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PT 42- section 2- LR 15

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PT 42- section 2- LR 15
« on: November 27, 2007, 06:05:22 PM »
Technological innovation rarely serves the interests of society as a whole. This can be seen from the fact that those responsible for technological advances are almost without exception motivated by consideration of personal gain rathert than societal benefit in that they strive to develop commericially viable technology.

The argument is most vulnerable to critcism on the grounds that:


c) fails to consider the possibility that actions motivated by a desire for personal gain often do not result in personal gain.
d) takes for granted that an action is unlikely to produce a certain outcome unless it is motivated by a desire to produce that outcome.

I understand why D is correct. However, can you explain why  c is wrong?
 

luke

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Re: PT 42- section 2- LR 15
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2007, 06:08:08 PM »
because the argument is about whether the personal gain motivation ever results in public gain. 


lisak

Re: PT 42- section 2- LR 15
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2007, 08:54:41 PM »
Also, does C really weaken the argument at all.  It could well be the case that actions designed for personal gain do not result in personal gain, but that does not attack the argument (which is about motivations).

To see this better, lets look at the argument.  The conclusion of the argument is that "Technological innovation rarely serves the interests of society as a whole."  The premise behind this conclusion is that the people responsible for technological innovations are primarily motivated by personal gain not societal gain.  So, you need an answer choice that says something like it does not matter if a person is motivated by personal gain, they can still create technological innovations which are important and serve society.  This is what answer choice D does in a more abstract, convoluted way.

Think about this argument from a personalized perspective by drawing on an analogy.  Think about a company when it is a start-up like Google was 5 years ago.  Were Google employees interested in personal gain (probably...they were probably interested in doing good work but also cashing in on their stock options)?  So, I would say that the employees were probably primarily interested in personal gain (or at least some employees were).  So, did that make it so that their technological innovations did not serve society.  I would say no.  Their technological innovations served society (better internet search results) but were motivated primarily by personal gain (employee stock options).  So, this argument is weak, and D attacks precisely this Achilles heal of the argument (i.e.  just because there was no society goal does not mean that it cannot help society).

Anyway, I hope this helps.

:) Lisa

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Re: PT 42- section 2- LR 15
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2007, 09:00:48 PM »
Thank you so much for your explainations, guys! I understand it now.