LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

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Easy-E
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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Easy-E » Mon May 14, 2012 1:58 pm

Do you guys have any method of attack for those "complete and accurate list" questions which ask what are all the possible places one can go. Good example is game 3 on PT54 (Layer cake), question 15. This is how I tend to go at them first I go through and cross off all the options that are included in all answers, then I check previous work and the rules to eliminate any options (something works in one previous, eliminate all answers that don't include it). In the case of the layer cake, I still had a lot of information to check. What do you guys think is the best method of attack on these ones?

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timmydoeslsat
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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby timmydoeslsat » Mon May 14, 2012 2:36 pm

emarxnj wrote:Do you guys have any method of attack for those "complete and accurate list" questions which ask what are all the possible places one can go. Good example is game 3 on PT54 (Layer cake), question 15. This is how I tend to go at them first I go through and cross off all the options that are included in all answers, then I check previous work and the rules to eliminate any options (something works in one previous, eliminate all answers that don't include it). In the case of the layer cake, I still had a lot of information to check. What do you guys think is the best method of attack on these ones?

If strawberry is not the top layer, we should consider which variable could be at the top. It is either R or V.

If R is the top layer, we know that we still have the S - O - ML sequence to place, yet R cannot be next to S, so V must be the next layer after R. We then have the SOML follow.

If V is the top layer, we have R and the S - O - ML sequence to place. We know that R could not be right after V because then S would be forced to be next to R. So we must place the S next to the V. We must also then place the O after the S because it is either O or R to fill that spot, and R cannot be next to S. We then have R and the ML block to place, in which we can have the R come before or after that block.

So the answer is that the V must be either fifth or sixth.

If you did not see that only two possible options are possible for the top spot, we can do it another way. I would attempt to make problems with V's placement.

If V were to go 2nd, we would then have the SOML sequence force itself above the V, this would make S the top layer, so this situation is not possible. Get rid of A and B.

I now have:

C 3,4,5,6
D 4,5,6
E 5,6

I would test the 3 next. If it works, we have our answer. If it does not, we are down to D and E and we will test D's 4.

If we place V into 3 the ML block either goes above it or below it, it does not have enough room to go above it to accommodate its sequencing rules, so it must go below it in the last two slots. We now have three slots left to fill where we cannot have S at the top and a S-O sequence with R. We must have R at the top and S next to it, which is no good.

We are down to D and E, so we will test V at 4.

It is not prudent to ask where ML can go in this scenario but rather where can the S-O-ML sequence begin. S cannot be at the top due to the condition. S cannot be in 3, 2, or 1 due to its sequencing rules, so S must be 5th. This then forces OML in the 3-2-1 spots, and R is at the top slot next to S, which is not good.

E is the answer.

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Easy-E » Mon May 14, 2012 2:59 pm

I was a bit confused at first since I went bottom to top, but this was very helpful timmy, thank you very much.

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Jeffort » Mon May 14, 2012 3:20 pm

timmydoeslsat wrote:Here is my point, although it is true that the conclusion could be true without the W ---> ~B link, that does not make this link unnecessary to the argument (evidence + conclusion).

The evidence of a conditional (A ---> B) and the occurrence of a variable (W).

For an arguer to conclude ~A, it is necessary to the argument that W lead to ~B. As you stated Jeffort, a negated version of the assumption would lead to a conclusion not being able to follow or evidence that has been entered to be irrelevant. Not having the W ---> ~B link would make the evidence irrelevant would it not?

I do not intend to "litter" any thread on this forum, a forum in which I help others and in turn others help me. I am having a serious problem seeing this issue clearly and it was not addressed in a respectable fashion.

I would appreciate your take on this Jeffort or any other instructors' take. I understand that this is not a commonly tested topic on the LSAT, but it is still relevant and I would appreciate help.


