The passage provides support for which one of the following statements about the quotations in lines 52–55?

Sangwook on May 24, 2015


I do not understand why (B) is not the answer. Moreover, according to the correct answer (C), it says "like the transcendentalist, judged human laws by ethical standard" Does the passage really refer that the transcendentalists judge human laws by ethical standard??? Thanks,

3 Replies

Melody on May 27, 2015

Lines 52-55 state: "he describes a just law as a 'code that squares with the moral law' and an unjust law as a 'code that is out of harmony with the moral law.'"

We are tasked with choosing the answer choice that most correctly describes the specified lines.

Well, what are those lines referring to? They refer back to the entirety of the third paragraph that states that King's writings suggest that he was a developing, i.e. "incipient," transcendentalist. We are told that "most transcendentalists subscribed to the concept of 'higher law' and included civil disobedience to unjust laws as a part of their strategy," (40-42). Moreover, we are told that transcendentalists ascribe to a higher law and that King's discussion of just and unjust laws are very similar to the transcendentalists' discussion of higher law, (42-49). The lines given to us in 52-55 are an example of this similarity in thought referring to higher law.

Thus, lines in 52-55 are not proof that King's philosophy was affected by transcendentalist thought, as answer choice (B) states. We know that King was merely an "incipient transcendentalist," i.e. he was a developing transcendentalist. Answer choice (B) states that the lines provide evidence that King's philosophy was affected by transcendentalist thought, whereas the lines merely show that one aspect of King's thought and the transcendentalists is similar, i.e. answer choice (C): "They suggest that King, like the transcendentalists, judged human laws by ethical standards."

There's a difference between the liens acting as proof that King was affected by the transcendentalists and merely acting as an example of a similarity that King shared with the transcendentalists. The entirety of the passage supports the latter. Therefore, answer choice (C) is the correct answer.

Hope that clears things up! Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Sangwook on May 29, 2015

Thanks a lot!!!^^

jing jing on May 8 at 12:11AM

So the word incipient means that King is not a true transcendentalist yet but a developing one. This would mean that quotation is merely giving an example of how King's ideas are similar to transcendalist's idea but cannot prove that King was affected by transcendentalist ?