20 and 21
that "not all arguments accepted by institutions withstand the test of
time," providing an example of institutional authority that does not
possess intellectual authority, and then she states that not all
well-reasoned arguments receive institutional imprimatur in lines
22-23, which refers to the opposite case (a strong intellectual
argument not being accepted by an institution). From this, we can
infer that institutional imprimatur basically means institutional
consensus. This leads us to (A), which states, "fail to gain
institutional consensus." Based on our analysis of the second
paragraph, this is exactly what the author means by saying that some
arguments never receive institutional imprimatur.

(B) says, "fail to challenge institutional beliefs"

(B) is wrong because it's possible that these arguments did actually
challenge institutional beliefs since they weren't accepted.

(C) says, "fail to conform to the example of precedent"

The problem with (C) is that precedent is not pertinent to this
question, as it is not introduced until the final paragraph of the
passage. We're concerned with the second paragraph, with lines 22-23
in particular.

(D) says, "fail to convince by virtue of good reasoning"

Line 22 tells us that these arguments were well-reasoned. the problem
with the arguments isn't that they weren't logically convincing;
rather, it's that they were not accepted by consensus. Thus, we can
get rid of (D).

(E) says, "fail to gain acceptance except by coercion"

The problem with (E) is that these arguments were not accepted because
of coercion. Coercion is one component of institutional authority; the
arguments in question did not gain institutional consensus, so this is
why (E) is incorrect.

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