The author of passage B and the kind of objective historian described in passage A would be most likely to disagree o...

Anna20 on August 10, 2020

Reading Comprehension

I can see why A is correct here, and was stuck between picking A and B here. But ultimately picked B, because felt it was more relevant to Passage A discussing objectivity/detachment and Author B values detachment in achieving an objective view, as he notes this in passage B in lines 3-4. On test day, how would I know to pick A instead of B here? It seems like such a close call...!

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shunhe on August 11, 2020

Hi @Anna2020,

Thanks for the question! First off, (B) is actually the correct answer here, so good job! As for test day, remember that when you come up against a “most likely to disagree question,” you have to be able to say for sure that one side will agree with the statement, and the other side will disagree. You can’t have any “one side agrees, and I’m not sure about the other side” since that isn’t disagreement.

So let’s apply that here. We’re trying to find what passage B and the kind of objective historian mentioned in passage A would disagree about. Well, let’s take a look at (A) first, that detachment aids the historian in achieving an objective view of past events. What would the objective historian think? The objective historian would agree with (A). OK, so does the author of passage B disagree with (A)? No, not necessarily. We aren’t told anything about how passage B thinks that detachment does not aid the historian in achieving an objective view of past events. So since we can’t say “disagrees” for passage B, answer choice (A) is out.

(B), on the other hand, tells us that an objective historical account can include a strong political commitment. What does the objective historian think? Well, they disagree; they think that there needs to be “insulation from political considerations” (line 21). What would the author of passage B say? Well, passage B would agree, and that’s stated directly in lines 34-35! So since passage B clearly agrees, and objective historians clearly disagree, then (B) is the correct answer here.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.

Mazen on December 1, 2020

Shunhe, I don't mean to be presumptuous, but I humbly disagree with why you say A should be eliminated. To be sure, yes, answer-choice A should be eliminated, but not for the reasons you stated above. Based on the textual support, authors of both passages A and B do agree with detachment, respectively, lines 16, 17, and 18, and lines 36, 37, and 38.

Please note that from the context both authors treat detachment and neutrality as essentially the same.

Please confirm if my analysis is mistaken.