PT #31, Section 3, #18 (Confused--need help!)

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Mr.Binks
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PT #31, Section 3, #18 (Confused--need help!)

Postby Mr.Binks » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:22 pm

Evening mates,

I am hoping someone can shed some light on the following question:

18. It is impossible to do science without measuring. It is impossible to measure without having first selected units of measurement. Hence, science is arbitrary, since the selection of a unit of measurement--kilometer, mile, fathom, etc.--is always arbitrary

The pattern of reasoning in which one of the following is most similar to that in the argument above?

The correct answer:
A) Long hours of practice are necessary for developing musical skill. One must develop one's musical skill in order to perform difficult music. But long hours of practice are tedious. So performing difficult music is tedious.

I diagrammed them out, and unless I am doing it wrong (which is probable), the diagrams don't work out to use the same method of reasoning.

Thanks all!

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clouds101
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Re: PT #31, Section 3, #18 (Confused--need help!)

Postby clouds101 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:36 pm

Mr.Binks wrote:Evening mates,

I am hoping someone can shed some light on the following question:

18. It is impossible to do science without measuring. It is impossible to measure without having first selected units of measurement. Hence, science is arbitrary, since the selection of a unit of measurement--kilometer, mile, fathom, etc.--is always arbitrary

The pattern of reasoning in which one of the following is most similar to that in the argument above?

The correct answer:
A) Long hours of practice are necessary for developing musical skill. One must develop one's musical skill in order to perform difficult music. But long hours of practice are tedious. So performing difficult music is tedious.

I diagrammed them out, and unless I am doing it wrong (which is probable), the diagrams don't work out to use the same method of reasoning.

Thanks all!



It is impossible to do science without measuring. It is impossible to measure without having first selected units of measurement. Hence, science is arbitrary, since the selection of a unit of measurement--kilometer, mile, fathom, etc.--is always arbitrary

Premise: Do Science --> Measure --> Select Unit of Measurement --> Arbitrary
Conclusion: Science --> Arbitrary
aka A --> B --> C --> D; therefore, A--> D

Long hours of practice are necessary for developing musical skill. One must develop one's musical skill in order to perform difficult music. But long hours of practice are tedious. So performing difficult music is tedious.

Premise: Perform difficult music --> Develop musical skill --> Long hours of practice --> Tedious
Conclusion: Perform difficult music --> Tedious
aka A --> B --> C --> D; therefore, A --> D

ksmiller83
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Re: PT #31, Section 3, #18 (Confused--need help!)

Postby ksmiller83 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:39 pm

Try reading it like this, and then diagramming; If you do science, you must measure. If you measure, you select units. If you select units, they are arbitrary. Hence, science is arbitrary.

Difficult music requires musical skill. Musical skill requires long hours. Long hours are always tedious. Thus, difficult music is tedious.

This is just a paraphrase of the argument into a more diagram friendly set up.

It should look like: science > measure > select units > arbitrary, SO: science > arbitrary

difficult music > musical skill > long hours > tedious SO: difficult music > tedious

Hopefully that helps...

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suspicious android
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Re: PT #31, Section 3, #18 (Confused--need help!)

Postby suspicious android » Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:23 pm

A hint on how to do parallel reasoning questions more quickly: If the argument in the stimulus is flawed (as this one is), the correct answer must have the same flaw. If you can describe why this argument is bad, that description will fit the correct response.

So, why is the stimulus flawed? Well, it attempts to make a transitive chain like the above posters noted. But it doesn't do so in a valid way, because there is a difference between being arbitrary and having done something that is arbitrary.

Stimulus:
do science --> measure things --> select units --> do something arbitrary.
Therefore: do science --> be arbitrary

But science isn't arbitrary, even according to this argument. One component of the actions that are necessary for science requires an arbitrary act, but that doesn't mean science as a whole has that same property. A valid conclusion would have been "To do science, you must do something arbitrary." Similarly with the credited response:

perform music --> develop skill --> practice music --> do something tedious
Therefore: perform music --> be tedious

Performing difficult music isn't tedious, it's awesome. A valid conclusion would have been "To perform difficult music, you must do something tedious.

Always be on the lookout for why an argument isn't quite valid, it makes short work of parallel reasoning questions (most of which are flawed). Also very helpful on strengthen, weaken, assumption questions. I think it's the most underrated skill for doing well on the LSAT.

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Mr.Binks
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Re: PT #31, Section 3, #18 (Confused--need help!)

Postby Mr.Binks » Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:33 am

Now that you all put it that way, it helps a ton!

Thanks guys!




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