PT 11 - First LR Section - #24

ConsideringLawSchool
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PT 11 - First LR Section - #24

Postby ConsideringLawSchool » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:16 pm

This the question about Mayor Drabble repaying her debt to Lee.

I agree entirely that A is a great answer, but I'd like to understand why E is wrong. As I see it, we know that Mayor Drabble needs to repay her debt to Lee. It is possible, however, that Lee would has long wanted a variety of jobs or other forms of repayment. If Mayor Drabble could adequately repay her debt by offering Lee a different role instead, we no longer have any reason to believe that she will appoint Lee as head of the arts commission. What am I missing? Thanks.

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chewdak
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Re: PT 11 - First LR Section - #24

Postby chewdak » Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:12 pm

ConsideringLawSchool wrote:This the question about Mayor Drabble repaying her debt to Lee.

I agree entirely that A is a great answer, but I'd like to understand why E is wrong. As I see it, we know that Mayor Drabble needs to repay her debt to Lee. It is possible, however, that Lee would has long wanted a variety of jobs or other forms of repayment. If Mayor Drabble could adequately repay her debt by offering Lee a different role instead, we no longer have any reason to believe that she will appoint Lee as head of the arts commission. What am I missing? Thanks.


"Mayor always repays her political debts as soon as possible".
Timely trumps "adequately".
If there is another suitable person, with longer standing debt, Lee comes after that person.

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Re: PT 11 - First LR Section - #24

Postby Atlas LSAT Brian » Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:15 pm

Hi! Here's how I think this argument breaks down:

premise: 1. Drabble always repays pol. debts as quickly as possible
2. Lee has long wanted to be head of arts commission
3. Drabble owes Lee

conclusion: Drabble will almost certainly appoint Lee head of arts commission.

Premises 2 and 3 are the most important here, so to summarize the argument:

Drabble owes Lee, Lee wants job X, Drabble will almost certainly give Lee job X.

The biggest gap that stuck out to me when I read it was "What if somebody else wants it, and she owes them more?" This, of course, turns out to be the correct answer, (A).

(E) is wrong because it's out of the scope of the argument, and this kind of use of the word "only" occurs all the time on the LSAT. Reading your post, it seems like you were negating (E) to evaluate it. Like you said, negated, this choice states that "This is not the ONLY way Drabble can repay Lee." My response would be "so what?" Thus I don't think it's true that "we no longer have any reason to believe she will appoint Lee..." We still have two reasons: she owes him, and he's wanted the job for a long time.

(A) can be verified by negating. If Drabble DOES have debt that is longer standing than her debt to Lee and that debt could be repaid with the same appointment, it suddenly becomes less likely that Lee will get it.
(B) this need not be true. It's ok for her to owe other people MORE, just not other people who want or would be suitably repaid with the arts commission job.
(C) Lee need not be the only person. Just the first in line.
(D) qualifications are beyond the scope of the argument.

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theZeigs
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Re: PT 11 - First LR Section - #24

Postby theZeigs » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:20 pm

Atlas LSAT Brian wrote:
Drabble owes Lee, Lee wants job X, Drabble will almost certainly give Lee job X.

The biggest gap that stuck out to me when I read it was "What if somebody else wants it, and she owes them more?" This, of course, turns out to be the correct answer, (A).

(E) is wrong because it's out of the scope of the argument, and this kind of use of the word "only" occurs all the time on the LSAT. Reading your post, it seems like you were negating (E) to evaluate it. Like you said, negated, this choice states that "This is not the ONLY way Drabble can repay Lee." My response would be "so what?" Thus I don't think it's true that "we no longer have any reason to believe she will appoint Lee..." We still have two reasons: she owes him, and he's wanted the job for a long time.

(A) can be verified by negating. If Drabble DOES have debt that is longer standing than her debt to Lee and that debt could be repaid with the same appointment, it suddenly becomes less likely that Lee will get it.


I am sort of with the original poster here, and your post makes it even more confusing. If you negate E, you say "There are other ways that she can repay Lee" therefore it becomes less likely that Lee will get the job.

I think the question is this: what is more likely to make it so that Lee doesn't necessarily get the job, or as you put it AtlasBrian "we no longer have any reason to believe she will appoint Lee..."? Either (a) Other people are owed longer and can be repaid by this particular job or (e) Lee can be repaid in other ways. When you cast it this way, I think that A is the preferable answer, but E would be the best answer if there was no A. In fact, E would be stronger if you assumed (I guess, incorrectly) as the OP did that "It is possible, however, that Lee would has [sic] long wanted a variety of jobs or other forms of repayment." :lol: I guess this would fall under the "you should not make assumptions that are by commonsense standards implausible, superfluous, or incompatible with the passage."

