Practice GMAT Critical Reasoning Question

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During the past 20 years, computer scientists focused increasingly on starting and running successful businesses. However, since businesses must be profitable, computer scientists must focus on developing products that generate profit. Consequently, computer science has lost its creative aspect.
Which of the following assumptions is most necessary in order for the conclusion above to be drawn from the argument above?
Correct Answer: C

The argument’s conclusion is: "computer science has lost its creative aspect"

The argument draws the false dichotomy that the writing of profitable programs requires forgoing the writing of creative applications. In other words, it assumes that profitable and creative programs are mutually exclusive. Further, it assumes that all computer scientists are pursuing writing profitable programs.

  1. There is a difference between being well received and being profitable. The argument assumes that only non-creative programs can be profitable. However, this does not mean creative programs will not be well-received. It just means they will not be profitable.
  2. Even if some computer scientists disregarded creativity, we cannot (as the original argument and this answer do) assume that creativity and profit are mutually exclusive.
  3. This answer identifies a crucial assumption in the original argument. If writing creative and profitable programs were not mutually exclusive, then one could write profitable programs without "computer science [having] lost its creative aspect."
  4. The extent to which a computer scientist is obsessed with the profitability of his work has no influence on whether profitability drives away creativity (as the original argument assumes).
  5. The users of software have influence on whether software can be both profitable and creative.

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