"Always Almost Impossible" = "Always Impossible"?

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chicagobullsfan
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"Always Almost Impossible" = "Always Impossible"?

Postby chicagobullsfan » Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:07 pm

This is stemming from my experience w/LRB, Pg. 162. I'm curious if this is how the LSAT views the word "almost" based on what the right answer was.

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AngryAvocado
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Re: "Always Almost Impossible" = "Always Impossible"?

Postby AngryAvocado » Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:09 pm

chicagobullsfan wrote:This is stemming from my experience w/LRB, Pg. 162. I'm curious if this is how the LSAT views the word "almost" based on what the right answer was.


I can't speak to that particular question, but I don't see how they could view those two things as equal. "Always almost impossible" means that's it's also always possible, and that is quite different than being always impossible.

Oblomov
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Re: "Always Almost Impossible" = "Always Impossible"?

Postby Oblomov » Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:12 pm

.e.
Last edited by Oblomov on Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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chicagobullsfan
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Re: "Always Almost Impossible" = "Always Impossible"?

Postby chicagobullsfan » Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:14 pm

So their explanation in the next page says "the final sentence denies that drivers with a large number of demerit points who have also been convicted of a serious driving related offense can be made into more responsible drivers."

The last sentence states "Unfortunately it is always almost impossible to make drivers with a large number of demerit points more responsible drivers."

They are claiming always almost impossible = a full on denial?

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AngryAvocado
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Re: "Always Almost Impossible" = "Always Impossible"?

Postby AngryAvocado » Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:31 pm

chicagobullsfan wrote:So their explanation in the next page says "the final sentence denies that drivers with a large number of demerit points who have also been convicted of a serious driving related offense can be made into more responsible drivers."

The last sentence states "Unfortunately it is always almost impossible to make drivers with a large number of demerit points more responsible drivers."

They are claiming always almost impossible = a full on denial?


I disagree with Powerscore's explanation, then. That statement doesn't "deny" that's possible, just states that people with a large number of demerits are overwhelmingly unlikely to be made into more responsible drivers.

Oblomov wrote:Actually, I think that it means that it is sometimes, but rarely, possible.


How so? I genuinely curious. My reasonining is that if something is always X, then it is always X. In this case, X= "almost impossible." Thus, it's never impossible--just highly unlikely.

skip james
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Re: "Always Almost Impossible" = "Always Impossible"?

Postby skip james » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:30 pm

AngryAvocado wrote:
chicagobullsfan wrote:This is stemming from my experience w/LRB, Pg. 162. I'm curious if this is how the LSAT views the word "almost" based on what the right answer was.


I can't speak to that particular question, but I don't see how they could view those two things as equal. "Always almost impossible" means that's it's also always possible, and that is quite different than being always impossible.


I think this part of your claim is faulty:

"Always almost impossible" means that's it's also always possible


.. mostly because I can make the claim that it is almost always impossible for 1 + 1 to equal three and that would not entail that it is also always possible for 1 + 1 to equal three.

But it's sort of a tricky statement that you're making since you're talking about the possibility of a possibility rather than the possibility itself.

When I say it's almost always impossible for 1 + 1 to equal 3, then my statement entails that it is possible that it is possible that 1 + 1 equals 3 but that does not mean that it is, in fact possible that 1 + 1 equals 3.

I think you might have made a modal fallacy, but I'm not sure since I'm pretty rusty on that sort of stuff.

skip james
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Re: "Always Almost Impossible" = "Always Impossible"?

Postby skip james » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:33 pm

chicagobullsfan wrote:So their explanation in the next page says "the final sentence denies that drivers with a large number of demerit points who have also been convicted of a serious driving related offense can be made into more responsible drivers."

The last sentence states "Unfortunately it is always almost impossible to make drivers with a large number of demerit points more responsible drivers."

They are claiming always almost impossible = a full on denial?


Disregarding the modal logic stuff, in the context of the LSAT, I believe it's safe to reinterpret this statement as follows:

Most of the time, drivers with a large number of demerit point will not become more responsible drivers.

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AngryAvocado
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Re: "Always Almost Impossible" = "Always Impossible"?

Postby AngryAvocado » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:43 pm

skip james wrote:
AngryAvocado wrote:
chicagobullsfan wrote:This is stemming from my experience w/LRB, Pg. 162. I'm curious if this is how the LSAT views the word "almost" based on what the right answer was.


I can't speak to that particular question, but I don't see how they could view those two things as equal. "Always almost impossible" means that's it's also always possible, and that is quite different than being always impossible.


I think this part of your claim is faulty:

"Always almost impossible" means that's it's also always possible


.. mostly because I can make the claim that it is almost always impossible for 1 + 1 to equal three and that would not entail that it is also always possible for 1 + 1 to equal three.

But it's sort of a tricky statement that you're making since you're talking about the possibility of a possibility rather than the possibility itself.

