mshinners
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Atticus Finch
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Q26 - A recent archaeological find in what

by mshinners Fri Dec 31, 1999 8:00 pm

Question Type:
Flaw

Stimulus Breakdown:
P1: Alex the Great was the greatest Macedonian
P2: The largest tomb was just found in Macedonia
IC: Alex would have the largest tomb
MC: The tomb just found is Alex's

Answer Anticipation:
There are two gaps here: one between the premises and i. conclusion; the other between the premises/IC and main conclusion.
1) The argument assumes that the greatest Macedonian would have the largest tomb (though the argument hides this assumption by phrasing the premise/i. conclusion as a single statement)
2) There are no undiscovered, larger tombs

Either gap could show up in the answers (but both won't, or we'd have two answers).

Correct answer:
(B)

Answer choice analysis:
(A) Wrong flaw (false choice). The information about Alex's conquests is tangential to the argument. Since it's a premise that he was the greatest Macedonian in history, it doesn't matter how he earned that designation.

(B) Bingo. If there's another, larger, undiscovered tomb out there, that might be Alex's.

(C) Out of scope. Other regions don't matter, since we're talkin' Macedonia here.

(D) Out of scope. The survival of his kingdom doesn't matter to the size of his tomb (in which, presumably, he was buried shortly after his death), so not evaluating its significance isn't a flaw.

(E) Premise booster. It's given as a premise that this tomb is the biggest yet found, so the argument doesn't assume its size can be determined (it states it as a fact).

Takeaway/Pattern:
When an argument has an intermediate conclusion, look for gaps between the premises and both that conclusion and the main one.

#officialexplanation
 
DiarraP31
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Vinny Gambini
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Re: Q26 - A recent archaeological find in what

by DiarraP31 Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:24 pm

At first glance of the answer choices, I choose B. But then I was confused as to how it could be fully supported when the text specifically says that this was "the largest tomb ever found IN THE REGION." Isn't that specific enough to not imply everywhere?
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ohthatpatrick
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Re: Q26 - A recent archaeological find in what

by ohthatpatrick Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:57 pm

Good question.

You're saying, the argument makes the assumption that
"If it's the largest found in the region, then it's the largest tomb"

whereas (B) is accusing the author of saying
"if it's the largest found anywhere, then it's the largest tomb"?

I think you just need to keep the context of the argument in mind so that when you read (B) you hear this ...
"takes for granted that if it's the largest tomb found anywhere in Macedonia, then it's the largest tomb in Macedonia"?

The author's reasoning is completely contained within the region of Macedonia, since she's saying
- Alex was the greatest Macedonian
- so he'd have the largest Macedonian tomb (not necessarily the largest tomb in the world)
- this is the largest Macedonian tomb we've found (in the region of Macedonia, which is the only place in the world you'd find Macedonian tombs)

I agree that (B) could be written more perfectly, but it still ends up being the best available answer.