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June 2007, Logical Reasoning 2, Question 14


Question 14, when a question asks you to identify a principle that the reasoning conforms to, you're dealing with a principle-identify question. Principle-identify questions ask you to find an answer choice that contains a description or a principle that matches the argument that you've been given. Before you can match the argument, you have to understand it, which means breaking it down into its component parts.

Here the argument is actually fairly complicated, though the conclusion is found right at the end. Universities should only use open-source software. Now the rest of the argument explains why. The first sentence tells you what academic scholarship is or at least how it works. The second sentence tells you what open-source software is and how it works.

The third sentence contrasts open-source software with proprietary software. And basically what it boils down to is in academic scholarship you always cite your sources, you always collaborate. In open-source software, you do the equivalent thing for the software industry. In proprietary software, on the other hand, you keep things secret and your charge fees.

All of this is used to prove an intermediate conclusion. This shows that open-source software better matches the values embodied in academic scholarship. And because open-source software better matches to the values embodied in academic scholarship and with that next piece of information, scholarship is central to the mission of universities.

Those are the things that lead them to conclude that universities should only use open-source software. So the correct answer will be a principle, which is to say a generalization or some sort of broad description that matches with the commentator's reasoning. Answer choice A, now answer choice A doesn't match because answer choice A says the type of software that universities should pick should be the most advanced type of software.

And that was not the reasoning the commentator used. The commentator said that the universities should pick the kind of software that matches with their mission, not the most advanced. So answer choice A is out, answer choice B. Answer choice B is also wrong because it says that universities should buy the type of software that is the least expensive.

And expensiveness was not what the commentator made their decision based on. Now be careful, they did mention some things relating to price. They said that proprietary software involves a fee, but they never rejected it because they wanna pay cheaper fees. They rejected it because it doesn't match with their mission, answer choice C. Now answer choice C is gonna be our answer.

Universities should choose the type of software technology that best matches the values embodied in the activities that are central to the mission of universities. Remember, scholarship is central to the mission of universities. Open-source software best matches the value of scholarship, and they should pick that.

So since answer choice C matches with what the commentator did, it is the answer. Glance at the others just to see why they're wrong. Answer choice D is wrong because it's saying that they should pick the most efficient form of software, not the one that matches their values. Answer choice E is wrong because it says they shouldn't pursue any activity that would block the achievement of the goals.

Now they never said that using proprietary software would block the achievement of the goals, just that it wasn't in alignment with the values. So answer choice C is the answer.

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