Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

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Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby 3|ink » Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:31 pm

Powerscore and TM both emphasize a negation technique for assumption questions (strengthen questions that ask you to identify the underlying assumption). I can't describe the technique on here without risking copyright infringement. However, if you've taken one of the above mentioned courses, I can tell you that it's the same for both under different names. For those who are familiar with the technique, don't you find it pointless?

The negation technique does not help you understand what is going on in the stimulus. In fact, it requires that you already understand the conclusion and how the premises support it. All it really does is help you narrow down answer choices. However, I think that it is easy enough to narrow down answer choices once you understand what is going on in the stimulus. Thus, I think it's nothing more than extra legwork. I personally have never once found it useful. Does anyone else concur?

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby yzero1 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:07 pm

I agree that, in many cases, the negation technique is not necessary because the answer will be pretty obvious if you understand the stimulus. However, I think the negation technique works better for tricky answer choices with convoluted/confusing wording because it's a quick check to make sure you didn't make a mistake or misunderstand the answer choice. This is especially true for answer choices that use quantity words such as some/many/etc. Just negate and see if the conclusion still makes sense.

Though I think after a while the process becomes almost automatic so that you can tell right away whether an answer choice will destroy the argument if negated.

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby Hedwig » Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:24 pm

I think assumption negation is meant to be used to check that you've got the right answer, when you're down to two or even if you've picked one but you're not 100% sure and you want peace of mind. Obviously if you're 100% sure you have your answer choice correct, you don't need to add a further step in order to make sure it is correct. However, if you're dying over two answer choices and can't figure it out, it might be a helpful step, or if you're some kind of time genius and you are reviewing answers, it might just be a checking step you can do once you're done the section. It's not a necessary step if you are already confident in your answer.

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby suspicious android » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:25 am

I'm not sure how they teach it, but you don't have to worry about describing the process, those are not copyrighted. They have trademarked the names for their techniques, but that's a much different thing.

Maybe it's not taught well in some courses, but I think it's a useful way to think about some questions and to test yourself on some difficult problems that you might not be confident about.

It's like pulling out the spark plugs of a car, clearly the car won't work after you do that, and that in itself is perfect evidence that spark plugs are a necessary component of a car.

If it's taught simply as a trick, it might be slightly harmful in that it could impede a students real understanding of the underlying logic, but if a little time is spent explaining why it actually works instead of just how to do it, I think it is useful. That said, I virtually never use this technique when doing the test myself. I just ask myself "Do I have to believe statement xyz to be true in order for this argument to be valid? Yes? Then this is the correct answer. No? Then I could possibly believe the conclusion is proven without xyz being true, and it's therefore incorrect."

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby AverageTutoring » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:10 am

I would refer you to PT 28 Section 3 Question 16. The answer choice is worded in an extremely subtle way and negation is pretty much the only way to expose this bastard of an answer for what it really is!

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby Anaconda » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:38 am

Ha, we seem to be disagreeing on every single point in the LRB., but I think the negation trick is very helpful in weeding out shell answers and just because it's a trick doesn't necessarily means it hurts you on other LR questions.

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby Audio Technica Guy » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:35 am

I think part of your problem is that you should only use the negation test on necessary assumption questions. That is, questions that ask you to find a required assumption. You cannot use this trick if they are asking you to find an assumption that allows the conclusion to follow logically (a sufficient assumption).

We must remember that there are two types of assumption questions: necessary assumptions and sufficient assumptions and they are actually VERY different.

I think this is probably part of your problem, you're trying to use this technique on problems where it not only isn't helpful, but actually is harmful.

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby 3|ink » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:08 pm

Audio Technica Guy wrote:I think part of your problem is that you should only use the negation test on necessary assumption questions. That is, questions that ask you to find a required assumption. You cannot use this trick if they are asking you to find an assumption that allows the conclusion to follow logically (a sufficient assumption).

We must remember that there are two types of assumption questions: necessary assumptions and sufficient assumptions and they are actually VERY different.

I think this is probably part of your problem, you're trying to use this technique on problems where it not only isn't helpful, but actually is harmful.


Both TM and PS designate necessary assumption questions simply as 'assumption questions'. Sufficiente assumption questions are designated 'justify questions'. I was only referring to use in the former. The latter are easy enough without tricks like this.

