LSAT Reading : Organization and Structure in Social Science Passages

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Example Question #1 : Organization And Structure In Social Science Passages

Adapted from an essay by Charles William Eliot in The Oxford Book of American Essays (1914)

The first and principal contribution to which I shall ask your attention is the advance made in the United States, not in theory only, but in practice, toward the abandonment of war as the means of settling disputes between nations, the substitution of discussion and arbitration, and the avoidance of armaments. If the intermittent Indian fighting and the brief contest with the Barbary corsairs be disregarded, the United States have had only four years and a quarter of international war in the one hundred and seven years since the adoption of the Constitution. Within the same period the United States have been a party to forty-seven arbitrations—being more than half of all that have taken place in the modern world. The questions settled by these arbitrations have been just such as have commonly caused wars, namely, questions of boundary, fisheries, damage caused by war or civil disturbances, and injuries to commerce. Some of them were of great magnitude, the four made under the treaty of Washington (May 8, 1871) being the most important that have ever taken place. Confident in their strength, and relying on their ability to adjust international differences, the United States have habitually maintained, by voluntary enlistment for short terms, a standing army and a fleet which, in proportion to the population, are insignificant.

The beneficent effects of this American contribution to civilization are of two sorts: in the first place, the direct evils of war and of preparations for war have been diminished; and secondly, the influence of the war spirit on the perennial conflict between the rights of the single personal unit and the powers of the multitude that constitute organized society—or, in other words, between individual freedom and collective authority—has been reduced to the lowest terms. War has been, and still is, the school of collectivism, the warrant of tyranny. Century after century, tribes, clans, and nations have sacrificed the liberty of the individual to the fundamental necessity of being strong for combined defense or attack in war. Individual freedom is crushed in war, for the nature of war is inevitably despotic. It says to the private person: "Obey without a question, even unto death; die in this ditch, without knowing why; walk into that deadly thicket; mount this embankment, behind which are men who will try to kill you, lest you should kill them." At this moment every young man in Continental Europe learns the lesson of absolute military obedience, and feels himself subject to this crushing power of militant society, against which no rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness avail anything.

In the War of Independence there was a distinct hope and purpose to enlarge individual liberty. It made possible a confederation of the colonies, and, ultimately, the adoption of the Constitution of the United States. It gave to the thirteen colonies a lesson in collectivism, but it was a needed lesson on the necessity of combining their forces to resist an oppressive external authority. The War of 1812 is properly called the Second War of Independence, for it was truly a fight for liberty and for the rights of neutrals, in resistance to the impressment of seamen and other oppressions growing out of European conflicts. The Civil War of 1861-65 was waged, on the side of the North, primarily, to prevent the dismemberment of the country, and, secondarily and incidentally, to destroy the institution of slavery. On the Northern side it therefore called forth a generous element of popular ardor in defense of free institutions.

In all this series of fightings the main motives were self-defense, resistance to oppression, the enlargement of liberty, and the conservation of national acquisitions. The war with Mexico, it is true, was of a wholly different type. That was a war of conquest, and of conquest chiefly in the interest of African slavery. It was also an unjust attack made by a powerful people on a feeble one; but it lasted less than two years, and the number of men engaged in it was at no time large. Its results contradicted the anticipations both of those who advocated and of those who opposed it. It was one of the wrongs which prepared the way for the great rebellion; but its direct evils were of moderate extent, and it had no effect on the perennial conflict between individual liberty and public power.

The ordinary causes of war between nation and nation have been lacking in America for the last century and a quarter. How many wars in the world’s history have been due to contending dynasties; how many of the most cruel and protracted wars have been due to religious strife; how many to race hatred! No one of these causes of war has been efficacious in America since the French were overcome in Canada by the English in 1759. Looking forward into the future, we find it impossible to imagine circumstances under which any of these common causes of war can take effect on the North American continent. Therefore, the ordinary motives for maintaining armaments in time of peace, and concentrating the powers of government in such a way as to interfere with individual liberty, have not been in play in the United States as among the nations of Europe, and are not likely to be. Such have been the favorable conditions under which America has made its best contribution to the progress of civilization.

