## Identify flaw vs weakening

Prepare for the LSAT or discuss it with others in this forum.
lawschool2014hopeful

Posts: 554
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:48 pm

### Identify flaw vs weakening

Hello,

Just a quick question.

In identify flaw Q, we always have a gap in argument, so the answer choice always addresses that flaw, and it cannot include extraneous information?
Whereas in weakening Q, extraneous info can be brought upon, and it doesn't necessarily have to address the gap in the argument?

Is this right?

TheRainMan

Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:41 pm

### Re: Identify flaw vs weakening

I do not know how the study guide books classify things, but as I remember it your assertions do not always hold... I seem to remember a few PTs where identifying flaw Q was not as obvious as a gap in the argument but was rather slightly based on extraneous information. Usually, however, I believe you are right.

VasaVasori

Posts: 571
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:36 pm

### .

.
Last edited by VasaVasori on Sat May 02, 2015 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lawschool2014hopeful

Posts: 554
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:48 pm

### Re: Identify flaw vs weakening

so the flawed identified has to work for weaken, whereas some correct weakened answers is not necessarily a flaw right? because flaw in argument is referring to a necessary assumption that the argument makes?

bp shinners

Posts: 3086
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

### Re: Identify flaw vs weakening

jimmierock wrote:so the flawed identified has to work for weaken, whereas some correct weakened answers is not necessarily a flaw right? because flaw in argument is referring to a necessary assumption that the argument makes?

Every argument on the LSAT (with few exceptions - Parallel questions, for instance) has a flaw in it.

When you're identifying the flaw, you will be pointing out the assumption/'gap' that the argument is making. You may be pointing it out using extraneous information (such as in the cat example above), but you're still just identifying the flaw. It's much more common to see answer choices that don't have extraneous information like that in a flaw question (much, much more likely, I would say), and instead they just have an abstract restatement of the flaw. However, if the answer choice starts with, "It ignores the possibility that", you can have some extraneous information that is a specific example that explains the flaw.

For a weaken question, you're always going to be dealing with the flaw in the argument. Why? Because you can't weaken a valid argument without attacking a premise, and we don't attack premises on the LSAT. So the only way to weaken an argument on the LSAT is to specifically apply the flaw with a piece of information that falls into that gap. This will sometimes use extraneous information (applied in a specific way to play into the flaw), and sometimes it won't. However, if you know what the flaw of the argument is going into the answers, it will always be easier to find the correct answer. This especially holds when the correct answer at first seems to have nothing to do with the argument because it relies almost (ALMOST) exclusively on extraneous information.