In order for it to be useful for LSAT prep purposes and for others that read the threads, can you give references (PT#, Section # and Q#) to some questions where you are finding this issue to be a problem for answering LSAT questions correctly? Otherwise it is mainly an abstract discussion with little utility value to furthering the ultimate goal of achieving a high LSAT score.

The basic syllogisms without full argument and answer choice context are not very helpful to further this discussion in a productive way beyond what others and myself have already posted in response to your repeated questions about the same thing.

You seem to be stuck wanting to just focus on very technical deductive reasoning logic issues with naked syllogisms not based in any subject matter with questions that are largely about deeper technical issues of logical concepts that are not super important or relevant to learning how to perform well on the LSAT without providing further context to make the discussion any more meaningful and useful.

With necessary assumption questions, you find the answer choice that, when properly negated, substantially undermines or destroys the argument, you select that answer choice and move on.

I don't get what it is you are trying to figure out with this topic you keep asking about. If your line of inquiry is meant to improve your performance on the LSAT, you are going in the wrong direction by hyper focusing on this issue out of context and not using your prep/study time efficiently.

PS: Again, your avatar is super creepy and probably something that scares children in ways they'll remember for the rest of their lives. Please change it. I waited to post answers to your questions because I could not stand to look at the screen with that head looking at me.

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Paraflam » Mon May 14, 2012 3:44 pm

Jeffort wrote:
timmydoeslsat wrote:Here is my point, although it is true that the conclusion could be true without the W ---> ~B link, that does not make this link unnecessary to the argument (evidence + conclusion).

The evidence of a conditional (A ---> B) and the occurrence of a variable (W).

For an arguer to conclude ~A, it is necessary to the argument that W lead to ~B. As you stated Jeffort, a negated version of the assumption would lead to a conclusion not being able to follow or evidence that has been entered to be irrelevant. Not having the W ---> ~B link would make the evidence irrelevant would it not?

I do not intend to "litter" any thread on this forum, a forum in which I help others and in turn others help me. I am having a serious problem seeing this issue clearly and it was not addressed in a respectable fashion.

I would appreciate your take on this Jeffort or any other instructors' take. I understand that this is not a commonly tested topic on the LSAT, but it is still relevant and I would appreciate help.


TAKE A PT.

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby thestalkmore » Mon May 14, 2012 3:48 pm

Jeffort wrote:
timmydoeslsat wrote:Here is my point, although it is true that the conclusion could be true without the W ---> ~B link, that does not make this link unnecessary to the argument (evidence + conclusion).

The evidence of a conditional (A ---> B) and the occurrence of a variable (W).

For an arguer to conclude ~A, it is necessary to the argument that W lead to ~B. As you stated Jeffort, a negated version of the assumption would lead to a conclusion not being able to follow or evidence that has been entered to be irrelevant. Not having the W ---> ~B link would make the evidence irrelevant would it not?

I do not intend to "litter" any thread on this forum, a forum in which I help others and in turn others help me. I am having a serious problem seeing this issue clearly and it was not addressed in a respectable fashion.

I would appreciate your take on this Jeffort or any other instructors' take. I understand that this is not a commonly tested topic on the LSAT, but it is still relevant and I would appreciate help.


In order for it to be useful for LSAT prep purposes and for others that read the threads, can you give references (PT#, Section # and Q#) to some questions where you are finding this issue to be a problem for answering LSAT questions correctly? Otherwise it is mainly an abstract discussion with little utility value to furthering the ultimate goal of achieving a high LSAT score.

The basic syllogisms without full argument and answer choice context are not very helpful to further this discussion in a productive way beyond what others and myself have already posted in response to your repeated questions about the same thing.

You seem to be stuck wanting to just focus on very technical deductive reasoning logic issues with naked syllogisms not based in any subject matter with questions that are largely about deeper technical issues of logical concepts that are not super important or relevant to learning how to perform well on the LSAT without providing further context to make the discussion any more meaningful and useful.