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby Audio Technica Guy » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:36 pm

3|ink wrote:
Both TM and PS designate necessary assumption questions simply as 'assumption questions'. Sufficiente assumption questions are designated 'justify questions'. I was only referring to use in the former. The latter are easy enough without tricks like this.



I was just going from your description of assumption questions in the OP "strengthen questions that ask you to identify the underlying assumption" which can be read to mean both types.

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby nStiver » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:19 pm

I just use it on occasion to check if I have the right answer. I have found it useful on more than one occasion.

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby skip james » Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:35 am

3|ink wrote:Powerscore and TM both emphasize a negation technique for assumption questions (strengthen questions that ask you to identify the underlying assumption). I can't describe the technique on here without risking copyright infringement. However, if you've taken one of the above mentioned courses, I can tell you that it's the same for both under different names. For those who are familiar with the technique, don't you find it pointless?

The negation technique does not help you understand what is going on in the stimulus. In fact, it requires that you already understand the conclusion and how the premises support it. All it really does is help you narrow down answer choices. However, I think that it is easy enough to narrow down answer choices once you understand what is going on in the stimulus. Thus, I think it's nothing more than extra legwork. I personally have never once found it useful. Does anyone else concur?


I'm not so sure the technique is copyrighted, since I'm pretty sure it's a concept dating back to Aristotle's square of opposition (i.e. a 'contradictory'). I think it's the names that are copyrighted/trademarked.

Personally, I find negations helpful. Mostly, I find it easier to figure out if one idea is mutually exclusive with another idea than to figure out if the truth of one idea is necessarily in line with another idea, if that makes any sense.

Also, you always have to understand the stimulus, this technique is no replacement for comprehension and I doubt any test prep companies have ever claimed it to be. I think one of the other posters has already said this, but I'll agree and say it again anyway, it's probably best used when clarify confusing answer choices rather than in lieu of genuine understanding.

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby 3|ink » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:14 am

skip james wrote:
3|ink wrote:Powerscore and TM both emphasize a negation technique for assumption questions (strengthen questions that ask you to identify the underlying assumption). I can't describe the technique on here without risking copyright infringement. However, if you've taken one of the above mentioned courses, I can tell you that it's the same for both under different names. For those who are familiar with the technique, don't you find it pointless?

The negation technique does not help you understand what is going on in the stimulus. In fact, it requires that you already understand the conclusion and how the premises support it. All it really does is help you narrow down answer choices. However, I think that it is easy enough to narrow down answer choices once you understand what is going on in the stimulus. Thus, I think it's nothing more than extra legwork. I personally have never once found it useful. Does anyone else concur?


I'm not so sure the technique is copyrighted, since I'm pretty sure it's a concept dating back to Aristotle's square of opposition (i.e. a 'contradictory'). I think it's the names that are copyrighted/trademarked.

Personally, I find negations helpful. Mostly, I find it easier to figure out if one idea is mutually exclusive with another idea than to figure out if the truth of one idea is necessarily in line with another idea, if that makes any sense.

Also, you always have to understand the stimulus, this technique is no replacement for comprehension and I doubt any test prep companies have ever claimed it to be. I think one of the other posters has already said this, but I'll agree and say it again anyway, it's probably best used when clarify confusing answer choices rather than in lieu of genuine understanding.



negation =/= modus tollens

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby skip james » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:46 pm

Dude, I didn't say it was modus tollens. Read before you respond please.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Square_of_opposition

Modus tollens is a valid argumentative structure. Hardly the same as a contradictory.

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby 3|ink » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:48 pm

skip james wrote:Dude, I didn't say it was modus tollens. Read before you respond please.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Square_of_opposition

Modus tollens is a valid argumentative structure. Hardly the same as a contradictory.


Wow. I've never seen someone get so upset over the internet. Serious business.

Anyway, there's more to their technique than switching "some" with "some not" and the like, so I suggest you look into their techniques before commenting on them. Or you can read my original post that states "for those familiar with the technique".

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby skip james » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:52 pm

3|ink wrote:
skip james wrote:Dude, I didn't say it was modus tollens. Read before you respond please.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Square_of_opposition

Modus tollens is a valid argumentative structure. Hardly the same as a contradictory.


Wow. I've never seen someone get so upset over the internet. Serious business.