I think this is one of the rare occasions where "more than one of the choices could conceivably answer the question" and that the less correct choice is credited but only to a lesser degree.

Another key to this problem is that Drabble repays her debts "AS SOON AS POSSIBLE." If this is the case, then anyone higher in the pecking order would have to get repaid FIRST. Maybe this is the key? i.e. the negation of (a) is not "other people are owed more" but that "other people have longer standing debt" ...

So to enhance AtlasBrian's post:

"Drabble owes Lee, Drabble pays back things she owes as fast as possible, Lee wants job X, Drabble will almost certainly give Lee job X." So then you have to say that the gap is that other people aren't higher up than Lee for getting repaid and/or want the job as well.

BTW, what is the proper negation of "she will almost certainly appoint Lee to be the new head of the arts commission." is it:

1. She probably won't
2. She definitely won't
3. It's less likely that she will (50/50 will/won't)
4. We no longer have reason to think that she will
5. We have less reason to think that she will.
6. Other?

Anybody else have thoughts on this? This was a tough question, I missed it too!

ConsideringLawSchool
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Re: PT 11 - First LR Section - #24

Postby ConsideringLawSchool » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:34 pm

Atlas LSAT Brian wrote:Hi! Here's how I think this argument breaks down:

premise: 1. Drabble always repays pol. debts as quickly as possible
2. Lee has long wanted to be head of arts commission
3. Drabble owes Lee

conclusion: Drabble will almost certainly appoint Lee head of arts commission.

Premises 2 and 3 are the most important here, so to summarize the argument:

Drabble owes Lee, Lee wants job X, Drabble will almost certainly give Lee job X.

The biggest gap that stuck out to me when I read it was "What if somebody else wants it, and she owes them more?" This, of course, turns out to be the correct answer, (A).

(E) is wrong because it's out of the scope of the argument, and this kind of use of the word "only" occurs all the time on the LSAT. Reading your post, it seems like you were negating (E) to evaluate it. Like you said, negated, this choice states that "This is not the ONLY way Drabble can repay Lee." My response would be "so what?" Thus I don't think it's true that "we no longer have any reason to believe she will appoint Lee..." We still have two reasons: she owes him, and he's wanted the job for a long time.

(A) can be verified by negating. If Drabble DOES have debt that is longer standing than her debt to Lee and that debt could be repaid with the same appointment, it suddenly becomes less likely that Lee will get it.
(B) this need not be true. It's ok for her to owe other people MORE, just not other people who want or would be suitably repaid with the arts commission job.
(C) Lee need not be the only person. Just the first in line.
(D) qualifications are beyond the scope of the argument.


Thanks for your comprehensive response, I appreciate it.

That said, I am still a little bit unconvinced regarding the incorrect nature of E (except by virtue of the more compelling nature of A).

Take this as a parallel example:
Since the mother always feeds her baby as soon as possible when the baby is hungry, she will almost certainly feed her baby bananas. The baby likes bananas, and the baby is clearly hungry. (Written sloppily, but you get the idea).

Of course, I would think here that most would agree that the conclusion is assuming that there is no other food that the mother could feed her baby that would address the baby's hunger.

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theZeigs
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Re: PT 11 - First LR Section - #24

Postby theZeigs » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:51 pm

Ahh, but I think your analogy is a little incomplete. I think it would be better like this:

"A mother has enough bananas to feed one baby. Since the mother always feeds any of her babies as soon as possible when they get hungry, she will almost certainly feed her one baby named Koko bananas. Koko has always liked bananas, and Koko is clearly hungry."

Now, is it better that

1. The only food that adequately feeds Koko is bananas OR
2. There are no babies that have been hungry, longer and who could be suitably fed bananas.

I think that while this has the same difficulty as the original problem (i.e. recasting this problem as such does not make it any easier to solve), the method of solving this is the same.

SINCE [premise] the mother feeds her babies as soon as they're hungry and SINCE [premise] Koko is hungry THEN [conclusion] she will feed Koko bananas.

It is not an assumption that Koko can only be adequately fed by bananas, but it is an assumption that there is no other baby that has been hungry for longer.

But I tell you what....I would probably miss this on the actual exam myself...these questions would be the difference between the score I wanted and the score I got.

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chewdak
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Re: PT 11 - First LR Section - #24

Postby chewdak » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:17 pm

ConsideringLawSchool wrote:That said, I am still a little bit unconvinced regarding the incorrect nature of E (except by virtue of the more compelling nature of A).

Take this as a parallel example:
Since the mother always feeds her baby as soon as possible when the baby is hungry, she will almost certainly feed her baby bananas. The baby likes bananas, and the baby is clearly hungry. (Written sloppily, but you get the idea).

