Assumptions question

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cc.celina
Posts: 602
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 1:17 pm

Assumptions question

Postby cc.celina » Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:58 pm

I was wondering if anyone could enlighten me as to the difference between these two sufficient assumptions questions:

PT 36, S1, Q18 (artery blockage)
The conclusion is "Moderate exercise lowers the risk of blockage of the arteries due to blood clots"
because:
Lowers blood cholesterol -> lowers risk of hardening arteries
lowering risk of hardening arteries -> lowers risk of arterial blockage
data are correct -> moderate exercise lowers blood cholesterol

In this case, the answer is D, because the argument states that moderate exercise lowers blood cholesterol and therefore risk of blockage IF the data are correct, but the conclusion goes ahead and states flat-out that moderate exercise lowers risk of blockage. So it's assuming that the data are correct. Right? (Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong)

Now what I'm a bit confused on is PT 63, S1, Q10 (Ms. Sandstrom)
The conclusion is "Ms. Sandstrom should pay for this damage"
because:
she could have reasonably expected her column to cause damage -> she should pay for it

I understand why A works as an answer in a sort of "principle" kind of way - you're showing that in a general situation, anyone who reasonably expects damage to be caused by their actions should pay for that damage. I almost picked this answer, but I eliminated it because it wasn't specific enough.

However, because I had the PT 36 question in mind, I picked D. Just like the PT 36 question, this stimulus states that Ms S should pay for damage "if, as the Mendels claim, she could have reasonably expected" it. Why isn't this argument also assuming that Ms. S did indeed reasonably expect damage as the Mendels claim, just like the previous argument assumed that the data were indeed correct?

Even if you assume A is true, Ms. S only has to pay if she DID reasonably expect damage. All we know is that the "Mendels claim" that she reasonably expected it, and the Mendels don't seem like the best judges of that right now.

Is the conclusion to this argument technically not "Ms. Sandstrom should pay," but "Ms. Sandstrom should pay if the Mendels claim she could have reasonably expected damage"? That would fix the problem, but just doesn't seem right to me.

I really appreciate anyone who takes the time to weigh in on this, because this is a really common problem I've been having, and I really want to nail it by Monday.

Manhattan LSAT Noah
Posts: 746
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:43 am

Re: Assumptions question

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:10 pm

cc.celina wrote:Is the conclusion to this argument technically not "Ms. Sandstrom should pay," but "Ms. Sandstrom should pay if the Mendels claim she could have reasonably expected damage"? That would fix the problem, but just doesn't seem right to me.
There it is!

Though, the conclusion doesn't actually need the "claim" part, it's just if Ms. S could have reasonably expected, she should pay. It's not about whether the Mendels claim it or not.

Seems like you figure it out--nice work.




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