LSAT Reading : Can't Be True in Social Science Passages

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for LSAT Reading

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Can't Be True In Social Science Passages

Adapted from “Darwinism and History" by J. B. Bury in Evolution in Modern Thought by Haeckel, Thomson, Weisman, and Others (1917 ed.)

The conception of the history of man as a causal development meant the elevation of historical inquiry to the dignity of a science. Just as the study of bees cannot become scientific so long as the student's interest in them is only to procure honey or to derive moral lessons from the labors of "the little busy bee," so the history of human societies cannot become the object of pure scientific investigation so long as man estimates its value in pragmatical scales. Nor can it become a science until it is conceived as lying entirely within a sphere in which the law of cause and effect has unreserved and unrestricted dominion. On the other hand, once history is envisaged as a causal process, which contains within itself the explanation of the development of humanity from its primitive state to the point that it has reached, such a process necessarily becomes the object of scientific investigation and the interest in it is scientific curiosity.

At the same time, the instruments were sharpened and refined. Here Wolf, a philologist with historical instinct, was a pioneer. His Prolegomena to Homer (1795) announced new modes of attack. Historical investigation was soon transformed by the elaboration of new methods.

"Progress" involves a judgment of value, which is not involved in the conception of history as a "genetic" process. It is also an idea distinct from that of evolution. Nevertheless, it is closely related to the ideas that revolutionized history at the beginning of the last century; it swam into people's ken simultaneously; and it helped effectively to establish the notion of history as a continuous process and to emphasize the significance of time. Passing over earlier anticipations, I may point to a Discours of Turgot (1750), where history is presented as a process in which "the total mass of the human race" "marches continually though sometimes slowly to an ever increasing perfection." That is a clear statement of the conception which Turgot's friend Condorcet elaborated in the famous work, published in 1795, Esquisse d'un tableau historique des progrès de l'esprit humain. This work first treated with explicit fullness the idea to which a leading role was to fall in the ideology of the nineteenth century. Condorcet's book reflects the triumphs of the Tiers état, whose growing importance had also inspired Turgot; it was the political changes in the eighteenth century that led to the doctrine, emphatically formulated by Condorcet, that the masses are the most important element in the historical process. I dwell on this because, though Condorcet had no idea of evolution, the predominant importance of the masses was the assumption that made it possible to apply evolutional principles to history. And it enabled Condorcet himself to maintain that the history of civilization, a progress still far from being complete, was a development conditioned by general laws.

The assimilation of society to an organism, which was a governing notion in the school of Savigny, and the conception of progress, combined to produce the idea of an organic development, in which the historian has to determine the central principle or leading character. This is illustrated by the apotheosis of democracy in Tocqueville's Démocratie en Amérique, where the theory is maintained that "the gradual and progressive development of equality is at once the past and the future of the history of men." The same two principles are combined in the doctrine of Spencer (who held that society is an organism, though he also contemplated its being what he calls a "super-organic aggregate"), that social evolution is a progressive change from militarism to industrialism.

Based on the information presented in the passage, which of the following statements cannot be true?

Possible Answers:

The progressive view of history took a long time to develop.

The most influential historians are those who have written the most books.

The author does not consider Condorcet to be a well-regarded historian.

The arguments presented by de Tocqueville have had a lasting influence.

The author thinks that untranslated French titles provide the best view of said works' original meaning.

Correct answer:

The author does not consider Condorcet to be a well-regarded historian.

Explanation:

The author discusses Condorcet more than any other historian referenced in the passage. What this means is that Condorcet had a particular influence that is extremely crucial to understanding other historians' work. The thought that the author thinks that Condorcet is not well-regarded does not match with the way in which the author discusses Condorcet.

Example Question #2 : Can't Be True In Social Science Passages

Adapted from “The Hypocrisy of Puritanism” in Anarchism and Other Essays by Emma Goldman (1910)

Puritanism celebrated its reign of terror in England during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, destroying and crushing every manifestation of art and culture. It was the spirit of Puritanism which robbed Shelley of his children, because he would not bow to the dicta of religion. It was the same narrow spirit which alienated Byron from his native land, because that great genius rebelled against the monotony, dullness, and pettiness of his country. It was Puritanism, too, that forced some of England's freest women into the conventional lie of marriage: Mary Wollstonecraft and, later, George Eliot. And recently Puritanism has demanded another toll—the life of Oscar Wilde. In fact, Puritanism has never ceased to be the most pernicious factor in the domain of John Bull, acting as censor of the artistic expression of his people, and stamping its approval only on the dullness of middle-class respectability.