With necessary assumption questions, you find the answer choice that, when properly negated, substantially undermines or destroys the argument, you select that answer choice and move on.

I don't get what it is you are trying to figure out with this topic you keep asking about. If your line of inquiry is meant to improve your performance on the LSAT, you are going in the wrong direction by hyper focusing on this issue out of context and not using your prep/study time efficiently.



Perfectly stated.

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby timmydoeslsat » Mon May 14, 2012 4:39 pm

Jeffort wrote:In order for it to be useful for LSAT prep purposes and for others that read the threads, can you give references (PT#, Section # and Q#) to some questions where you are finding this issue to be a problem for answering LSAT questions correctly?

PT 45-1-3 is an example I quickly found.

We are basically told that:

L, a shipping supervisor, cannot do the assignment.
F, a shipping supervisor, cannot do the assignment.
________________________
P, the only other shipping supervisor, must do the assignment

Of course answer choice B is necessary to this argument. For us to conclude that P must do the assigment based on the evidence given, we must assume that the task cannot be assigned to someone not a shipping supervisor.

This is my point, that based on the evidence provided, that assumption is sufficient of course, but it is also necessary.

People in this thread and others seemingly would have you believe it is not necessary, because I could introduce 2 more premises into the argument, such as if your name begins with a P, then you must do the assignment, and we do have a person with the a name beginning with P.

While that would make the conclusion follow, it makes the argument as previously established irrelevant to establishing that conclusion. For the argument as existing requires that assumption.

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby bp shinners » Tue May 15, 2012 12:38 am

timmydoeslsat wrote:People in this thread and others seemingly would have you believe it is not necessary, because I could introduce 2 more premises into the argument, such as if your name begins with a P, then you must do the assignment, and we do have a person with the a name beginning with P.


It's necessary for the argument in that question, but it's not necessary for the conclusion. That's the difference that the LSAT focuses on.

What do I mean by that?

You're exactly right - I can get to the conclusion that P is doing the task with other premises. So only a supervisor being available to do the task isn't necessary to the conclusion.

However, it is necessary to the argument, as the LSAT understands it. The LSAT treats an argument as the premises and conclusion(s) on the page. It will sometimes supplement the argument with answer choices, but you're still dealing with the premises and conclusion as written. As such, for the argument I'm given, I need to assume that only supervisors can perform the task, because my argument's premises absolutely need that to be true in order for me to be able to draw my conclusion with them. If I had other premises, I wouldn't need it. I don't have other premises, though, and any answer that would do an end-run around that assumption is going to just form a new argument, and not the one the LSAT is asking me to deal with.

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby timmydoeslsat » Tue May 15, 2012 12:40 am

What you said = my thoughts exactly.

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby outlookingin » Tue May 15, 2012 4:00 am

Hey Experts,

I have a somewhat general question. I've got PT 52 S1 Q7 here, and it seems ridiculously easy. It tells us that the rate of water flow through pipes is affected by inductance, and that electricity going through wires works in much the same way.

HOWEVER, I'm a dork and, between (A) and (E), chose answer choice (E). It states "When a water pump is switched off, the water continues to flow for a moment." This is clearly more than can be derived from the stimulus, BUT FOR SOME REASON (and here is where my question comes in) I still found (E) attractive because I felt that (A) was playing mind tricks on me with either causality or the word "rate." Sort of like seeing monsters under the bed.

So this sucks.

My question: do you operate under the assumption that, in any given section of LR that we are likely to see in the near future (June, for me), that the test makers will NOT pull any kind of "fast moves" on questions before, say, #10? Or even #15? I mean at what point do you switch gears and say "OK, everything is suspect. Take nothing for granted. Question everything." I feel like that's my mode of thought anywhere above #15, but (as evidenced by my flub above) I'm having trouble knowing where that is not necessary. I mean, I just wasted valuable brain power over-thinking (and then ultimately getting wrong) a rookie question!

Hope that makes sense. Please advise!

