In 1893, an excavation led by Wilhelm Dorpfeld uncovered an ancient city he believed to be Troy, the site of the war ...

on August 20, 2020

Why E & not C?

I think this is a SNP question type, I was thinking that we were trying to say it wasnt in that duration so thats why I chose C. Very confused, please help

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Shunhe on August 21, 2020

Hi @anchelle,

Thanks for the question! So let’s take a look at what this stimulus is telling us first. We’re told that an excavation was supposed to discover Troy, but the argument tells us that this belief can’t be correct (the conclusion of this argument). Why? Because in the Iliad, the Trojan War lasted ten years, but a city as small as this one couldn’t have withstood a siege for 10 years.

Now we’re asked to find an assumption required by the argument; we’re faced with a strengthen with necessary premise question. We can use the negation test here. Take a look at (C), which tells us that Dorpfeld’s team found no evidence in the city they excavated that a siege had occurred there. Well, let’s take the negation of this: that they found some evidence that a siege had occurred. Does this ruin the argument? No, maybe they find some evidence of a siege, but it could be any besieged city, not necessarily Troy. And so the argument that this city isn’t Troy would still stand, and so the argument doesn’t have to assume (C) so it’s not a necessary assumption.

Now take a look at (E), which tells us that the Iliad accurately represents the duration of the Trojan War. Well, let’s say this is false, and that the Iliad doesn’t accurately represent the duration of the Trojan War. If that’s true, then the argument falls apart! After all, the whole argument is based on saying that in the Iliad, the war was 10 years, but this city couldn’t have lasted 10 years. But what if the Iliad was wrong? Then maybe Troy was only besieged for 1 year, and maybe that city could’ve withstood a one-year siege, which would open up the possibility for that city to be Troy. So the argument falls apart when you take the negation of (E), which means that it’s a necessary assumption and the correct answer to this question.

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