It is therefore sheer British jingoism that points to America as the country of Puritanic provincialism. It is quite true that our life is stunted by Puritanism, and that the latter is killing what is natural and healthy in our impulses. But it is equally true that it is to England that we are indebted for transplanting this spirit on American soil. It was bequeathed to us by the Pilgrim fathers. Fleeing from persecution and oppression, the Pilgrims of Mayflower fame established in the New World a reign of Puritanic tyranny and crime. The history of New England, and especially of Massachusetts, is full of the horrors that have turned life into gloom, joy into despair, naturalness into disease, honesty and truth into hideous lies and hypocrisies. The ducking-stool and whipping post, as well as numerous other devices of torture, were the favorite English methods for American purification.

Boston, the city of culture, has gone down in the annals of Puritanism as the "Bloody Town." It rivaled Salem, even, in her cruel persecution of unauthorized religious opinions. On the now famous Common a half-naked woman, with a baby in her arms, was publicly whipped for the crime of free speech; and on the same spot Mary Dyer, another Quaker woman, was hanged in 1659. In fact, Boston has been the scene of more than one wanton crime committed by Puritanism. Salem, in the summer of 1692, killed eighteen people for witchcraft. Nor was Massachusetts alone in driving out the devil by fire and brimstone. As Canning justly said: "The Pilgrim fathers infested the New World to redress the balance of the Old." The horrors of that period have found their most supreme expression in the American classic, The Scarlet Letter.

Based on the information in the passage, which of the following statements cannot be true?

Possible Answers:

Puritans often sought to eliminate beliefs that are opposed to their own.

Puritanical culture has been widespread in both America and Britain.

Puritans in Boston never punished heretical beliefs with capital punishment.

Artists were often quite affected by Puritanical culture.

Many people have been exiled from Puritan societies due to heretical beliefs.

Correct answer:

Puritans in Boston never punished heretical beliefs with capital punishment.

Explanation:

The last paragraph goes quite thoroughly over the bloody history of New England Puritanism. When discussing Boston's reputation as "Bloody Town," the author specifically cites the hanging of a Quaker for her heretical beliefs and hints at many more punishments that were equally worse.

Example Question #3 : Can't Be True In Social Science Passages

Adapted from The Elementary Forms of Religious Life by Émile Durkheim (trans. Joseph Ward Swain) (1915)

For a long time it has been known that the first systems of representations with which men have pictured to themselves the world and themselves were of religious origin. There is no religion that is not a cosmology at the same time that it is a speculation — upon divine things. If philosophy and the sciences were born of religion, it is because religion began by taking the place of the sciences and philosophy. But it has been less frequently- noticed that religion has not confined itself to enriching the human intellect, formed beforehand, with a certain number of ideas; it has contributed to forming the intellect itself. Men owe to it not only a good part of the substance of their knowledge, but also the form in which this knowledge has been elaborated.

At the roots of all our judgments there are a certain number of essential ideas which dominate all our intellectual life; they are what philosophers since Aristotle have called the categories of the understanding: ideas of time, space, class, number, cause, substance, personality, etc. They correspond to the most universal properties of things. They are like the solid frame which encloses all thought; this does not seem to be able to liberate itself from them without destroying itself, for it seems that we cannot think of objects that are not in time and space, which have no number, etc. Other ideas are contingent and unsteady; we can conceive of their being unknown to a man, a society or an epoch ; but these others appear to be nearly inseparable from the normal working of the intellect. They are like the frame-work of the intelligence. Now when primitive religious belief s are systematically analysed, the principal categories are naturally found. They are born in religion and of religion; they are a product of religious thought.

Based on the information provided in the passage, which of the following statements cannot be true?

Possible Answers:

Most ancient religions do not provide their adherents with any significant philosophical framework.

Ancient religions answer many of the same questions as other religions.

A religious adherent can trace most of their beliefs to the framework the religion provides.

Philosophy was initially developed out of specific kinds of religious thought.

Every religion provides answers for a range of different questions.