First off, if you've never seen worse, than you must be new to the internet thing. Second, I'm not upset but rather, I'm irritated. You clearly have no idea what you're talking about but you pretend you do. Frankly, it's obnoxious.

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby skip james » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:54 pm

3|ink wrote:Anyway, there's more to their technique than switching "some" with "some not" and the like, so I suggest you look into their techniques before commenting on them. Or you can read my original post that states "for those familiar with the technique".


And here you go switching your argument. The concept of a negation is precisely the same. Two statements which cannot simultaneously hold the same truth value. Logic hasn't changed much in 2000 years, contrary to what prep test companies will tell you. Russell and Frege are legitimate sources of changes to logic, but that's hardly LSAT test-worthy.

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby 3|ink » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:58 pm

skip james wrote:
3|ink wrote:Anyway, there's more to their technique than switching "some" with "some not" and the like, so I suggest you look into their techniques before commenting on them. Or you can read my original post that states "for those familiar with the technique".


And here you go switching your argument. The concept of a negation is precisely the same. Two statements which cannot simultaneously hold the same truth value. Logic hasn't changed much in 2000 years, contrary to what prep test companies will tell you. Russell and Frege are legitimate sources of changes to logic, but that's hardly LSAT test-worthy.


Switching my argument? Modus Tollens =/= Negation is a statement of fact. If you're arguing against that, maybe you need to look into another profession. Naturally, I'm not going to read your post if you didn't bother to read my original post.

There's more to the technique than you describe. It's not just switching logical opposites. Be gone, troll.

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby skip james » Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:08 pm

3|ink wrote:
skip james wrote:
3|ink wrote:Anyway, there's more to their technique than switching "some" with "some not" and the like, so I suggest you look into their techniques before commenting on them. Or you can read my original post that states "for those familiar with the technique".


And here you go switching your argument. The concept of a negation is precisely the same. Two statements which cannot simultaneously hold the same truth value. Logic hasn't changed much in 2000 years, contrary to what prep test companies will tell you. Russell and Frege are legitimate sources of changes to logic, but that's hardly LSAT test-worthy.


Switching my argument? Modus Tollens =/= Negation is a statement of fact. If you're arguing against that, maybe you need to look into another profession. Naturally, I'm not going to read your post if you didn't bother to read my original post.

There's more to the technique than you describe. It's not just switching logical opposites. Be gone, troll.


wow you're dumb.

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby Nikrall » Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:09 pm

3|ink wrote:
skip james wrote:
3|ink wrote:Anyway, there's more to their technique than switching "some" with "some not" and the like, so I suggest you look into their techniques before commenting on them. Or you can read my original post that states "for those familiar with the technique".


And here you go switching your argument. The concept of a negation is precisely the same. Two statements which cannot simultaneously hold the same truth value. Logic hasn't changed much in 2000 years, contrary to what prep test companies will tell you. Russell and Frege are legitimate sources of changes to logic, but that's hardly LSAT test-worthy.


Switching my argument? Modus Tollens =/= Negation is a statement of fact. If you're arguing against that, maybe you need to look into another profession. Naturally, I'm not going to read your post if you didn't bother to read my original post.

There's more to the technique than you describe. It's not just switching logical opposites. Be gone, troll.


Actually it is pretty much switching logical opposites. All you do is negate the assumption and treat it as a weaken question. And its pretty clear he isn't a troll, he just finds it frustrating that someone who learned logic from LSAT books thinks that suddenly they know wtf they are talking about when discussing logic. As much as test-prep companies might try to copyright logic, they can't. And yes, he is correct, this shit is incredibly old and non-trademarkable. Also, here is a really, really obvious clue that the technique isn't trademarked. From your own quote:

I can't describe the technique on here without risking copyright infringement. However, if you've taken one of the above mentioned courses, I can tell you that it's the same for both under different names.

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby skip james » Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:11 pm

Nikrall wrote:
3|ink wrote:
skip james wrote:
3|ink wrote:Anyway, there's more to their technique than switching "some" with "some not" and the like, so I suggest you look into their techniques before commenting on them. Or you can read my original post that states "for those familiar with the technique".


And here you go switching your argument. The concept of a negation is precisely the same. Two statements which cannot simultaneously hold the same truth value. Logic hasn't changed much in 2000 years, contrary to what prep test companies will tell you. Russell and Frege are legitimate sources of changes to logic, but that's hardly LSAT test-worthy.


