Prep 44. Oct 04. Section 4. Question 22

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Prep 44. Oct 04. Section 4. Question 22

Postby eternallearner » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:26 pm

Why can't choice (E) be the correct answer?

With weakening questions, are we suppose to find faults with the argument and how it came about (reasoning), right?

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Re: Prep 44. Oct 04. Section 4. Question 22

Postby matt@atlaslsat » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:27 pm

We're supposed to find a criticism to which the argument is vulnerable. It could be an abstract criticism like mistakes a correlation for a cause and effect relationship or it could be very specific like in these answer choices. Let's take a look at the argument and then we'll get to answer choice (E).

Basically this argument says that dogs neutered in early puppyhood do not have proper bone development as they grow, which in turn leads to arthritis. In other words... that getting neutered will cause arthritis later in life. The flaw in this argument is rather subtle, but its conclusion shifts from discussing early puppyhood, to puppyhood in general. Very subtle and I wouldn't see this flaw until after I read through answer choice (C) and eliminated everything else.

(A) describes something true about the argument, but not a flaw committed in the argument.
(B) isn't exactly true. The argument does explain that there is a relationship, just not exactly how that relationship works.
(C) is true and affects the truth of the conclusion. If a puppy could be neutered in middle or late puppyhood, then you wouldn't have to wait until it is full grown to have it neutered.
(D) is a good answer if you removed the words "from arthritis" in the conclusion. The answer choice let's you know that there may be some benefits to early neutering. We're not weighing the pros and cons of neutering. We're just trying to protect dogs from developing arthritis.
(E) is true, but isn't a problem for the argument. Even if other dogs developed arthritis, that wouldn't suggest that the dogs who were neutered didn't develop arthritis. As long as neutered dogs develop arthritis as a result of being neutered, the conclusion would still stand that the dogs should wait to get neutered.

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