## Preptest 48 Section 4 #8. Is this answer really sufficient?

Prepare for the LSAT or discuss it with others in this forum.
timmydoeslsat

Posts: 148
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:07 pm

### Preptest 48 Section 4 #8. Is this answer really sufficient?

The conclusion of the argument is that the stamp is probably highly valuable.

The evidence is:

It exhibits a printing error.

The most important factors are, assuming its in good condition, rarity and age.

We know the stamp is in good condition and it is old.

So answer choice B ties in the idea of printing errors being rare.

However, even if we know that this stamp meets all of those most important factors, is that sufficient support to validly infer that this stamp is probably highly valuable?

I ask this due to the question stem provided, that is, one calling for an assumption that guarantees the truth of the conclusion.

My question is simple: Just because the most important factors have been met and are favorable to this stamp, could it not be the case that there is a laundry list of 30 other factors that would make this stamp be one ~likely to be highly valuable. Must it be true that to meet the most important factors will necessarily mean that something probably will happen.

To me, it does not. This is designed to be a discussion regarding whether the truth is truly guaranteed by the evidence and this assumption. It is not designed to hear about over-analyzing a problem. It either is or is not sufficient evidence to guarantee the conclusion.

princeR

Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:10 pm

### Re: Preptest 48 Section 4 #8. Is this answer really sufficient?

timmydoeslsat wrote:The conclusion of the argument is that the stamp is probably highly valuable.

The evidence is:

It exhibits a printing error.

The most important factors are, assuming its in good condition, rarity and age.

We know the stamp is in good condition and it is old.

So answer choice B ties in the idea of printing errors being rare.

However, even if we know that this stamp meets all of those most important factors, is that sufficient support to validly infer that this stamp is probably highly valuable?

I ask this due to the question stem provided, that is, one calling for an assumption that guarantees the truth of the conclusion.

My question is simple: Just because the most important factors have been met and are favorable to this stamp, could it not be the case that there is a laundry list of 30 other factors that would make this stamp be one ~likely to be highly valuable. Must it be true that to meet the most important factors will necessarily mean that something probably will happen.

To me, it does not. This is designed to be a discussion regarding whether the truth is truly guaranteed by the evidence and this assumption. It is not designed to hear about over-analyzing a problem. It either is or is not sufficient evidence to guarantee the conclusion.

The conclusion is that it is "probably of high value". The most important factors have been met, so yes, we can conclude that because we have met the most important factors it is PROBABLY of high value.

I think I know what you are thinking, that would need an answer that is something along the lines of "If we know the age, rarity, and quality than we can know if it is highly valuable". But that would only be the answer if it knew all of the factors had been met.

timmydoeslsat

Posts: 148
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:07 pm

### Re: Preptest 48 Section 4 #8. Is this answer really sufficient?

princeR wrote:
The conclusion is that it is "probably of high value". The most important factors have been met, so yes, we can conclude that because we have met the most important factors it is PROBABLY of high value.

But what if this hypothetical example were true:

Factors in determining stamps value

Good Condition: 11%
Rarity: 11%
Age: 11%
......
Then I list 77 other factors each consisting of 1% as a factor in determining stamps value

While it is true that I have met the most important factors: Good condition, Rarity, and Age, that still only accounts for 33% of all factors even while being the most important factors. Let us say, for continuation of this hypothetical, that the other 77 factors of 1% each were all negative against this stamp. Factors such content, location, etc. All of these 77 factors run against this stamp. How are you able to construe this stamp being probably of high value when you have a 77-33 situation.

timmydoeslsat

Posts: 148
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:07 pm

### Re: Preptest 48 Section 4 #8. Is this answer really sufficient?

So with all of this being said, it seems that we are still unable to 100% guarantee the truth of this conclusion even with these premises and given assumption.

princeR

Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:10 pm

### Re: Preptest 48 Section 4 #8. Is this answer really sufficient?

I edited my post. I totally understand where you are coming from. As far as LSAT goes, I believe there could only be two interpretations of this sort of question. It could be:

1. (The way it currently is). We have certain elements we need to ensure a conclusion. We have met some so we need our answer to be the remaining elements.

