Eighteenth-century European aesthetics was reasonably successful in providing an understanding of all art, including ...

Silvia on August 17 at 02:24AM

B v. E

I am still not convinced that E is a better answer choice than B. Could someone please explain why we would eliminate B? Thanks!

1 Reply

Shunhe on August 17 at 04:57PM

Hi @Silvia,

Thanks for the question! So let’s take a look at what the argument is telling us here. We’re told that 18th-century European aesthetics was solid at providing an understanding of all art until the 1960s, and then artists rebelled. And their works are outside the bounds of aesthetic theory. So, the argument concludes, there can be no complete theory of aesthetics. Obviously, the argument’s assuming that the previous theory was complete, which is the flaw pointed out in (E).

Now let’s take a look at (B), that the flaw is that the argument presumes, without providing justification, that artists’ rebellion in the 1960s against earlier notions of art was not guided by their knowledge of eighteenth-century European aesthetic theory. Well, first of all, if this were true, is this a flaw in the theory? Is that some kind of mistake in the reasoning that the argument makes? No, not really, that’s a side point, it doesn’t have to do with the main argument. And second, does the argument actually presume this? It’s perfectly compatible with the argument for those artists to have been guided by eighteenth-century European aesthetic theory during their rebellion. The author doesn’t actually say or imply anything either way. So (B) isn’t even something the passage does, and is incorrect.

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