Which of these criticisms can be most reasonably leveled against the author of this essay?

Possible Answers:

He is biased and ignores or demeans evidence against his argument.

He is overly patriotic and allows his love for his country to inform his opinions.

He relies on faith and references religious evidence to further his thesis.

His writing is idiomatic and informal.

His conclusions are poorly researched and lack definition.

Correct answer:

He is biased and ignores or demeans evidence against his argument.

Explanation:

Of these answer choices, it is most reasonable to criticize this author because he is heavily biased and has a tendency to diminish the significance of evidence that goes against his argument. This is most clearly seen in the paragraph about the Mexican-American War. We cannot say that the author’s writing style is overly idiomatic or that his conclusions are poorly researched because there is no evidence to support these conclusions. Likewise the author makes no mention of God or faith, so this answer choice makes little sense. The only incorrect answer that could reasonably be selected is “He is overly patriotic and allows his love for his country to inform his opinions.” But, we do not actually know the author is American; the correct answer is a much closer fit to the problems that can be identified with this essay.

Example Question #1 : Organization And Structure In Social Science Passages

Adapted from The Family Among the Australian Aborigines: a Sociological Study by Bronislaw Malinowski (1913)

It seems beyond doubt that in the aboriginal society the husband exercised almost complete authority over his wife; she was entirely in his hands and he might ill-treat her, provided he did not kill her. Out of our thirty statements, in six cases (Kurnai, Bangerang, Lower Murray tribes, according to Bonney, Geawe-Gal, Port Jackson tribes, North-west Central Queenslanders) the absolute authority of the husband is explicitly affirmed. We read in them either the bare statement that the husband had an absolute power over his family; or, in the better of them, we are more exactly informed that he had only to abstain from inflicting death on his wife. It was the latter's kinsman who would avenge her (Kurnai, Bangerang, North-west Central Queenslanders). It is difficult to ascertain in what form society would interfere with the husband if he transgressed the limits of his legal authority, i. e. killed his wife. Curr informs us that the woman's relatives would avenge her death. Howitt says that there would ensue a blood feud, which comes nearly to the same. It is very probable that the woman's kin retained some rights of protection. The remaining statements implicitly declare that the husband's authority was very extensive. (Encounter Bay tribes according to Meyer; New South Wales tribes according to Hodgson; Port Stephens tribes according to R. Dawson; Arunta; Herbert River tribes; Queenslanders according to Palmer; Moreton Bay tribes according to J. D. Lang; South-Western tribes according to Salvado; West Australians according to Grey.) It is clear that wherever we read of excessive harshness and bad treatment, wounds, blows inflicted on women, the husband must possess the authority to do it; in other words, he does not find any social barrier preventing him from ill-treatment. Especially as, in these statements, such ill-treatment is mentioned to be the rule and not an exception. In two statements we can gather no information on this point. According to the statement of J. Dawson on the West Victoria tribes, the husband's authority appears strictly limited by the potential intervention of the chief, who could even divorce the woman if she complained. But Curr warns us against Dawson's information concerning the chief and his power. Curr's arguments appear to be very conclusive. Too much weight cannot be attached, therefore, to Dawson's exceptional statement. Discarding it, we see that we have on this point fairly clear information. We may assume that society interfered but seldom with the husband, in fact, only in the extreme case of his killing his wife. Six statements are directly, and the remainder indirectly, in favor of this view, and the only one contradictory is not very trustworthy.

Why does the author cite so many other authorities in his passage?

