Hospitals, universities, labor unions, and other institutions may well have public purposes and be quite successful a...

on November 6, 2019


This answer choice makes absolutely no sense to me, please explain each answer if you can. Thank you.

1 Reply

Irina on November 6, 2019


The question essentially asks us which of the following principles is illustrated by the stimulus. The stimulus tells us that various institutions may have public purposes and be quite successful even though individual staff members do their jobs for selfish reasons. In other words, even though each person at a university works there because they get competitive salaries and benefits, the university as a whole is successful at advancing science/ education. The underlying principle here is that "a whole" can possess a characteristic/ property even though its "parts" have no such property.

Let's look at the answer choices:

(A) What is true of some social organizations is not necessarily true of all such organizations.

Incorrect. The argument compares an organization to its members not some organizations to others.

(B) An organization could have a property that not all its members possess.

Correct. If we apply this principle to the stimulus, it fits well with the facts. Institutions have public purposes and successfully achieve them even though their employees do their jobs for selfish reasons.

(C) People often claim altruistic motives for actions that are in fact selfish.

Incorrect. The argument never claims that the staff members claim altruistic motives.

(D) Many social institutions have social consequences unintended by those who founded them.

Incorrect. The argument is not concerned with specifying social consequences.

(E) Often an instrument created for one purpose will be found to serve another purpose just as effectively.

Incorrect. Again, the argument is not concerned with the original purpose of these institutions.

Let me know if this helps and if you have any further questions.