Switching my argument? Modus Tollens =/= Negation is a statement of fact. If you're arguing against that, maybe you need to look into another profession. Naturally, I'm not going to read your post if you didn't bother to read my original post.

There's more to the technique than you describe. It's not just switching logical opposites. Be gone, troll.


Actually it is pretty much switching logical opposites. All you do is negate the assumption and treat it as a weaken question. And its pretty clear he isn't a troll, he just finds it frustrating that someone who learned logic from LSAT books thinks that suddenly they know wtf they are talking about when discussing logic. As much as test-prep companies might try to copyright logic, they can't. And yes, he is correct, this shit is incredibly old and non-trademarkable. Also, here is a really, really obvious clue that the technique isn't trademarked. From your own quote:

I can't describe the technique on here without risking copyright infringement. However, if you've taken one of the above mentioned courses, I can tell you that it's the same for both under different names.


thank you thank you, you have no idea how frustrating I was finding this.

and 3link, I apologize for my last (childish) response. It was unacceptable of me to behave that way, despite my frustration.

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby 3|ink » Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:27 pm

Nikrall wrote:Actually it is pretty much switching logical opposites. All you do is negate the assumption and treat it as a weaken question. And its pretty clear he isn't a troll, he just finds it frustrating that someone who learned logic from LSAT books thinks that suddenly they know wtf they are talking about when discussing logic. As much as test-prep companies might try to copyright logic, they can't. And yes, he is correct, this shit is incredibly old and non-trademarkable. Also, here is a really, really obvious clue that the technique isn't trademarked. From your own quote:

I can't describe the technique on here without risking copyright infringement. However, if you've taken one of the above mentioned courses, I can tell you that it's the same for both under different names.


No it is not just switching logical opposites. Moreover, just because TM and PS share the strategy doesn't mean that it is how skip or you describe it. Additionally, just because the techniques have a similar outcome does not mean that they are similar in structure of technique.

It's pretty clear he is a troll by the way he got all flustered over a comment that clearly wasn't an insult or an attempt to imply that I have any knowledge of logic over him. The fact that you interpret it this way is evidence that you are a troll too. I didn't even continue to read his post because he clearly misread the original post.

Clearly they can't copyright logic. However, I'm saying that the technique that PS and TM use entails more than switching "some" with "some not". Perhaps logic cannot be trademarked. However, the techniques for teaching logic can be.

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby 3|ink » Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:28 pm

skip james wrote:
thank you thank you, you have no idea how frustrating I was finding this.

and 3link, I apologize for my last (childish) response. It was unacceptable of me to behave that way, despite my frustration.


I have no quarrels with the pitiful. I can hardly blame you for exhausting your wit.

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby Nikrall » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:02 pm

3|ink wrote:
Nikrall wrote:Actually it is pretty much switching logical opposites. All you do is negate the assumption and treat it as a weaken question. And its pretty clear he isn't a troll, he just finds it frustrating that someone who learned logic from LSAT books thinks that suddenly they know wtf they are talking about when discussing logic. As much as test-prep companies might try to copyright logic, they can't. And yes, he is correct, this shit is incredibly old and non-trademarkable. Also, here is a really, really obvious clue that the technique isn't trademarked. From your own quote:

I can't describe the technique on here without risking copyright infringement. However, if you've taken one of the above mentioned courses, I can tell you that it's the same for both under different names.


No it is not just switching logical opposites. Moreover, just because TM and PS share the strategy doesn't mean that it is how skip or you describe it. Additionally, just because the techniques have a similar outcome does not mean that they are similar in structure of technique.

It's pretty clear he is a troll by the way he got all flustered over a comment that clearly wasn't an insult or an attempt to imply that I have any knowledge of logic over him. The fact that you interpret it this way is evidence that you are a troll too. I didn't even continue to read his post because he clearly misread the original post.

Clearly they can't copyright logic. However, I'm saying that the technique that PS and TM use entails more than switching "some" with "some not". Perhaps logic cannot be trademarked. However, the techniques for teaching logic can be.


Yes, actually it is. I teach the damn shit, I know what I am talking about.

Nobody claimed that because PS and TM share the same strategy that means that its how I described it. Nice strawman. All it means is that its not copyrighted since they are the same damn thing. Duh.

