People may praise the talent of a painter capable of realistically portraying a scene and dismiss as artistically wor...

Nicolette on September 16, 2014

Clarification

The correct answer states that the argument proceeds by "appealing to a historical fact to support a claim about people's artistic preferences." However, there is nothing mentioned about the historical nature of the statements in the argument. They could reasonably be assumed to refer to modern day events exclusively. I did not infer anything being "historical" about this statement, necessarily, based on the content of the statement itself. Thanks!

1 Reply

Melody on September 24, 2014

The conclusion of the argument is: "an exact replica of the scene depicted is not the only thing people appreciate in a painting."

Why? If this were not the case then photography would have entirely displaced painting as an art form--which we know hasn't happened.

The historical fact that is used to infer the conclusion about people's artistic preferences is that, once it was created, photography did not displace painting entirely--proving that having an exact replica of a scene is not the only thing people appreciate in a painting.

This is why answer choice (D) is correct: "appealing to a historical fact to support a claim about people's artistic preferences."

This is exactly what the argument is doing. It supports its conclusion, which is a claim about people's artistic preferences (i.e. that the fact that a scene being depicted is an exact replica is not the only thing people appreciate in a painting), by appealing to a historical fact (i.e. that photography did not entirely displace painting as an art form).

How would you take the claim about photography not entirely displacing painting as an art form as a modern day event? If it were true that an exact replica of a depicted scene is the only thing people appreciate in a painting, then once photography came into the art scene, it would have entirely displaced painting as an art form because it can more accurately depict a scene than a painting can.

We can, therefore, look at the past and see that since this did not occur, we will use this information, i.e. this historical fact, to conclude that being able to depict a scene as an exact replica is not the only thing people appreciate in a painting.

Hope that helps! Please let us know if you have any other questions.