Whenever an artist endowed with both a high level of artistic skill and a high degree of creativity combines these tw...

Brennen on September 18, 2019

Could E be a viable answer?

Just curious.

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SamA on September 18, 2019

Hello @Brennan,

Let's start by discussing the correct answer, and then I'll explain why E is incorrect.

There are three conditions necessary in order for a work of art to be great.

1. A high level of artistic skill
2. A high degree of creativity
3. These two elements must be combined while creating art

When we have all three, then the work of art will be great. If we are missing even one, then the art cannot be great.

Conclusion: Thus, great works of art are necessarily rare.

What does that tell us about our necessary conditions? It tells us it is rare that all three conditions are met. This is the assumption that is matched by answer choice B. This is the correct answer, because it accounts for any reason why a work of art would fail to be great. Either an artist is missing one or more of our two attributes, or the artist just failed to combine them. The result is the same.

When we are asked to identify an assumption, we need to find an answer choice such that, without it, the argument would fail. If we don't assume answer choice B, then the conclusion falls apart. This is not the case with E. If we reject E, and say that an artist with both attributes will produce many great works of art, our conclusion could still hold up. Maybe there are very few artists with both attributes, in which case great works of art would still be rare.