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Tue May 15, 2012 11:26 am

outlookingin wrote:My question: do you operate under the assumption that, in any given section of LR that we are likely to see in the near future (June, for me), that the test makers will NOT pull any kind of "fast moves" on questions before, say, #10? Or even #15? I mean at what point do you switch gears and say "OK, everything is suspect. Take nothing for granted. Question everything." I feel like that's my mode of thought anywhere above #15, but (as evidenced by my flub above) I'm having trouble knowing where that is not necessary. I mean, I just wasted valuable brain power over-thinking (and then ultimately getting wrong) a rookie question!

Hope that makes sense. Please advise!

First off, one careless mistake does not make a pattern--I wouldn't sweat it too much.

While the level of difficulty obviously increases--and we all know that there can be a difficulty pop around #8-10--it's not really possible to give a blanket answer to this because 1) this almost entirely depends on your ability and particular strengths and weaknesses, and 2) there can be aberrations.

I'd forget trying to figure out what the "actual" difficulty movement is, and simply try out different "attitudes" early in the test -- and these are very closely tied to timing issues -- and see how you perform. You have enough time to try a few (you can do 3 single sections for this) decide what's most successful, and then practice that approach on a bunch of full PTs.

I hope that helps - good luck.

I'm a big fan of starring problems and coming back to them to keep me moving along.

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby MLBrandow » Tue May 15, 2012 11:51 am

52.3.19

"so many" as is used in the stimulus is logically equivalent to "many." Is that true? Is it true in general on the LSAT?

Is that why (A), not seeming to be a viable weakener is in this case?


(A) weakens appropriately in this case because it could have the same logical force as "so many" in the stimulus?

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby timmydoeslsat » Tue May 15, 2012 12:26 pm

I will give my two cents before an expert answers your question.

The stimulus tells us that the drug theory receives its strongest support from these fossils.

The argument is positing that these drugs caused these fossils to be found in contorted positions.

So this answer choice does two things for us.

1) It weakens the idea of the drugs causing the contorted positioning of the fossils. We are all but told explicitly that mammals would not really have trouble encountering these drugs like the dinos would due to mammals having livers that detoxify the drugs.

2) This weakens the idea of the strongest supporting evidence.

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Tue May 15, 2012 4:16 pm

MLBrandow wrote:52.3.19

"so many" as is used in the stimulus is logically equivalent to "many." Is that true? Is it true in general on the LSAT?

Is that why (A), not seeming to be a viable weakener is in this case?


(A) weakens appropriately in this case because it could have the same logical force as "so many" in the stimulus?

Usually people are wondering about "many" vis-a-vis some and most questions. With those, it's pretty unclear what the word means. It does mean more than 1, but it doesn't have to mean more than 50%.

In this question, I think the most important issue to consider is that B-E suck. So, (A) would most undermine. Is it the strongest weakener possible? No - and the reason you've noticed did cause me pause on my first pass. Maybe it's just 12 large mammals, and they are contorted for some other reason. But, this brings in some other reason, so it does weaken. Even if the many contorted mammals is significantly fewer than the many dinosaurs, it calls into question the cause (since mammals can process the poison, so there's some other cause).

(I like this question because my son is getting into dinosaurs in a big way. He has a stuffed dragon, which he calls a dinosaur. Very reasonable categorizing!)

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.

Postby VasaVasori » Tue May 15, 2012 6:02 pm

.
Last edited by VasaVasori on Sat May 02, 2015 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby thestalkmore » Tue May 15, 2012 6:16 pm

VasaVasori wrote:Hi experts! Thank you for this incredibly helpful thread. Can anyone explain #25 on section 4 of PT48 please? I selected A and still don't get why B does anything to threaten the argument, or how A doesn't.


This question is tricky because it's easy to overlook the fact that the study concerns 60 psychological problems, not 60 people.