Correct answer:

Most ancient religions do not provide their adherents with any significant philosophical framework.

Explanation:

The author's argument is that religion informs the worldview and belief system of its adherents to such an extent that everything they believe and do stems from that religious thinking. As there is no exception for "ancient religions," it can be inferred that all religions provide a cosmology for their followers. 

Example Question #4 : Can't Be True In Social Science Passages

Passage adapted from Leon Gambetta's Educating the Peasantry (1869)

(1) We have received a classical or scientific education— even the imperfect one of our day. (3) We have learned to read our history, to speak our language, while (a cruel thing to say) so many of our countrymen can only babble! Ah! (4) That peasant, bound as he is to the tillage of the soil, who bravely carries the burden of his day, with no other consolation than that of leaving to his children the paternal fields, perhaps increased an acre in extent; all his passions, joys, and fears concentrated in the fate of his patrimony. (5) Of the external world, of the society in which he lives, he apprehends only legends and rumors. (6) He is the prey of the cunning and fraudulent. (7) He strikes, without knowing it, the bosom of the revolution, his benefactress… (8) It is to the peasantry, then, that we must address ourselves. (9) We must raise and instruct them… Enlightened and free peasants who are able to represent themselves… should be a tribute rendered to the progress of the civilization of the masses.

(10) …Progress will be denied us as long as the French democracy fail to demonstrate that if we would remake our country, if we would bring back her grandeur, her power, and her genius it is of vital interest to her superior classes to elevate and emancipate this people of workers, who hold in reserve a force still virgin but able to develop inexhaustible treasures of activity and aptitude. (11) We must learn and then teach the peasant what he owes to Society and what he has the right to ask of her.

(12) On the day when it shall be well understood that we have no grander or more pressing work; that we should put aside and postpone all other reforms: that we have but one task— the Instruction of the people, the diffusion of education, the encouragement of science— on that day a great step will have been taken in your regeneration. (13) But our action needs to be a double one, that it may bear upon the body as well as the wind. (14) To be exact, each man should be intelligent, trained not only to think, read, and reason, but made able to act and fight. (15) Everywhere beside the teacher we should place the gymnast and the soldier, to the end that our children, our soldiers, our fellow citizens, may be able to hold a sword, to carry a gun on a long march, to sleep under the canopy of the stars, to support valiantly all the hardships demanded of a patriot. (16) We must push to the front education. (17) Otherwise we only make a success of letters, but do not create a bulwark of patriots...

Based on the passage, which of the following cannot be true of education, if completed as prescribed by the author?

Possible Answers:

As a result of the education described, the citizenry will be instilled with the ability to act and fight 

It's aim will be the creation of a bulwark of patriots 

It will facilitate the regeneration of the peasantry 

It will teach children to carry a sword before they can write

Correct answer:

It will teach children to carry a sword before they can write

Explanation:

The author uses Sentence 15 as an analogy— he does not intend for education to literally teach children how to hold swords or how to carry a gun, and he certainly makes no mention of martial skills being taught before writing. He does mention in Sentence 17 that without education, "we only make a success of letters, but do not create a bulwark of patriots," drawing a correlation between education and a bulwark of patriots. The author also mentions in Sentence 14 that education can train individuals "not only to think, read, and reason, but made able to act and fight." Finally, the author notes in Sentence 12 that when there is "the Instruction of the people... on that day a great step will have been taken in your regeneration."

Example Question #5 : Can't Be True In Social Science Passages

Passage adapted from Leon Gambetta's Educating the Peasantry (1869)

(1) We have received a classical or scientific education— even the imperfect one of our day. (3) We have learned to read our history, to speak our language, while (a cruel thing to say) so many of our countrymen can only babble! Ah! (4) That peasant, bound as he is to the tillage of the soil, who bravely carries the burden of his day, with no other consolation than that of leaving to his children the paternal fields, perhaps increased an acre in extent; all his passions, joys, and fears concentrated in the fate of his patrimony. (5) Of the external world, of the society in which he lives, he apprehends only legends and rumors. (6) He is the prey of the cunning and fraudulent. (7) He strikes, without knowing it, the bosom of the revolution, his benefactress… (8) It is to the peasantry, then, that we must address ourselves. (9) We must raise and instruct them… Enlightened and free peasants who are able to represent themselves… should be a tribute rendered to the progress of the civilization of the masses.

