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Requesting Review on my GRE Argument Task


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Argument :- 

Woven baskets characterized by a particular distinctive pattern have previously been found only in the immediate vicinity of the prehistoric village of Palea and therefore were believed to have been made only by the Palean people. Recently, however, archaeologists discovered such a "Palean" basket in Lithos, an ancient village across the Brim River from Palea. The Brim River is very deep and broad, and so the ancient Paleans could have crossed it only by boat, and no Palean boats have been found. Thus it follows that the so-called Palean baskets were not uniquely Palean.

Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.

 My Essay :-

Primarily the argument is based on the unwarranted assumption that no paleans could have crossed the Brim river by boat as there were no Palean boats found. This assumption is unwarranted as the paleans could have used other boat types apart from palean boats to move across the Brim River.

Firstly the idea that woven baskets of distinctive pattern were made only by palean just because they were found in the immediate vicinity of the village has no proper basis. It could be that several other villages also produced woven baskets and they sold or traded it to people living in the immediate vicinity of Palea. This does not necessarily make the Palean baskets uniquely Palean. Had the statement mentioned that, the palean baskets were made by a particular material which is only available in the immediate vicinity of the village, it could be a supportive statement to the Baskets being unique to Palea.

Also the statement mentions that there were no boats found that belonged to the paleans, and a conclusion was derived that no paleans had crossed the Brim River. For the Paleans to cross the Brim River it is not necessary for the Paleans to have a palean boat. They could have other boats that they must have used to cross the river. Also just because no palean boats were found in Lithos does not necessarily mean that no Palean baskets were given/shared with the people in Lithos. It could be that the Palean baskets were given for a price or traded for another item and then the Palean people left Lithos after the exchange. Another Possible scenario is that the Palean people could have forgotten some of their baskets before they returned home. If there had been a mention of Palean people having no other sources of getting a boat or they had not mingled with the people could make it possible that the Palean baskets were unique to Palea. Even then ambiguity still exists in the fact that people from lithos could come to Palea and buy the Palean baskets.

This shows us that conclusions cannot be made from theory that doesn’t provide evidence to a particular fact. There could be several other possibilities that also needs to be justified.

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