lsatisevil wrote:A “principle that supports the reasoning” will show why it is permissible to reach such a conclusion from the kind of evidence provided. The author concludes that the publisher was not acting unethically, even though the publisher made a false claim. Normally, we tend to think that publishing false claims is unethical, so what else is going on? The only other fact that we’re told is that while the claim is false, everyone knows that it is false. The implication is that while deception may be unethical, there’s nothing wrong with making a false claim that is obviously false. So if (A) is a governing principle, and making a false claim is unethical only if it is reasonable to accept the claim as true, then the publisher is off the hook, since it can’t be reasonable to believe something that is obviously false.
Here's the rest of it. Good luck.
"Incidentally, you may well have disagreed with the author as to whether the claim really was false. After all, the author didn’t promise to make everyone exceptionally successful, the promise was only to readers. But that doesn’t matter to the structure of the argument, or the principle that would support the author’s reasoning.
(B), if anything, would undermine the reasoning in the stimulus, since the publisher presumably had something to gain by making the false claim. But in any case, no one accepts this claim, so the publisher isn’t in any position to gain anything from this crowd.
(C) There’s no mention of the degree of hardship suffered by anyone, so that question isn’t relevant to the author’s reasoning. Also, as in (B), no one accepts this claim, so no one suffers a hardship by virtue of accepting the claim.
(D) Even if the phrase “everyone knows” is taken extremely literally, (D) might not support the argument, because it’s at least possible that people act contrary to the knowledge they have. As applied here, it’s possible that some people act as if the claim is true, even though they know in their heart of hearts that the claim is false.
(E) sets minimum standards for ethical behavior, so (E) couldn’t support the author’s conclusion that the publisher’s actions were OK. Further, since the claim is “obviously” false, this isn’t a case where discovering that something is false requires one to act as if it is true. So (E) doesn’t apply here.
• “Principles that support” questions work somewhat like “strengthen the argument” questions: Identify the evidence and the conclusion, and look to fill in the gap. In a “principle that supports” question, you’ll look for an abstract rule that implies that it’s OK to draw that kind of conclusion from that kind of evidence."