(10) …Progress will be denied us as long as the French democracy fail to demonstrate that if we would remake our country, if we would bring back her grandeur, her power, and her genius it is of vital interest to her superior classes to elevate and emancipate this people of workers, who hold in reserve a force still virgin but able to develop inexhaustible treasures of activity and aptitude. (11) We must learn and then teach the peasant what he owes to Society and what he has the right to ask of her.

(12) On the day when it shall be well understood that we have no grander or more pressing work; that we should put aside and postpone all other reforms: that we have but one task— the Instruction of the people, the diffusion of education, the encouragement of science— on that day a great step will have been taken in your regeneration. (13) But our action needs to be a double one, that it may bear upon the body as well as the wind. (14) To be exact, each man should be intelligent, trained not only to think, read, and reason, but made able to act and fight. (15) Everywhere beside the teacher we should place the gymnast and the soldier, to the end that our children, our soldiers, our fellow citizens, may be able to hold a sword, to carry a gun on a long march, to sleep under the canopy of the stars, to support valiantly all the hardships demanded of a patriot. (16) We must push to the front education. (17) Otherwise we only make a success of letters, but do not create a bulwark of patriots...

Based on the passage, which of the following statements cannot be true?

Possible Answers:

Peasants are unable to talk

Peasants are bound to their land 

Peasants understand only legends and rumors 

Peasants are the prey of the cunning and fraudulent 

Correct answer:

Peasants are unable to talk

Explanation:

The correct answer is that the author does not believe that the inability to talk is a characteristic of the peasantry. The author devotes the first paragraph of this passage to the plight of the peasants. In Sentence 3, the author argues, "We have learned to read our history, to speak our language, while (a cruel thing to say) so many of our countrymen can only babble! Ah!" While the author makes it clear that the peasantry can not communicate at the same level as his social class, he does acknowledges their ability to speak by saying that they "babble."

Example Question #6 : Can't Be True In Social Science Passages

Passage adapted from Leon Gambetta's Educating the Peasantry (1869)

(1) We have received a classical or scientific education— even the imperfect one of our day. (3) We have learned to read our history, to speak our language, while (a cruel thing to say) so many of our countrymen can only babble! Ah! (4) That peasant, bound as he is to the tillage of the soil, who bravely carries the burden of his day, with no other consolation than that of leaving to his children the paternal fields, perhaps increased an acre in extent; all his passions, joys, and fears concentrated in the fate of his patrimony. (5) Of the external world, of the society in which he lives, he apprehends only legends and rumors. (6) He is the prey of the cunning and fraudulent. (7) He strikes, without knowing it, the bosom of the revolution, his benefactress… (8) It is to the peasantry, then, that we must address ourselves. (9) We must raise and instruct them… Enlightened and free peasants who are able to represent themselves… should be a tribute rendered to the progress of the civilization of the masses.

(10) …Progress will be denied us as long as the French democracy fail to demonstrate that if we would remake our country, if we would bring back her grandeur, her power, and her genius it is of vital interest to her superior classes to elevate and emancipate this people of workers, who hold in reserve a force still virgin but able to develop inexhaustible treasures of activity and aptitude. (11) We must learn and then teach the peasant what he owes to Society and what he has the right to ask of her.

(12) On the day when it shall be well understood that we have no grander or more pressing work; that we should put aside and postpone all other reforms: that we have but one task— the Instruction of the people, the diffusion of education, the encouragement of science— on that day a great step will have been taken in your regeneration. (13) But our action needs to be a double one, that it may bear upon the body as well as the wind. (14) To be exact, each man should be intelligent, trained not only to think, read, and reason, but made able to act and fight. (15) Everywhere beside the teacher we should place the gymnast and the soldier, to the end that our children, our soldiers, our fellow citizens, may be able to hold a sword, to carry a gun on a long march, to sleep under the canopy of the stars, to support valiantly all the hardships demanded of a patriot. (16) We must push to the front education. (17) Otherwise we only make a success of letters, but do not create a bulwark of patriots...

Based on the passage, which of the following statements cannot be true?