When I say it's almost always impossible for 1 + 1 to equal 3, then my statement entails that it is possible that it is possible that 1 + 1 equals 3 but that does not mean that it is, in fact possible that 1 + 1 equals 3.

I think you might have made a modal fallacy, but I'm not sure since I'm pretty rusty on that sort of stuff.



First of all, "almost always impossible" =/= "always almost impossible."

Second, if something is almost impossible, it isn't quite impossible. If something isn't impossible, then it's possible by definition. I don't see how it's a modal fallacy if it must be one or the other and one of the options is ruled out.

skip james
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Re: "Always Almost Impossible" = "Always Impossible"?

Postby skip james » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:49 pm

skip james wrote:
chicagobullsfan wrote:So their explanation in the next page says "the final sentence denies that drivers with a large number of demerit points who have also been convicted of a serious driving related offense can be made into more responsible drivers."

The last sentence states "Unfortunately it is always almost impossible to make drivers with a large number of demerit points more responsible drivers."

They are claiming always almost impossible = a full on denial?


Disregarding the modal logic stuff, in the context of the LSAT, I believe it's safe to reinterpret this statement as follows:

Most of the time, drivers with a large number of demerit point will not become more responsible drivers.


And actually, I just peeked at the LRB, and if you read it carefully, they actually do include the 'most' element into the necessary condition. They define R (or the second sentence of the problem as 'likely to be made responsible drivers'. Powerscore's logic here works, since the 'most' element is already embedded into the conditional.

So the second sentence reads as follows (paraphrased):

Driver re-education should be prescribed ONLY IF it is likely that it will make them more responsible drivers.

The last sentence is essentially this:

It is unlikely that drivers with large numbers of demerits will become more responsible drivers.

Which, as you can see, is the negation of our necessary condition and thus gives allows us to infer through a contrapositive that 'driver re-education should not be prescribed'.

The only reason it is not logically necessary (and the reason why this question is a most strongly supports, as opposed to a must be true) is because we must assume that what is true of drivers with large numbers of demerits is also true of the SUB-GROUP drivers with large numbers of demerits and a serious driving offense.

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bgdddymtty
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Re: "Always Almost Impossible" = "Always Impossible"?

Postby bgdddymtty » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:56 pm

AngryAvocado wrote:
skip james wrote:
AngryAvocado wrote:
chicagobullsfan wrote:This is stemming from my experience w/LRB, Pg. 162. I'm curious if this is how the LSAT views the word "almost" based on what the right answer was.


I can't speak to that particular question, but I don't see how they could view those two things as equal. "Always almost impossible" means that's it's also always possible, and that is quite different than being always impossible.


I think this part of your claim is faulty:

"Always almost impossible" means that's it's also always possible


.. mostly because I can make the claim that it is almost always impossible for 1 + 1 to equal three and that would not entail that it is also always possible for 1 + 1 to equal three.

But it's sort of a tricky statement that you're making since you're talking about the possibility of a possibility rather than the possibility itself.

When I say it's almost always impossible for 1 + 1 to equal 3, then my statement entails that it is possible that it is possible that 1 + 1 equals 3 but that does not mean that it is, in fact possible that 1 + 1 equals 3.

I think you might have made a modal fallacy, but I'm not sure since I'm pretty rusty on that sort of stuff.



First of all, "almost always impossible" =/= "always almost impossible."

Second, if something is almost impossible, it isn't quite impossible. If something isn't impossible, then it's possible by definition. I don't see how it's a modal fallacy if it must be one or the other and one of the options is ruled out.


TITCR

By the way, skipjames, your "it's almost always impossible for 1 + 1 to equal 3" nonsense is just that. It isn't almost always impossible for this to be the case; it's absolutely impossible. Words have meanings.

skip james
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Re: "Always Almost Impossible" = "Always Impossible"?

Postby skip james » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:06 pm

AngryAvocado wrote:
First of all, "almost always impossible" =/= "always almost impossible."

Second, if something is almost impossible, it isn't quite impossible. If something isn't impossible, then it's possible by definition. I don't see how it's a modal fallacy if it must be one or the other and one of the options is ruled out.


I agree with 1 but not with 2.

I don't know, I suppose I could be wrong (it happens more often than I'd like :| ), but I guess the way I'm thinking of it is that if X is almost impossible, I guess I think that I am including the possibility that X is also ALWAYS impossible and POSSIBLY possible, though I would definitely be denying that it is NEVER impossible, or NECESSARILY possible (I'm using caps, not to scream or anything, but to differentiate the modal modifiers, so I apologize if it is annoying).

Anyway, I'm getting kinda confused now. haha.. I'm not sure if I made a point or what but modal logic always sorta gives me a headache.

skip james
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Re: "Always Almost Impossible" = "Always Impossible"?

Postby skip james » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:08 pm

bgdddymtty wrote: Words have meanings.


my oh my, this is profound.

Oblomov
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Re: "Always Almost Impossible" = "Always Impossible"?

Postby Oblomov » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:10 pm

.




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