The public square was an important tool of democracy in days past because it provided a forum for disparate citizens ...

megmcdermott on September 17, 2019


Why is the answer C? Can someone please explain how you got to this answer choice?

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Irina on September 17, 2019


The argument tells us that the public square once was an important tool of democracy because it provided a forum for disparate citizens to discuss important issues of the day. Today, the internet plays a similar role. Hence, we should ensure that Internet users have at least as much freedom of expression as did people speaking in the public square.

The question asks us to identify a required assumption to fill the gap between the premises and the conclusion. The argument assumes that because the public square was used as a tool of democracy, and today the Internet can play the same role, the same freedom of expression rules should apply. One way we can identify a required assumption is to try to negate the statement and see if it will make our argument fall apart.

Answer Choice C tells us that a public forum can lose effectiveness a a tool of democracy if participants cannot discuss issues freely. The opposite of it would be saying that freedom of expression has no bearing on whether a public forum is an effective tool of democracy, but if this were the case then the extent to which freedom of expression is guaranteed on the Internet would not matter - even absent freedom of expression, it would still be an effective tool - and the conclusion would no longer make sense. Hence, we can conclude that (C) is a required assumption.

Let me know if this makes sense and if you have any other questions.