Possible Answers:

The peasants have the aptitude to learn when taught 

Educated peasants will constrain the success of French democracy 

The revolution would benefit the peasants 

It will benefit the superior classes to educate the peasants 

Correct answer:

Educated peasants will constrain the success of French democracy 

Explanation:

"Educated peasants will constrain the success of French democracy" is the answer choice that is not reflected in the passage. Gambetta notes in Sentence 10 that the elevation of the peasantry will foster, not constrain, progress for the French democracy that would "bring back her grandeur, her power, and her genius." The author argues in Sentence 10 that "it is of vital interest to her superior classes to elevate and emancipate this people of workers." Paragraph three argues that implementation of the author's reforms will contribute to France's regeneration. Sentence 7 establishes that the revolution would benefit the peasantry when the author notes, "He strikes, without knowing it, the bosom of the revolution, his benefactress…" Sentence 10 establishes that the author believes the peasants have the ability to learn because the author refers to peasants as being inexhaustible treasures of activity and aptitude."

Example Question #7 : Can't Be True In Social Science Passages

Passage adapted from Friedrich Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil (1886). 

A species originates, and a type becomes established and strong in the long struggle with essentially constant unfavourable conditions. On the other hand, it is known by the experience of breeders that species which receive superabundant nourishment, and in general a surplus of protection and care, immediately tend in the most marked way to develop variations... Now look at an aristocratic commonwealth, say an ancient Greek polis, or Venice, as a voluntary or involuntary contrivance for the purpose of rearing human beings; there are there men beside one another thrown upon their own resources, who want to make their species prevail, chiefly because they must prevail, or else run the terrible danger of being exterminated. The favour, the superabundance, the protection are there lacking under which variations are fostered; the species needs itself as species, as something which, precisely by virtue of its hardness, its uniformity, and simplicity of structure, can in general prevail and make itself permanent in constant struggle with its neighbors, or with rebellious or rebellion-threatening vassals. The most varied experience teaches it what are the qualities to which it principally owes the fact that it still exists, in spite of all Gods and men, and has hitherto been victorious: these qualities it calls virtues, and these virtues alone it develops to maturity. It does so with severity, indeed it desires severity; every aristocratic morality is intolerant in the education of youth, in the control of women, in the marriage customs, in the relations of old and young, in the penal laws (which have an eye only for the degenerating): it counts intolerance itself among the virtues, under the name of “justice.” A type with few, but very marked features, a species of severe, warlike, wisely silent, reserved and reticent men… is thus established, unaffected by the vicissitudes of generations; the constant struggle with uniform unfavourable conditions is, as already remarked, the cause of a type becoming stable and hard. Finally, however, a happy state of things results, the enormous tension is relaxed; there are perhaps no more enemies among the neighboring peoples, and the means of life, even of the enjoyment of life, are preset in superabundance. With one stroke the bond and constraint of the old discipline severs: it is no longer regarded as necessary, as a condition of existence— if it would continue, it can only do so as a form of luxury, as an archaising taste. Variations, whether they be deviations (into the higher, finer, and rarer), or deterioration and  monstrosities, appear suddenly on the scene in the greatest exuberance and splendor; the individual dares to be individual and detach himself. At this turning-point of history there manifest themselves, side by side, and often mixed and entangled together, a magnificent, manifold, virgin-forest-like up-growth and up-striving, a kind of tropical tempo in the rivalry of growth, and an extraordinary decay and self-destruction, owing to the savagery opposing and seemingly exploding egoisms, which strive with one another “for sun and light,” and can no longer assign any limit, restraint, or forebearance for themselves by means of the hitherto existing morality…

Which of the following does the author not identify as an attribute of aristocratic morality?

Possible Answers:

It has a concept of justice 

It fosters a severe and war-like species of men

It has numerous positive effects on the lives of women and young people

Intolerance is seen as a means of survival

It values degeneration

Correct answer:

It values degeneration

Explanation:

The only answer choice which the author does not refer to as an attribute of aristocratic morality is "it values degeneration." The reference to degeneration instead comes in Nietzsche's reference to penal laws "which have an eye only for the degenerating."  The attributes of aristocratic morality can be found when Nietzsche notes, "every aristocratic morality...counts intolerance itself among the virtues, under the name of “justice.” A type with few, but very marked features, a species of severe, warlike, wisely silent, reserved and reticent men… is thus established."

Example Question #8 : Can't Be True In Social Science Passages

Passage adapted from Friedrich Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil (1886).