To make it easier, imagine this:
-1000 people are involved in the study
-Only 1 person each has problems #1-59. The reamining 941 have problem #60.
-If the 45 (75%) conditions that improved within 50 weeks didn't include #60 (941 people), most people DIDN'T actually see their condition wane within 50 weeks of treatment, which cripples the conclusion. (B) Describes this possibility.

In regards to (A), the study doesn't take that for granted. It responds to the data it has. In addition, nothing provided by the data suggests that the remaining conditions that didn't wane within 50 weeks took "SIGNIFICANTLY" longer to improve. Maybe they required 51 weeks, maybe the patients were stuck with their conditions forever.

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby thestalkmore » Tue May 15, 2012 6:59 pm

I am not that guy at a party! I am withdrawing from this thread. Keep at it experts, and thanks for your service.

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Tue May 15, 2012 11:37 pm

VasaVasori wrote:Hi experts! Thank you for this incredibly helpful thread. Can anyone explain #25 on section 4 of PT48 please? I selected A and still don't get why B does anything to threaten the argument, or how A doesn't.

It's late, I'm tired, someone else explained this, so here's a lazy response:

My colleague wrote an explanation for this one on our forums - I hope it's helpful:

Always be wary of study-based arguments that utilize statistics. Making invalid inferences from percentages is a common logical error on the LSAT. The form this usually takes is incorrectly shifting either between actual numbers and percentages, or between percentages of one whole and a different sort of whole. Here, we see the latter: 75% of the 60 problems studied cleared up within 50 weeks of therapy. The author then concludes that MOST people will only need 50 weeks or therapy. If we read too quickly or too un-critically, it is easy to conflate 75% with “most.”

However, 75% refers to the number of problems studied. The conclusion refers to the percent of people being treated who will find that length of treatment adequate. Let’s assume that there were 1,000 people in the study. It is quite possible that the 75% , or 45, of the 60 problems that cleared up each only affected one person, for a total of 45 people (out of 1,000). While the remaining 25% (15) of the 60 problems that did NOT clear up within 50 weeks affected most of the people in the study (the remaining 955). Facing those numbers, it would be difficult to argue that 50 weeks of therapy is enough for MOST people!

Answer choice (B) is the crux of this argument-busting scenario – any one of the 60 problems (i.e. one that did not clear up within 50 weeks) might afflict most people.

(A) is wrong because of the word “no.” The argument says “most” problems will clear up within 50 weeks, not “all.” Even if there is a problem that is incurable with 50 years of therapy, it still may be true that 50 weeks is sufficient for most people.
(C) is incorrect though tempting. We have no evidence that it takes more than 50 weeks to treat multiple conditions simultaneously. If we were to accept that there is a problem that affects most people in the study, it would seem to be one that is cured within 50 weeks of therapy, since the majority of people were cured within that timeframe.
(D) is out of scope. So what if some therapies are not proven? The therapies cited in the argument worked within 50 weeks for 75% of the conditions studied.
(E) is incorrect because, if anything, this would seem to support the conclusion. If it takes 50 weeks or less to treat people with an extraordinary number of problems, it would seem reasonable that it would take 50 weeks or less to treat people with fewer problems.

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby humbugger » Wed May 16, 2012 2:24 am

outlookingin wrote:PT 52 S1 Q7


This question really grinds my gears. Reason being that the speed of electrons is unrelated to inductance. Furthermore, although logical support for "a second or two" isn't there, E is at least possible given physical law as it actually is, unlike A.

Ranting aside, arguing by analogy is a skill that is specifically mentioned in the intro to the preptest book, and I've noticed that its application can make certain questions easier to understand, especially some mystifying questions like 57.3.25 as well as some strengthen questions (don't have the example I'm thinking of, but the correct answer compares one animal to another).

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby timmydoeslsat » Wed May 16, 2012 6:00 pm

I wanted to bump this for MLBrandow and Jeffort.

I have another example of the LSAT using my framework as a necessary assumption for the argument.