2. We have met all of our elements and we need to know that these are the only things that matter in determining our conclusion.

If these 3 elements are the "most important" we can probably assume that their value taken together would be over 50% in considering the value of the stamp. Thus, since we have met all 3, we can probably assume it is of high value.

timmydoeslsat

Posts: 148
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:07 pm

### Re: Preptest 48 Section 4 #8. Is this answer really sufficient?

I, obviously, believe you are correct in that analysis. My problem is that we are not given these ideas. As the argument stands now, with the active hypothetical I posted, there seems to not be an entailed conclusion.

The idea that the most important factors have been met means nothing. Those values may have all been 2% while the others were all 1%, in which case you could have a 94-6 percentage gap in favor of factors not being met by this stamp.

princeR

Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:10 pm

### Re: Preptest 48 Section 4 #8. Is this answer really sufficient?

This definitely is not an airtight logical argument. However, given that the conclusion is simply "probably" of high value and we have met the requirements, I think it does in fact work.

I would have liked it better if it stipulated that these were the only things required in order to determine the value of the stamp. Again, given that it isn't a for sure thing that the stamp is of high quality, it is enough to reach the conclusion that it is probably of high value.

timmydoeslsat

Posts: 148
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:07 pm

### Re: Preptest 48 Section 4 #8. Is this answer really sufficient?

princeR wrote:This definitely is not an airtight logical argument. However, given that the conclusion is simply "probably" of high value and we have met the requirements, I think it does in fact work.

I would have liked it better if it stipulated that these were the only things required in order to determine the value of the stamp. Again, given that it isn't a for sure thing that the stamp is of high quality, it is enough to reach the conclusion that it is probably of high value.

If it is not an airtight logical argument, then the answer choice selected cannot be said to guarantee the conclusion, which is of course what I believe.

It is not true that simply because we have met the most important factors in determining value that we, in fact, probably have a highly valuable stamp.

This is due the hypotheticals that can still currently survive from the evidence given to counter the conclusion. These hypotheticals show that is in fact possible for it to not be a situation of probably, since it is true that it could be outweighed by other factors.

Again, if this is not an airtight argument - as you state, then we do not have a correct answer associated with this argument.

princeR

Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:10 pm

### Re: Preptest 48 Section 4 #8. Is this answer really sufficient?

I could be wrong, it could in fact be a sound logical argument, however, as I previously stated, I don't like how it's constructed now that I am really looking at it. I think the thing to keep in mind is that we can only stipulate what the evidence tells us. All we know is that these are the most important, which should seemingly mean gives us better than a 50% chance of knowing, if this stamp is of high value. Again, because of the word probably in the conclusion I think we can't look into this too much. We aren't getting any sort of guarantee, we are more or less just having the best odds of showing that something is likely.

I think it works.

timmydoeslsat

Posts: 148
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:07 pm

### Re: Preptest 48 Section 4 #8. Is this answer really sufficient?

The conclusion is that we have at least a 50% chance of being highly valuable.

I do not believe that meeting the most important factors necessarily gives us the ability to state this conclusion.

That simply means that these factors have more importance than others. We could have these 3 variables be at 11% importance, while a laundry list of items (77 of them) can all be against it being highly valuable.

Clearly

Posts: 4163
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:09 pm

### Re: Preptest 48 Section 4 #8. Is this answer really sufficient?

The probably is what makes it valid. More importantly, if this is a correct answer, I'm willing to bet the other answers have something that makes them less valid.

timmydoeslsat

Posts: 148
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:07 pm

### Re: Preptest 48 Section 4 #8. Is this answer really sufficient?

To me, talking about other answer choices to a sufficient assumption question stem is non-starter. This is not a most strongly supported stem or asking which one most helps to justify. This is asking what proves the conclusion will follow.

You say that the "probably" is what makes this valid. I would like for you to comment on the hypotheticals i have made in prior posts. If you disagree with any part of the hypothetical, tell me what it is that can be seen as inconsistent with the stimulus. If you do not disagree with my hypotheticals, you cannot state that you agree that answer choice B is truly a sufficient assumption.