PT 37, LR 2, #20

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PT 37, LR 2, #20

Postby Triveal » Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:32 am

Answer is A, but I picked E. I was going between the two while I was taking it, and couldn't find a way to eliminate either, so somehow just decided on E.

I finished this section with 10 minutes left, and this is the only one I missed, but I'm pretty sure I would've still gotten it wrong if I had stared at this question for 10 minutes (since that's what I just did and it's still not clicking). Anyone?

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Re: PT 37, LR 2, #20

Postby Triveal » Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:02 am

Bump - anyone?

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Re: PT 37, LR 2, #20

Postby bp shinners » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:20 am

Tricky one because it uses a bunch of convoluted language.

Sufficient assumption question - there's going to be a gap (usually between the premises and conclusion, but sometimes between two premises) that you have to fill.

Desire for praise = Desire to obtain favorable opinion of others
If Merit Praise -> Motivated By Desire to Help
Conclusion: Motivated primarily out of desire for praise -> NOT Merit Praise

Here's what I'm thinking once I get this down:
First step - I have Merit Praise in a premise and NOT Merit Praise in the conclusion; time to take the contrapositive of the premise
NOT Motivated by Desire to Help -> NOT Merit Praise

Second thing I see - I have that first premise that creates an equivalency, and half of that equivalency shows up in the conclusion. I'm going to substitute those terms, because the LSAT is a tricksy beast and is probably going to interchange them in the answer to make it harder.

So I now have:
NOT Motivated by Desire to Help -> NOT Merit Praise
Motivated primarily by desire to obtain favorable opinion of others -> NOT Merit Praise

In order to connect this premise with the conclusion, I need to bridge the gap between NOT Motivated by Desire to Help and Motivated Primarily by Desire to Obtain Favorable Opinion of Others.

In short, I need something that says If I'm motivated by the desire for others to like me (favorable opinion), then I can't be motivated by a desire to help people. I don't know those two things are mutually exclusive - maybe I really like helping people, but they better thank me afterwards.

That's what A gives me - these two motivations are mutually exclusive (which I could have jumped to straight from the premises without diagramming it by seeing that I had two conflicting motivations, and the LSAT constantly treats two conflicting motivations as mutually exclusive in this type of question), which means if I have one, I don't have the other. That gets me my conclusion.

E tells me that I need to consider the motives rather than the consequences. First off, consequences shows up out of nowhere - for a sufficient assumption question, I very rarely have a new term in the correct answer. It also just tells me that motives determine whether one deserves praise for them. It doesn't get me any closer to saying this specific motive allows for me to determine a lack of praiseworthiness.


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Re: PT 37, LR 2, #20

Postby TylerJonesMPLS » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:28 pm

You are right that (E) is an attractive answer choice. (E) is a presupposition of the whole argument: (E) provides the general ethical principle that makes the argument make sense. The argument just assumes that of course motivations are what make our actions morally right, and the consequences of our actions just don’t matter at all. If it weren’t for this assumption, the argument couldn’t even get out of the starting gate. But the question that you are asked to answer is much more narrow and boring: what premise is missing in the argument? If you keep the exact question in mind, it isn’t hard to see that (A) is the answer. Suppose the question were, What general ethical principle does the argument below illustrate? Then (E) would absolutely be the correct answer choice. You just have to be careful to answer exactly the question you are asked. It’s good practice, because lawyers have to do that too.

Premise (1)
If one merits praise, then one’s actions are motivated by a desire to help others.

Premise (1) contrapositive
If one’s actions are not motivated by a desire to help others, then one does not merit praise.

If one helps others motivated primarily by desire for praise, then one does not merit praise.

This is a very simple argument- it only has two steps. So the gap is how you get from the premise to the conclusion.

Once you glance at the answer choices you can see that (A) fills the gap and nothing else does.

And you’re done.

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