Possible Answers:

To support the claims he makes and confirm the facts of his argument

To show the many agreements between various academics

To cover for not having any of his own research

To show the number of people who dismiss Australian aboriginal marriages as suspect

To belittle his fellow academics

Correct answer:

To support the claims he makes and confirm the facts of his argument

Explanation:

The author calmly lays out all of the details of the nature of authority in Australian aboriginal marriages, while referencing many other authorities who have studied the same issue. The even tone of the author's writing means that he references other academics in order to support claims and confirm facts.

Example Question #17 : Analyzing 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.

The author most likely presents the historians he cites in a chronological order to show __________.

Possible Answers:

how the view of the nature of history has changed over time

the various views of history as a simple list

the superiority of the views held by Condorcet

that older views on the nature of history do not matter anymore

preference for the older views on the nature of history

Correct answer:

how the view of the nature of history has changed over time

Explanation:

The author presents every single historian he mentions in a chronological order, but does so in order to strengthen his argument. The historians are not brought up simply because they are next in order, but are made to show a development of the view of the nature of history by historians. 

Example Question #2 : Organization And Structure 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.

The author uses the list at the beginning of the second paragraph in order to __________.

Possible Answers:

demonstrate the range of things that religion influences in human understanding

show the subjects of inquiry among which religion is included

exhibit the wide range of topics he can competently discuss

illustrate the different matters that religion has corrupted

analyze the differences between every element in the list

Correct answer:

demonstrate the range of things that religion influences in human understanding

Explanation:

The author states in the final sentence that "they are a product of religious thought." The "they" in that sentence refers to the lengthy list at the beginning of the paragraph, which include a number of different "categories of the understanding." All of these are listed by the author to show the many different ideas and modes of understanding religious thinking has been able to influence. Making the list as lengthy as he does, while still including an "etc." at the end is a clever rhetorical strategy to support the author's overall argument about the expansive influence of religious thinking.

Example Question #105 : Social Science

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...

Which of the following best describes the purpose of Sentence 15 in the passage? 

Possible Answers:

To demonstrate the importance of military training 

To emphasize the necessity of a patriotic citizenry 

To illustrate the importance of teaching children resiliency 

To provide an analogy illustrating the relationship between education and a strong nation 

Correct answer:

To provide an analogy illustrating the relationship between education and a strong nation 

Explanation:

The purpose of Sentence 15 is to show the relationship between education and a strong nation. The author uses the analogy of military training not to argue for military training, but to demonstrate the strength that education can provide. While the author advocates creating a "bulwark of patriots," Sentence 15 does not discuss the necessity of a patriotic citizenry, nor does it refer explicitly to teaching children resiliency. 

Example Question #3 : Organization And Structure 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...

Which of the following best describes the purpose of the first paragraph in this passage?

Possible Answers:

To provide commentary on the challenges faced by peasants 

To emphasize the progress made by his civilization

To show how the plight of peasants damages the revolution 

To illustrate the superiority of his own social class 

Correct answer:

To show how the plight of peasants damages the revolution 

Explanation:

The author uses the majority of the first paragraph to discuss the plight of the peasantry, but his reason for doing so is revealed in Sentence 7 and Sentence 8 when he notes, "[the peasant] strikes, without knowing it, the bosom of the revolution, his benefactress… It is to the peasantry, then, that we must address ourselves." The author then argues that educating the peasantry is the only way to prevent them from damaging the efforts of the revolution.

Example Question #4 : Organization And Structure 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…

What is the purpose of Nietzsche's first sentence regarding the origins of species?

Possible Answers:

To demonstrate why the commonwealths eventually died off

To illustrate the conditions under which rebellions can succeed 

To show how much protection people residing in commonwealths such as ancient Greece and Venice are afforded

To show that Gods and men play a critical role in species survival

To demonstrate the conditions under which individuals are reared in commonwealths such as ancient Greece or Venice

Correct answer:

To demonstrate the conditions under which individuals are reared in commonwealths such as ancient Greece or Venice

Explanation:

Nietzsche uses the first sentence of this passage to demonstrate the conditions under which individuals in the aristocratic commonwealths (such as a Greek polis or Venice) are reared. He notes that the focus in these communities is on making their "species prevail." Nietzsche's second sentence describes the alternative to an emphasis on basic survival, which is nourishment, protection, and care to foster variations in a species.  In aristocratic commonwealths, "the favour, the superabundance, the protection are there lacking under which variations are fostered."

