Assumption vs. Strengthen

borntokill
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:26 am

Assumption vs. Strengthen

Postby borntokill » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:12 am

Can the correct answer choice of strenghten question be an assumption?

or

Can an assumption strengthen the argument?

I feel that even if you know the assumption, it does not necessarily make the conclusion more likely to be true.

e.g.

Conclusion: Tiger is the best golfer.
Assumption: Tiger is not paralyzed.

The fact that tiger is able to move does not make him more likely to be a good golfer, let along the best.

tomwatts
Posts: 1551
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Assumption vs. Strengthen

Postby tomwatts » Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:20 pm

Eliminating an obstacle to the conclusion does strengthen the argument, so yes, pointing out that Tiger isn't paralyzed weakly strengthens the argument that he's the best golfer (at least he could be the best golfer if he's not paralyzed, whereas if we don't know that, it could be the case that it would be impossible for him to be the best golfer). Now, obviously, it depends a little on the rest of your answer choices.

And yes, broadly speaking, the normal way to strengthen an argument is to say that its assumptions are true. Generally Strengthen right answers are phrased with stronger language (always, never, etc.) than run-of-the-mill Assumption right answers (could, might, sometimes), but they don't have to be.

Shrimps
Posts: 271
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:04 pm

Re: Assumption vs. Strengthen

Postby Shrimps » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:43 pm

If the conclusion is PROVEN, it does not require any additional assumptions. If the author's conclusion that Tiger is the best golf player follows logically from his premises, then "Tiger is not paralyzed" is going to be entirely superfluous. The only things that could strengthen this conclusions is additional evidence that Tiger is the best golf player.

That's my gut feeling, at least.

borntokill
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:26 am

Re: Assumption vs. Strengthen

Postby borntokill » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:32 pm

tomwatts wrote:Eliminating an obstacle to the conclusion does strengthen the argument, so yes, pointing out that Tiger isn't paralyzed weakly strengthens the argument that he's the best golfer (at least he could be the best golfer if he's not paralyzed, whereas if we don't know that, it could be the case that it would be impossible for him to be the best golfer). Now, obviously, it depends a little on the rest of your answer choices.

And yes, broadly speaking, the normal way to strengthen an argument is to say that its assumptions are true. Generally Strengthen right answers are phrased with stronger language (always, never, etc.) than run-of-the-mill Assumption right answers (could, might, sometimes), but they don't have to be.


Thank you! You make it very clear!




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: beancounter15, CHyde, Instrumental, Pozzo and 8 guests