A species originates, and a type becomes established and strong in the long struggle with essentially constant unfavourable conditions. On the other hand, it is known by the experience of breeders that species which receive superabundant nourishment, and in general a surplus of protection and care, immediately tend in the most marked way to develop variations... Now look at an aristocratic commonwealth, say an ancient Greek polis, or Venice, as a voluntary or involuntary contrivance for the purpose of rearing human beings; there are there men beside one another thrown upon their own resources, who want to make their species prevail, chiefly because they must prevail, or else run the terrible danger of being exterminated. The favour, the superabundance, the protection are there lacking under which variations are fostered; the species needs itself as species, as something which, precisely by virtue of its hardness, its uniformity, and simplicity of structure, can in general prevail and make itself permanent in constant struggle with its neighbors, or with rebellious or rebellion-threatening vassals. The most varied experience teaches it what are the qualities to which it principally owes the fact that it still exists, in spite of all Gods and men, and has hitherto been victorious: these qualities it calls virtues, and these virtues alone it develops to maturity. It does so with severity, indeed it desires severity; every aristocratic morality is intolerant in the education of youth, in the control of women, in the marriage customs, in the relations of old and young, in the penal laws (which have an eye only for the degenerating): it counts intolerance itself among the virtues, under the name of “justice.” A type with few, but very marked features, a species of severe, warlike, wisely silent, reserved and reticent men… is thus established, unaffected by the vicissitudes of generations; the constant struggle with uniform unfavourable conditions is, as already remarked, the cause of a type becoming stable and hard. Finally, however, a happy state of things results, the enormous tension is relaxed; there are perhaps no more enemies among the neighboring peoples, and the means of life, even of the enjoyment of life, are preset in superabundance. With one stroke the bond and constraint of the old discipline severs: it is no longer regarded as necessary, as a condition of existence— if it would continue, it can only do so as a form of luxury, as an archaising taste. Variations, whether they be deviations (into the higher, finer, and rarer), or deterioration and  monstrosities, appear suddenly on the scene in the greatest exuberance and splendor; the individual dares to be individual and detach himself. At this turning-point of history there manifest themselves, side by side, and often mixed and entangled together, a magnificent, manifold, virgin-forest-like up-growth and up-striving, a kind of tropical tempo in the rivalry of growth, and an extraordinary decay and self-destruction, owing to the savagery opposing and seemingly exploding egoisms, which strive with one another “for sun and light,” and can no longer assign any limit, restraint, or forebearance for themselves by means of the hitherto existing morality…

According to Nietzsche, aristocratic morality is intolerant in all of the following except __________.

Possible Answers:

penal laws

war

the education of youth

control of women

marriage customs

Correct answer:

war

Explanation:

Nietzsche notes that "every aristocratic morality is intolerant in the education of youth, in the control of women, in the marriage customs, in the relations of old and young, in the penal laws (which have an eye only for the degenerating): it counts intolerance itself among the virtues, under the name of “justice.” In this passage, he alludes to every answer choice but one, war.

Example Question #9 : Can't Be True In Social Science Passages

Passage adapted from Moral Principles in Education (1909) by John Dewey.

There cannot be two sets of ethical principles, one for life in the school, and the other for life outside of the school. As conduct is one, so also the principles of conduct are one. The tendency to discuss the morals of the school as if the school were an institution by itself is highly unfortunate. The moral responsibility of the school, and of those who conduct it, is to society. The school is fundamentally an institution erected by society to do a certain specific work,—to exercise a certain specific function in maintaining the life and advancing the welfare of society. The educational system which does not recognize that this fact entails upon it an ethical responsibility is derelict and a defaulter. It is not doing what it was called into existence to do, and what it pretends to do. Hence the entire structure of the school in general and its concrete workings in particular need to be considered from time to time with reference to the social position and function of the school.

The idea that the moral work and worth of the public school system as a whole are to be measured by its social value is, indeed, a familiar notion. However, it is frequently taken in too limited and rigid a way. The social work of the school is often limited to training for citizenship, and citizenship is then interpreted in a narrow sense as meaning capacity to vote intelligently, disposition to obey laws, etc. But it is futile to contract and cramp the ethical responsibility of the school in this way. The child is one, and he must either live his social life as an integral unified being, or suffer loss and create friction. To pick out one of the many social relations which the child bears, and to define the work of the school by that alone, is like instituting a vast and complicated system of physical exercise which would have for its object simply the development of the lungs and the power of breathing, independent of other organs and functions. The child is an organic whole, intellectually, socially, and morally, as well as physically. We must take the child as a member of society in the broadest sense, and demand for and from the schools whatever is necessary to enable the child intelligently to recognize all his social relations and take his part in sustaining them.