Example Question #5 : Organization And Structure 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 best represents the argument Nietzsche is making in the bolded section of the passage?

Possible Answers:

It is from religion that a sense of morality is developed

The wilderness, particularly the forest, offers the best conditions for up-striving

Individual variations results in the abandonment of previous constraints 

It is from savagery that a sense of morality is developed

There is no situation in which a species does not self-destruct

Correct answer:

Individual variations results in the abandonment of previous constraints 

Explanation:

Nietzsche is emphatic that species, when they begin to develop variations, will "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…" indicating that, for Nietzsche, individual variations results in the abandonment of previous constraints. The author, although using the forest to describe up-growth, does not describe the wilderness as a providing the conditions for up-growth. The author also does not specify that self-destruction is inevitable (merely that it can occur when there is variation). Finally, the reference to savagery occurs when Nietzsche notes, "...an extraordinary decay and self-destruction, owing to the savagery opposing and seemingly exploding egoisms, which strive with one another “for sun and light...” which does not indicate that a sense of morality arises from savagery. 

Example Question #6 : Organization And Structure In Social Science Passages

Passage adapted from “Why We Are Militant” by Emmeline Pankhurst (1913)

I know that in your minds there are questions like these; you are saying, "Woman Suffrage is sure to come; the emancipation of humanity is an evolutionary process, and how is it that some women, instead of trusting to that evolution, instead of educating the masses of people of their country, instead of educating their own sex to prepare them for citizenship, how is it that these militant women are using violence and upsetting the business arrangements of the country in their undue impatience to attain their end?"

…Well, I say that the time is long past when it became necessary for women to revolt in order to maintain their self respect in Great Britain. The women who are waging this war are women who would fight, if it were only for the idea of liberty— if it were only that they might be free citizens of a free country— I myself would fight for that idea alone. But we have, in addition to this love of freedom, intolerable grievances to redress.

We do not feel the weight of those grievances in our own persons. I think it is very true that people who are crushed by personal wrongs are not the right people to fight for reform. The people who can fight best who have happy lives themselves, the fortunate ones. At any rate, in our revolution it is the happy women, the fortunate women, the women who have drawn prizes in the lucky bag of life, in the shape of good fathers, good husbands and good brothers, they are the women who are fighting this battle. They are fighting it for the sake of others more helpless than themselves, and it is of the grievances of those helpless ones that I want to say a few words to-night to make you understand the meaning of our campaign…

Those grievances are so pressing that, so far from it being a duty to be patient and to wait for evolution, in thinking of those grievances the idea of patience is intolerable. We feel that patience is something akin to crime when our patience involves continued suffering on the part of the oppressed.

…All my life I have tried to understand why it is that men who value their citizenship as their dearest possession seem to think citizenship ridiculous when it is to be applied to the women of their race. And I find an explanation, and it is the only one I can think of. It came to me when I was in a prison cell, remembering how I had seen men laugh at the idea of women going to prison… to men women are not human beings like themselves. Some men think we are superhuman; they put us on pedestals; they revere us; they think we are too fine and too delicate to come down into the hurly-burly of life. Other men think us sub-human; they think we are a strange species unfortunately having to exist for the perpetuation of the race. They think that we are fit for drudgery, but that in some strange way our minds are not like theirs, our love for great things is not like theirs, and so we are a sort of sub-human species. 

Which of the following best describes the purpose of the first paragraph of the passage?

Possible Answers:

Addressing the audience's concerns regarding the author's militant methods.

