Critic: An art historian argues that because fifteenth- century European paintings were generally more planimetric (t...

Kenji on May 16, 2020

September 2014 SEC 2 Q18

Can you explain the answer in more detail? Also, I sometimes see "takes a necessary condition for an argument's being inadequate to be a sufficient condition for an argument's being inadequate" as one the answer choices, but I don't quite understand what it means? Thanks in advance!

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on May 23, 2020

Hello @kenken,

Answer choice C is something that you will see frequently. To put it simply, it is referring to a reversal of sufficient and necessary conditions. They may use complicated words to describe it, but this is the basic meaning. Treating a sufficient condition like a necessary one, and vice versa, is common.

So, is that what is happening in this argument? Let's break it down. The art historian claims that 15th century painters had greater mastery than 16th century painters. Why? Because their paintings were more planimetric.

Our critic argues that planimetric painting is irrelevant to mastery. But, is a rejection of this premise enough to reject the conclusion? No, which is why E is correct. The author would have to present an argument of his own in favor of this conclusion, rather than simply reject the historian's argument. Rather than saying "the conclusion is wrong," the critic should have said "your conclusion is not supported by this premise."