Art critic: The Woerner Journalism Award for criticism was given to Nan Paulsen for her reviews of automobiles. This ...

Ava on March 19, 2020


Is this question diagrammable? It seems that some parts are and some parts arent. How would you recommend analyzing and/or approaching the relationship between the premises and conclusion here, especially since the statements are quite confusing? Thanks in advance.

1 Reply

on March 19, 2020

Hey @shafieiava,

Remember to look for conditional reasoning. We want to diagram sufficient and necessary statements. I agree that the wording is confusing, so we want to simplify the things that we know for certain. Try thinking of argument in terms of questions and answers, starting with the conclusion.

Conclusion: Giving Nan Paulsen the award was inappropriate.


Sub-conclusion: Because Paulsen's reviews were not criticism.


Cars are not works of art.
C ---> not WOA

Non-art objects do not reveal important truths.
not WOA ---> not RIT

Now we have a nice chain, and we can draw clear conclusions about cars.
C ---> not WOA ---> not RIT

However, does any of this prove that Paulsen's car reviews were not criticism? No, because the argument is missing a link. What does revealing important truths have to do with criticism? I was able to predict that the correct answer will bridge this gap.

This is why B is the correct answer. If a review is considered criticism, then the object of the review reveals important truths. We already know that cars do not reveal important truths. Therefore, car reviews cannot be considered criticism.