Refuting an argument made by someone else 

Providing evidence in support of the author's argument 

Criticizing rival speakers or authors 

Correct answer:

Addressing the audience's concerns regarding the author's militant methods.

Explanation:

Pankhurst uses the first paragraph to address the audience's potential concerns about her militant methods. After describing in the first paragraph the questions "in your minds," she goes on in later paragraphs to refute the idea that women can be patient regarding citizenship and suffrage. Note that the first paragraph does not refute arguments made by somebody else— refutation comes in later paragraphs. The author also does not criticize rival speakers or authors, and the first paragraph does not provide evidence supporting the author's arguments. 

Example Question #7 : Organization And Structure In Social Science Passages

Passage adapted from Giuseppe Mazzini's The Duties of Man (1860)

Education, we have said; and this is the great word which sums up our whole doctrine. The vital question agitating our century is a question of education. What we have to do is not to establish a new order of things by violence. An order of things so established is also tyrannical even when it I better than the old. We have to overthrow by force the brute force which opposes itself to-day to every attempt at improvement, and then propose for the approval of the nation, free to express it will what we believe to be the best order of things and by every possible means educate men to develop it and act in conformity with it. The theory of rights enables us to rise and overthrow obstacles, but not to found a strong and lasting accord between all the elements which compose the nation. With the theory of happiness, of well-being, as the primary aim of existence we shall only form egoistic men, worshippers of the material, who will carry the old passions into the new order of things and corrupt it in a few months. We have therefore to find a principle of education superior to any such theory, which shall guide men to better things, teach them constancy in self-sacrifice and link them with their fellow men without making them dependent on the ideas of a single man or on the strength of all. And this principle is Duty. We must convince men that they, sons of one only God, must obey one only law, here on earth; that each one of them must live not for himself, but for others; that the object of their life is not to be more or less happy, but to make themselves and others better; that to fight against injustice and error for the benefit of their brothers is not only a right, but a duty; a duty not to be neglected without sin, — the duty of their whole life.

Italian Working-men, my Brothers! Understand me fully. When I say that the knowledge of their rights is not enough to enable men to effect any appreciable or lasting improvement, I do not ask you to renounce these rights; I only say that they cannot exist except as a consequence of duties fulfilled, and that one must begin with the latter in order to arrive at the former. And when I say that by proposing happiness, well-being, or material interest as the aim of existence, we run the risk of producing egoists, I do not mean that you should never strive after these things. I say that material interests pursued alone, and not as a means, but as an end, lead always to this most disastrous result. When under the Emperors, the old Romans asked for nothing but bread and amusements, they became the most abject race conceivable, and after submitting to the stupid and ferocious tyranny of the Emperors they basely fell into slavery to the invading Barbarians…

Material improvement is essential, and we shall strive to win it for ourselves; but not because the one thing necessary for men is to be well fed and housed, but rather because you cannot have a sense of your own dignity or any moral development while you are engaged, as in the present day, in a continual duel with want. You work ten or twelve hours a day: how can you find time to educate yourselves?

What function does the underlined sentence serve in the passage?

Possible Answers:

Directly contradicts a previous statement made by the author

Provides an example supporting a claim made earlier in the paragraph

Introduces a new argument regarding tyrannical Emperors 

Provides a historical example to emphasize the superiority of modern society 

Correct answer:

Provides an example supporting a claim made earlier in the paragraph

Explanation:

The bolded sentence provides an example (using the bread and amusements demands of the Romans) supporting a claim made in the previous sentence that "material interests pursued alone, and not as a means, but as an end, lead always to this most disastrous result." The sentence does not seek to introduce a new argument, only to support an argument that has already been made (thus, the sentence does not provide an example contradicting a previous statement made by the author). Finally, the author does not demonstrate the social superiority of modern society; instead he demonstrates that the Italian working-men, should they follow the Roman example, or face similar destructive consequences. 

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