They are similar in structure and technique. You didn't says similar outcomes, you said technique several times in that paragraph without ever saying outcome. And now you want to claim you were talking about outcomes? Bullshit.

Are you new to the internet? Trolls usually don't get "flustered". They usually talk shit, are confident, arrogant, and are just engaging in general bullshittery just to fuck with people. He found your comment ignorant and short-sighted which, frankly, it was. Thats not the sign of a troll, its the sign of someone who actually knows what they are talking about when it comes to logic, speaking to someone who clearly doesn't.

The techniques for teaching a LSAT question can't be trademarked when the technique is little more than logic. This is what he was saying, and should be fairly obvious.

Also: He offered you an olive branch with the apology. Classy throwing it back in his face like that.

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby 3|ink » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:32 pm

Nikrall wrote:Yes, actually it is. I teach the damn shit, I know what I am talking about.


You teach for TM or PS? If TM, please explain the technique since it isn't protected.

Nikrall wrote:Nobody claimed that because PS and TM share the same strategy that means that its how I described it. Nice strawman.


If it were a strawman I would have stopped there and declared victory. It seemed that you were implying this point though it was never spoken. However, since I didn't stop there, lets read the rest of what I said.

3link wrote:Additionally, just because the techniques have a similar outcome does not mean that they are similar in structure of technique.


Now lets get to your 'brillaint' retort.

Nikrall wrote:They are similar in structure and technique.


Nice argument. Where are your premises? Appealing to yourself as an authority? Unfortunately, I can't explain why they are different in structure because you've yet to convince me that this material is not protected. I'd rather not rely on your circular reasoning.

Nikrall wrote:You didn't says similar outcomes, you said technique several times in that paragraph without ever saying outcome. And now you want to claim you were talking about outcomes? Bullshit.


The result is the same. However, TM's technique is a bit more comprehensive. I think I can say that much without fear. There's something that TM's technique has that PS's doesn't. It's more like training wheels for those who are learning the basics. PS just jumped right into conversions without this.

Nikrall wrote:Are you new to the internet? Trolls usually don't get "flustered". They usually talk shit, are confident, arrogant, and are just engaging in general bullshittery just to fuck with people. He found your comment ignorant and short-sighted which, frankly, it was. Thats not the sign of a troll, its the sign of someone who actually knows what they are talking about when it comes to logic, speaking to someone who clearly doesn't.


Modus Tollens =/= negation is a statement ignorance?

I didn't read his post and made a quick response. Clearly, I simply saw "Aristotle" and assumed he was speaking of the Greeks in general regarding methods of reasoning. My knowledge of the development of logic is not extensive, but I know very little. He responded angrily on the grounds that I failed to read his post. It doesn't seem like he read my post extensively either. Perhaps I don't know what a troll is, but I know what a hypocrite is.

Nikrall wrote:The techniques for teaching a LSAT question can't be trademarked when the technique is little more than logic. This is what he was saying, and should be fairly obvious.


Now you're deciding what constitutes "little more" than logic? So you serve as a federal judge while you're not teaching the LSAT?

Nikrall wrote:Also: He offered you an olive branch with the apology. Classy throwing it back in his face like that.


As he should have apologized. I have no reason to apologize. I'm not the one who got carried away over what he percieved to be a slap in the face.

BTW: I don't presume to know all of the history of the development of logic simply because I took an LSAT course and to infer otherwise based on my postings would be hilarious.

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Re: Negation Technique for Assumption Questions

Postby Nikrall » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:49 pm

skip james wrote:
3|ink wrote:
skip james wrote:
3|ink wrote:Anyway, there's more to their technique than switching "some" with "some not" and the like, so I suggest you look into their techniques before commenting on them. Or you can read my original post that states "for those familiar with the technique".


And here you go switching your argument. The concept of a negation is precisely the same. Two statements which cannot simultaneously hold the same truth value. Logic hasn't changed much in 2000 years, contrary to what prep test companies will tell you. Russell and Frege are legitimate sources of changes to logic, but that's hardly LSAT test-worthy.


Switching my argument? Modus Tollens =/= Negation is a statement of fact. If you're arguing against that, maybe you need to look into another profession. Naturally, I'm not going to read your post if you didn't bother to read my original post.

There's more to the technique than you describe. It's not just switching logical opposites. Be gone, troll.


wow you're dumb.




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