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June 2007, Logical Reasoning 1, Question 11


The question stem here is very long, which suggests to us that it's gonna be the role of a statement question. That's confirmed when we see the phrase, plays of which the following roles in the argument. Basically, they have quoted part of the argument to us. They wanna know what role it plays in the argument.

A role of a statement question. On a role of a statement question, we need to break the argument down into its component parts. Understand what the conclusion is, understand what the evidence is. And then whichever part they're asking us about, if we've broken the argument down, we'll know what part we're looking at.

The conclusion here is indicated with the conclusory keyword, so. So what awaits us is probably a mere alteration of the human mind rather than its devolution. There are two pieces of evidence above. The first is that people are currently complaining that electronic media are ruining the intellectual skills that literary media generate, essentially stuff like the Internet, CDs, movies.

It's destroying the skills that you need or that you develop when you read books. That's our first piece of evidence. And then our second piece of evidence, but several centuries ago, the complaint was that certain intellectual skills, such as the powerful memory and extemporaneous eloquence that were intrinsic to oral culture, were being destroyed by the spread of literacy.

They're saying that back in the day people used to complain that books were ruining our intellectual skills. The intellectual skills that you get from reciting oral poetry, or whatever oral culture means. Now that we understand the argument, we look back to the part that it is asking us about.

So the reference to the complaint of several centuries ago that powerful memory and extemporaneous eloquence were being destroyed. Well, that's a piece of evidence. That's the analogy or the comparison that the author is using to show that you shouldn't be so worried about electronic media destroying our minds, it's just gonna change the way our minds work.

Because in the past, people were worried that a particular technology was gonna destroy our skills and they were wrong, it just changed our skills. When we go to the answer choices, we're looking for something that more or less says that it's evidence, and then it needs to describe the evidence in the right way. A quick glance shows that pretty much all of the answer choices start with some sort of evidence keyword.

Either calls it evidence or an illustration, which would be a kind of evidence or an example, which would be another kind of evidence. So this one's all gonna come down to what they say in the second half, or the the part of the answer choice that comes after the first word. Answer choice A says evidence supporting the claim that intellectual skills fostered by the literary media are being destroyed by the electronic media.

Well, that's something the author accepts. The author accepts that literary skills are being destroyed by electronic media. But that that doesn't indicate that our minds are being destroyed, just that our minds are being changed. While the author believes that intellectual skills are being changed, the part of the argument that they've highlighted for us is not trying to prove that, that's just something the author presents as true.

Answer choice A, thus, is not our answer. Answer choice B, an illustration of the general hypothesis being advanced that intellectual abilities are inseparable from the means by which people communicate. Well, the author never advanced that general hypothesis. Nowhere do they say that intellectual abilities are inseparable from the means by which people communicate.

A piece of the argument can't be evidence for a hypothesis that has never presented. So the answer is not B. Go on to C. An example of a cultural change that did not necessarily have a detrimental effect on the human mind overall. Well, that is what we were looking for.

The idea that our oral skills were being destroyed by the literary culture. That was an example of a change in the past that ended up just being a change and not a complete destruction. Much like people today worry that electronic media are gonna destroy our brains, hm, they're just gonna change our brains. So a quick glance to see why the other answers are wrong, but C is right.

D says evidence that the claim that intellectual skills required and fostered by the literary media are being lost is unwarranted. The author never says that claim is unwarranted. In fact, that's something the author accepts. The author accepts that those skills are being lost. The conclusion is just it's not such a big deal that they're being lost.

But since D is describing something the author never did, it is not the answer to the question. Answer choice E, possible evidence mentioned and then dismissed. Well, the author never dismissed this evidence. The author use this evidence to prove their conclusion. So it's not answer choice E.

The answer is C.

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