Shanna: Owners of any work of art, simply by virtue of ownership, ethically have the right to destroy that artwork if...

John on September 1 at 10:32PM

Clarification on correct answer

Hi, I did this question twice and got it wrong both times so I wanted to study it in more depth to ensure I don’t repeat same mistakes. The first answer I chose was (E) and then (D) after. Is (E) incorrect because neither speaker addressed anything “legally permissible?” The first speaker talks about what is ethical and the second speaker talks about moral right (also ethical) but never discussed legal right? So in that sense we wouldn’t know if either of them would disagree on this statement? Is (D) incorrect because we have no clue on what the second speaker would say of this? With the first speaker I would think she would agree to this statement since she said owners can do whatever they want with any art simply because they own it. But we only know what the second speaker thinks of unique art, not art that is not unique. So it would be inconclusive on Jorge’s end. Finally, I’m not completely certain why (A) is correct but my thought process is as follows: Shana would agree to this since she thinks you can do whatever you want with any art if you own it. For Jorge, he would say no because he would say destroying the artwork for being unflattering is not reason ALONE to destroy it. Even if unflattering, if it was unique it shouldn’t be destroyed from an ethical standpoint. Please let me know what you think. I actually eliminated (A) off the best because the talk of a father’s portrait in an unflattering light seemed a little irrelevant.

1 Reply

on September 28 at 03:21AM

Hello @ijchoi793,

I'll go through your questions one at a time.

You are correct as to why E is a wrong answer. There is never a mention in either passage about legality. We don't know Shanna's or Jorge's beliefs about legality, so we cannot draw a conclusion about it. Make sure you pay close attention to the wording of the answer choices. We cannot equate legality with morality.

This is a question that might be helpful to diagram.

According to Shanna, owners of art ethically have the right to destroy it (ERD) if it is morally distasteful (MD), aesthetically distasteful (AD), or if its care is inconvenient (CI).

MD - - - - - -> ERD
AD - - - - - - > ERD
CI - - - - - - -> ERD

We do not need all three of these conditions. The owner can ethically destroy the art if any one of these three is true.

According to Jorge, art must be preserved (not ERD) if it is unique (U) with aesthetic value (AV), or unique (U) with historical value (HV).

U and AV - - - - - - - - > not ERD
U and HV - - - - - - - - > not ERD

The "and" here means that we need both of the conditions in order to deny the ethical right to destroy. Jorge only suggests the protection of unique art.

You are also correct about D. Shanna would agree with the statement. The sculpture in question is not unique, so Jorge doesn't care about it as far as we know. We cannot say that he disagrees with Shanna here.

Let's get to the right answer. Shanna would agree with A, because the unflattering light could be considered either type of distasteful, depending on the opinion of the owner. Why would Jorge disagree with A? Because the unflattering light alone is not a good enough reason. We don't know if the painting has historical value, or if it is unique. Jorge would want to know these things, so he would disagree with this statement.

After you made your first two mistakes, your reasoning was spot on!