Which of the following statements cannot be true based on the information in the above passage?

Possible Answers:

Educational leaders seek to create good citizens by specific methods of instruction.

Most educational leaders do not focus at all on moral or ethical instruction.

The role of education in society is one that is widely debated by various educational leaders.

Educational reformers generally seek to reform moral and ethical instruction in schools.

Educational leaders believe that ethical and moral instruction is central to producing good citizens in society.

Correct answer:

Most educational leaders do not focus at all on moral or ethical instruction.

Explanation:

The author is arguing for a specific kind of educational reform, specifically in the areas of moral and ethical instruction in schools. While the author believes that most educators and schools approach moral and ethical instruction incorrectly, he still highlights how central most people believe such instruction is to the overall education of students. Thus, it cannot be true, based on the passage, that educators do not care at all about moral or ethical instruction.

Example Question #10 : Can't Be True In Social Science Passages

Passage adapted from The Untroubled Mind (1915) by Herbert J. Hall.

When I go about among my patients, most of them, as it happens, “nervously” sick, I sometimes stop to consider why it is they are ill. I know that some are so because of physical weakness over which they have no control, that some are suffering from the effects of carelessness, some from willfulness, and more from simple ignorance of the rules of the game. There are so many rules that no one will ever know them‌ all, but it seems that we live in a world of laws, and that if we transgress those laws by ever so little, we must suffer equally, whether our transgression is a mistake or not, and whether we happen to be saints or sinners. There are laws also which have to do with the recovery of poise and balance when these have been lost. These laws are less well observed and understood than those which determine our downfall.

The more gross illnesses, from accident, contagion, and malignancy, we need not consider here, but only those intangible injuries that disable people who are relatively sound in the physical sense. It is true that nervous troubles may cause physical complications and that physical disease very often coexists with nervous illness, but it is better for us now to make an artificial separation. Just what happens in the human economy when a “nervous breakdown” comes, nobody seems to know, but mind and body cooperate to make the‌ patient miserable and helpless. It may be nature’s way of holding us up and preventing further injury. The hold-up is severe, usually, and becomes in itself a thing to be managed.

The rules we have wittingly or unwittingly broken are often unknown to us, but they exist in the All-Wise Providence, and we may guess by our own suffering how far we have overstepped them. If a man runs into a door in the dark, we know all about that,—the case is simple,—but if he runs overtime at his office and hastens to be rich with the result of a nervous dyspepsia—that is a mystery. Here is a girl who “came out” last year. She was apparently strong and her mother was ambitious for her social progress. That meant four nights a week for several months at dances and dinners, getting home at 3 a.m. or later. It was gay and delightful while it lasted, but it could not last, and the girl went to pieces suddenly; her back gave out because it was not strong enough to stand the dancing and the long-continued physical strain. The nerves gave out because she did not give her faculties time to rest, and perhaps because of a love affair that supervened. The result was a year of invalidism, and then, because the rules of recovery were not understood, several years more of convalescence. Such common rules should be well enough understood, but they are broken everywhere by the wisest people.

Based on the information provided in the passage, which of the following statements cannot be true?

Possible Answers:

Very few people who are receiving mental health assistance are suffering from nervous breakdowns.

Mental health professionals often seek to minimize the meaning of the problems of people who suffer nervous breakdowns.

Mental health professionals have very serious disagreements about what constitutes the best treatment for nervous breakdowns.

Nervous breakdowns happen to people from a variety of social backgrounds.

Mental health professionals work hard to diagnose even the most difficult cases.

Correct answer:

Mental health professionals often seek to minimize the meaning of the problems of people who suffer nervous breakdowns.

Explanation:

The passage is a first person account of a medical professional discussing the very serious approach he has taken to helping people suffering from nervous breakdowns. This clearly shows that it cannot be true that medical professionals minimize the suffering of patients with nervous breakdowns.

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