57-3-12


Eff ---> Enf
~INT
_____________
~Eff

The necessary assumption is that ~INT ---> ~Enf

Again, that assumption is not necessary for the conclusion but it is necessary for the argument.

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Grond » Wed May 16, 2012 6:28 pm

timmydoeslsat wrote:I wanted to bump this for MLBrandow and Jeffort.

I have another example of the LSAT using my framework as a necessary assumption for the argument.

57-3-12


Eff ---> Enf
~INT
_____________
~Eff

The necessary assumption is that ~INT ---> ~Enf

Again, that assumption is not necessary for the conclusion but it is necessary for the argument.


Conclusion = argument.

hth

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby timmydoeslsat » Wed May 16, 2012 6:46 pm

Conclusion does not equal argument.

This question proves my point. That assumption is not necessary for the conclusion to live, but it is necessary for the argument to live as presented. As you can show that INT could lead to ~ Eff. That assumption would make our evidence irrelevant. Notice that the necessary assumption is INT leading to ~Enf. This is necessary for the argument, which is evidence and conclusion.

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby MLBrandow » Wed May 16, 2012 7:05 pm

timmydoeslsat,

In your breakdown of 57.3.12, you omit an entire premise:

P1) Effective Law ---> Effective Enforcement
P2) Police ---> Effective Enforcement
P3) Police
_____________
C) Effective Law

The link is established already because it's given as a premise.

But the Conclusion makes (what appears to be) a mistaken negation: If not police, then not effective enforcement (a negation of the second premise).

In order for this conclusion to hold, then police must be both sufficient and necessary for effective enforcement, which is exactly what (E) states.
Last edited by MLBrandow on Wed May 16, 2012 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby timmydoeslsat » Wed May 16, 2012 8:35 pm

You really have truly hurt my feelings. I do feel that I am a 170+ level test taker. I did score a 159 due to a spazzy(?) first section of games that I still do not understand what happened to my brain. I simply could not move on from that second game. I missed more than 13 questions due to that in the games section, perhaps my strongest section of all things. I certainly believe it affected me in the subsequent sections too, but I still performed at a 170 level on those sections. It happens. I will not let it happen in June.

I will, if it is wanted, cease posting on this concept I am posting about, but I do feel that I, along with others, will benefit from it. I have brought up relevant questions concerning this topic. I see that you did not address the shipping supervisor problem.

To get back to the LSAT problem I cited, which is what this thread is about, I believe that you are proving my point.

The conclusion of this argument is ~EFF.

The logic that you have brought forth in relation to my question is that the conclusion can be arrived at in more than one way, so that would squash the notion of a necessary assumption. You are correct in that belief concerning the conclusion, but not the argument.

Notice, in this problem, and in your analysis of the problem, we could have this link: ~INT ---> ~EFF. Since this link is possible, why is the ~INT ---> ~ENF link necessary? According to your belief, it is not necessary, but as I, and the LSAT test writers show, this link is necessary to the argument (evidence + conclusion).

I will quote your analysis of the problem again:

P1) Effective Law ---> Effective Enforcement
P2) Police ---> Effective Enforcement
P3) ~Police
_____________
C) ~Effective Law


In your example, can we not go from ~Police to ~Effective Law?

We can do that. This would show, in your belief structure, that answer choice (E) is not necessary.

Your belief that I am using a fallacy of attribution is simply not correct. Why aren't you arguing that the evidence posited is a false attribution. That is going to lead us nowhere.

I will also point to poster bp shinners as a person that agrees with my point of view in terms of what is necessary to an argument, rather than a conclusion.

In short, if you believe answer choice E (~INT ---> ~ENF) is necessary, why do you believe that when this possibility (~INT ---> ~Effective Law) exists?

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Mal Reynolds » Wed May 16, 2012 8:43 pm

Timmy, your sweaty self-tar is pretty lulzy.




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