PT43 S2 #18

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PT43 S2 #18

Postby theaether » Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:41 am

The conclusion is that health ed is propaganda

The premises are
P-->~E (prop. is not education)
P-->RSS (P is nothing but a repetition of simple slogans)
E-->~RSS (education never involves such a method)

The credited response is

How does this let us go to the conclusion H-->P?
Is there some kind of wording for "P is 'nothing but' a repetition of simple slogans" that actually means RSS-->P?

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Postby EarlCat » Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:01 pm

theaether wrote:Is there some kind of wording for "P is 'nothing but' a repetition of simple slogans" that actually means RSS-->P?

Not inherently, but the requirement that we end up at one answer choice dictates it. It's really kinda messy.

Standard sufficient assumption questions have a conclusion that uses one element from the premise but introduces another element that is not part of the premise. In this case "Health Education" is the new piece, and they conclude that health education is propaganda. (H --> P).

The way these tend to work is that another element in the premise is sufficient for P, and the assumption is that H is sufficient for that thing. So if X --> P, then the assumption H --> X is the sufficient assumption yielding H --> X --> P.

So there must be a premise that is X --> P, whatever X is.

The language here, as you noticed, is ambiguous. We are first told that propaganda and education are never the same thing (P --> ~E and E --> ~P), but we're not told whether something must be one or the other. Thus, it's unclear whether ~E --> P. BUT if ~E --> P is true, then we have found a missing piece. Set that aside for a moment.

We're also told that propaganda is "nothing but an attempt to influence behavior through repetition of simplistic slogans." So we know P --> RSS and ~RSS --> ~P, but, as before, we're left guessing whether the inverse (RSS --> P) is true. If RSS --> P is true, then we have found another missing piece. Set that aside as well.

Then we have a bunch of information about education.
Education also attempts to influence behavior (so does propaganda, so who cares?).
Education is less successful than propaganda. (Whoopie.)
Education "offers information in all it's complexity." (E --> OIC, ~OIC --> ~E)
Education "leave[s] it up to the individual to decide how to act . . . ." (E --> ID, ~ID --> ~E)

Ok. Of those two possible conditionals I set aside earlier, we MUST choose at least one of them. Without an X --> P we simply cannot answer the question. So our options are to choose one, choose the other, or choose both.

Let's start by choosing ~E --> P. (Granted, the idea that everything is either E or P is silly in the real world, but we are in LSAT Land where common sense does not always apply, so let's see if this works logically).

Answer choice A says H --> ~ID. Combining that with our premises we get H --> ~ID --> ~E --> P. That works. :)
Answer choice B says H --> ~OIC. That gives us H --> ~OIC --> ~E --> P. That also works. :?

Since we can't have two right answers, we must discard our belief that ~E --> P. That means we are forced to accept that RSS --> P, even though it wasn't made clear in the stimulus.

Now neither A and B work, both of them ending at ~E, and we are left without a connection to P.
Answer choice C says H --> ~RSS. That gives us H --> ~RSS --> ~P. No good since we're supposed to get to P.
Answer choice D says H --> RSS. That gives us H --> RSS --> P. This works. :D
Answer choice E says H is very successful. That's a reference to the last sentence, but "very" successful doesn't say anything about being more or less successful than education, and thus says even less about whether H is propaganda. This is your basic red herring answer and can easily be eliminated.

Accepting as a premise RSS --> P is the only way to get exactly one answer. Therefore we must accept it and choose D.


Posts: 163
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:17 am

Re: PT43 S2 #18

Postby theaether » Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:53 am

The analysis makes sense. Gross question though. Thanks for that

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