Of course, I would think here that most would agree that the conclusion is assuming that there is no other food that the mother could feed her baby that would address the baby's hunger.


Now consider your baby's twin sister, who enjoys bananas just as much, went hungry for a longer time.
Who gets the banana?

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sayan
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Re: PT 11 - First LR Section - #24

Postby sayan » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:25 am

chewdak wrote:
ConsideringLawSchool wrote:That said, I am still a little bit unconvinced regarding the incorrect nature of E (except by virtue of the more compelling nature of A).

Take this as a parallel example:
Since the mother always feeds her baby as soon as possible when the baby is hungry, she will almost certainly feed her baby bananas. The baby likes bananas, and the baby is clearly hungry. (Written sloppily, but you get the idea).

Of course, I would think here that most would agree that the conclusion is assuming that there is no other food that the mother could feed her baby that would address the baby's hunger.


Now consider your baby's twin sister, who enjoys bananas just as much, went hungry for a longer time.
Who gets the banana?


Correct. It may be the only adequate way, but it won't lead to the conclusion stated if another person of longer-standing debt wants that job.

Interestingly, I don't think the assumption negation technique works here. The assumption is a necessary one, but it certainly has a hole in it that makes it a weaker answer than A.

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Re: PT 11 - First LR Section - #24

Postby Atlas LSAT Brian » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:18 pm

I don't think so.

(E) is not a necessary assumption. It does not matter how many other ways Drabble could fulfill her obligation to Lee.

The conclusion is that she will "almost certainly" give him the job. It is not necessary to assume that this is the only way she can repay him.

ConsideringLawSchool
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Re: PT 11 - First LR Section - #24

Postby ConsideringLawSchool » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:21 pm

Atlas LSAT Brian wrote:I don't think so.

(E) is not a necessary assumption. It does not matter how many other ways Drabble could fulfill her obligation to Lee.

The conclusion is that she will "almost certainly" give him the job. It is not necessary to assume that this is the only way she can repay him.


Why is it almost certain that she will pick a given way if there are lots of other equally acceptable ways?

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Re: PT 11 - First LR Section - #24

Postby Atlas LSAT Brian » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:29 pm

Consider this:

Susie has wanted to play basketball for a long time. She will have the opportunity to play this year, and playing basketball will satisfy her desire for rigorous exercise. Therefore she will almost certainly play basketball this year.

Need we assume that basketball is the ONLY way she can satisfy her desire for rigorous exercise? No!

If it was TRUE, would it STRENGTHEN the argument? Yes! But it's not necessary. There can be a zillion ways to satisfy her desire for exercise, and the logic of the argument is still good. "Almost certainly" is a teeny bit strong, but the logic is still as sound as it ever was.

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Re: PT 11 - First LR Section - #24

Postby ConsideringLawSchool » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:01 pm

Atlas LSAT Brian wrote:Consider this:

Susie has wanted to play basketball for a long time. She will have the opportunity to play this year, and playing basketball will satisfy her desire for rigorous exercise. Therefore she will almost certainly play basketball this year.

Need we assume that basketball is the ONLY way she can satisfy her desire for rigorous exercise? No!

If it was TRUE, would it STRENGTHEN the argument? Yes! But it's not necessary. There can be a zillion ways to satisfy her desire for exercise, and the logic of the argument is still good. "Almost certainly" is a teeny bit strong, but the logic is still as sound as it ever was.


I don't think that it's almost certain that she'll play basketball based on the information provided. For all I know, she's long wanted to do basketball, squash, and soccer. Why should she "almost certainly" pick basketball?

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Re: PT 11 - First LR Section - #24

Postby Atlas LSAT Brian » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:03 pm

That's fine. It's ok for the argument to be "bad." The example given is useful for evaluating potential "assumption" answer choices, not for evaluating the conclusion. LSAT arguments are flawed.
Last edited by Atlas LSAT Brian on Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ConsideringLawSchool
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Re: PT 11 - First LR Section - #24

Postby ConsideringLawSchool » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:06 pm

Atlas LSAT Brian wrote:That's fine. It's ok for the argument to be "bad." The example given is useful for evaluating potential "assumption" answer choices, not for evaluating the efficacy of the conclusion. LSAT arguments are flawed.


But the point of assumption questions is to pick an answer that makes the argument not bad. The assumption that basketball is the only type of exercise available would make the argument not bad.

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Re: PT 11 - First LR Section - #24

Postby Atlas LSAT Brian » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:09 pm

That's not exactly the point of assumption questions. An assumption has two characteristics: it's unstated, and it is required for the argument's logic to function.




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