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Assumption question

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dextar Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Assumption question

Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:15 pm
In recent years, many cabinetmakers have been winning acclaim as artists. But since furniture must be used, cabinetmakers must exercise their craft with an eye to the practical utility of the product. For this reason, cabinetmaking is not art.

Which of the following is an assumption that supports the conclusion?

An object is not an art object if its makers pay attention to the objects practical utility

Shouldn't it be
An object is not an art object if its makers don't pay attention to the objects practical utility

because line no 2 'But since furniture must be used, cabinetmakers must exercise their craft with an eye to the practical utility of the product' assumes that the present cabinetmakers don't pay attention to the practical utility of the product.

cjiang16 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
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Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:16 pm
Yes, AleksandrM is right.

rey.fernandez GMAT Instructor
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Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:26 am
I agree with AleksandrM.

This CR assumption problem is the kind in which the conclusion ("Cabinetmaking is not art.") is stated rather abruptly. Between the second and third sentences, there is a logical gap: just because furniture must be used and cabinetmakers have to keep utility in mind, can we immediately conclude that cabinetmaking is not art?

Not quite yet... we need another piece of information that bridges the gap -- a premise that tells us that objects created with utility in mind cannot be art objects. "An object is not an art object if its makers pay attention to the objects practical utility" serves this role nicely. Notice now how the conclusion flows cleanly from this premise.

In general, assumption questions that have an argument containing a logical gap (usually signaled by an abrupt conclusion) will require a premise that will fill in that gap.

Rey

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Rey Fernandez
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AleksandrM Legendary Member
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Test Date:
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Target GMAT Score:
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Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:03 am
dextar wrote:
In recent years, many cabinetmakers have been winning acclaim as artists. But since furniture must be used, cabinetmakers must exercise their craft with an eye to the practical utility of the product. For this reason, cabinetmaking is not art.

Which of the following is an assumption that supports the conclusion?

An object is not an art object if its makers pay attention to the objects practical utility

Shouldn't it be
An object is not an art object if its makers don't pay attention to the objects practical utility

because line no 2 'But since furniture must be used, cabinetmakers must exercise their craft with an eye to the practical utility of the product' assumes that the present cabinetmakers don't pay attention to the practical utility of the product.
The passage is an argument of the author. He is saying that there are some other - let's assume other art critics - who consider the work of cabinetmakers art. However, the author - perhaps another art critic - is saying that he disagrees that it is art, because furniture has a utility function, which - he considers - disqualifies it from being art.

Therefore, if the makers DON'T pay attention to an object's practical utility, then it is indeed an art object. If they DO, then it is NOT.

It seems to me that you were mislead by the first part of the passage, which summarizes a point of view held by others. However, you are asked to pay attention to the conclusion, which is drawn by the author of the passage.

Hope I did not confuse you too much.

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