Preptest 26, Section 3, Question 20

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HiLine
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Preptest 26, Section 3, Question 20

Postby HiLine » Wed May 19, 2010 1:36 pm

So I could figure out the correct answer is B by eliminating other answer choices. However, the logical reasoning of the text has been bugging me. Is it possible to draw out a single logical chain from the reasoning or does it require 2 individual chains? How would you draw the diagram? I would appreciate your input.

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matt@atlaslsat
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Re: Preptest 26, Section 3, Question 20

Postby matt@atlaslsat » Wed May 19, 2010 2:49 pm

This one is a great example of the creativity of the LSAT-writer.

While this argument is riddled with conditional relationships, I would not advocate diagramming this question using formal notation. The reason is that the terms shift from one relationship to another. In order to link chains of conditional logic together, we need to see the same term within two statements. In a basic form

A --> B
B --> C
======

then we could infer

A --> C

But we would only do this if the terms were repeated across several conditional relationships.

In this one, we don't see terms appearing and linking the relationships together.

We need to knock out each incorrect answer by testing it against the statements. We're fortunate in that each of the incorrect answers is almost exactly paraphrases one statement from the stimulus - making the comparison fairly simple.

The question stem asks us to find the one that is LEAST supported. Meaning that four of the answer choices can be inferred from the stimulus, the one that cannot is the correct answer choice. Think of this question as "must be true EXCEPT".

(A) can be inferred from the first sentence of the stimulus. If only poetry cannot be translated well, then if it is not poetry it can be translated well.
(B) is correct. This answer choice distorts the first sentence a bit. We know that poets preserve language, but we don't know that a purpose of writing poetry is to preserve language.
(C) can be inferred from the first sentence within the part, "for we would not bother to learn a language if we could get everything written in from translation."
(D) can be inferred from the claim, "we cannot witness the beauty of poetry except in the language in which it is composed."
(E) can be inferred from the claim, "Only poetry cannot be translated well."

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HiLine
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Re: Preptest 26, Section 3, Question 20

Postby HiLine » Wed May 19, 2010 2:56 pm

Thanks Matt! Your explanation is quite clear. The reason why I am so concerned about the logic of the passage is because of the word 'so', which implies that the last sentence is the consequence of the previous arguments and therefore suggests some kind of logic chain. If you could clarify this problem that would be really helpful.

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matt@atlaslsat
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Re: Preptest 26, Section 3, Question 20

Postby matt@atlaslsat » Wed May 19, 2010 3:12 pm

I agree that on most of these logical reasoning questions key words such as SO and THEREFORE are critical. Unfortunately, after reading through this argument carefully, I believe that they are simply used for aesthetic purposes here.

I wish there was something more clever to offer! And I'm glad that you're reading with such attention for critical words. It will benefit you in general.

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HiLine
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Re: Preptest 26, Section 3, Question 20

Postby HiLine » Wed May 19, 2010 3:18 pm

In fact, it was very helpful of you to point out the non-conclusive usage of the word 'so.' That totally resolves my concern and makes the question much clearer. Thanks a lot for your comments! :D




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