Historian: Newton developed mathematical concepts and techniques that are fundamental to modern calculus. Leibniz developed closely analogous concepts and techniques. It has traditionally been thought that these discoveries were independent. Researchers have, however, recently discovered notes of Leibniz’s that discuss one of Newton’s books on mathematics. Several scholars have argued that since the book includes a presentation of Newton’s calculus concepts and techniques, and since the notes were written before Leibniz’ own development of calculus concepts and techniques, it is virtually certain that the traditional view is false. A more cautious conclusion than this is called for, however. Leibniz’ notes are limited to early sections of Newton’s book, sections that precede the ones in which Newton’s calculus concepts and techniques are presented

In the historian’s reasoning, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?

(A) The first provides evidence in support of the overall position that the historian defends; the second is evidence that has been used to support an opposing position.

(B) The first provides evidence in support of the overall position that the historian defends; the second is that position.

(C) The first provides evidence in support of an intermediate conclusion that is drawn to provide support for the overall position that the historian defends; the second provides evidence against that intermediate conclusion.

(D) The first is evidence that has been used to support a conclusion that the historian criticizes; the second is evidence offered in support of the historian’s own position.

(E) The first is evidence that has been used to support a conclusion that the historian criticizes; the second is further information that substantiates that evidence.

Let’s understand the details provided in the historian’s argument.

1) Newton developed mathematical concepts and techniques that are fundamental to modern calculus.

2) Leibniz developed closely similar concepts and techniques.

Traditional view: these discoveries were independent.

HOWEVER,

Researchers recently discovered notes of Leibniz’s that discuss one of Newton’s books on mathematics.

Scholars’ argument

1) since the book includes a presentation of Newton’s calculus concepts and techniques

2) and since the notes were written before Leibniz’ own development of calculus concepts and techniques,

Scholars’ Conclusion

it is virtually certain that the traditional view is false.

Historian

A more cautious conclusion than this is called for, however. - Historian’s opinion/conclusion about the scholars’ argument

Leibniz’ notes are limited to early sections of Newton’s book, sections that precede the ones in which Newton’s calculus concepts and techniques are presented. - premise/data/evidence used to support his conclusion.

If you have been able to identify each of the viewpoints and the viewpoint of the historian, the job is almost done.

Option A- The first provides evidence in support of the overall position that the historian defends; the second is evidence that has been used to support an opposing position.

The first is not evidence in support of the overall position the historian defends; rather it is evidence in support of the scholars’ conclusion that the historian criticizes- Eliminate A

Option B- The first provides evidence in support of the overall position that the historian defends; the second is that position.

Same as A- Eliminate B

Option C- The first provides evidence in support of an intermediate conclusion that is drawn to provide support for the overall position that the historian defends; the second provides evidence against that intermediate conclusion.

The intermediate conclusion is not drawn to provide support for the overall position that the historian defends. The historian criticizes the intermediate/ the scholars’ conclusion- Eliminate C

Option D- The first is evidence that has been used to support a conclusion that the historian criticizes; the second is evidence offered in support of the historian’s own position.

The first is evidence drawn by scholars to support their conclusion that the historian criticizes. The second is the evidence used to support his conclusion. Option D is the correct answer.

Option E- The first is evidence that has been used to support a conclusion that the historian criticizes; the second is further information that substantiates that evidence.

The second is not information that substantiates the evidence used by the scholars. Instead, the second is in favor of the historian’s conclusion- eliminate option E.