PT 58. S. 4. Q 18

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cloudhidden
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PT 58. S. 4. Q 18

Postby cloudhidden » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:00 pm

This flaw in the reasoning question continues to beguile me. I selected (D) instead of (E), TCR. I see two legitimate flaws that exist in this argument:

1) The flaw in the movement from the support to the subsidiary conclusion best represented by choice (E). Under the timed pressure of the test, I though (D) so clearly represented a flaw that I just glanced over (E) without going back to the stimulus. In fact, the subsidiary conclusion does make this equivocation, but it's subtle and rests upon the final premise, right after the prescriptive statement to not unionize. That attempt to justify the conclusion in the last sentence creates a gap because the argument took the assumption expressed by (E) for granted in arriving at the intermediate conclusion, and therefore cannot use an invalid conclusion to support another conclusion.

2) To me the more obvious flaw exists in the support between the intermediate and main conclusion. I just cannot see how (D) doesn't represent a legitimate flaw. Normally, the LSAT might have put something into the stimulus to limit the scope of the conclusion and protect it against (D). They could have just concluded that the students believe they should not unionize and this problem would have been much clearer. But instead they make this leap from what the students believe to what the author believes they should actually do. The argument has assumed that something should not be done just because it's unpopular. Maybe the students are misguided and don't know that they should, in fact, unionize for whatever reason.

Does (E) take precedence because it addresses a prior flaw in the argument, and the second flaw has been rendered irrelevant becuase it's based on already flawed support? This is the only way I can see (E) being the better choice.

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BlaqBella
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Re: PT 58. S. 4. Q 18

Postby BlaqBella » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:17 pm

(D) just doesn't get to the heart of the flaw - fallacy of composition: something is true of the whole because something is true of the part.

So what if there are other reasons for unionizing? Answer choice (D) is no different from answer choice (B) using such reasoning.

(E) captures this fallacy perfectly: concludes "active disapproval" (most graduates)...from "lack of approval" (some graduates)

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cloudhidden
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Re: PT 58. S. 4. Q 18

Postby cloudhidden » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:20 pm

Looking back at the question, the biggest thing that jumps out at me is the fact that the majority of students were not even aware of the attempt. The argument glosses over this consideration. I think I uncritically sped through this question and went to the second sentence and thought, well this argument is not that bad and then keyed on the other flaw. But that first premise remains really weak and the second premise clearly does not shore it up enough.

However, (B) does not say the same thing as (D) because (B) concerns the intermediate conclusion about how the students think and (D) concerns the normative statement that the author then derives. I'm still a bit confused on this one but could understand it better if I knew that (B) was the primary flaw because it occurred earlier in the reasoning.

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cloudhidden
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Re: PT 58. S. 4. Q 18

Postby cloudhidden » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:24 pm

Even if the majority of students actually did disapprove then we still need an assumption about that being sufficient evidence that they shouldn't unionize. Maybe they should unionize because the students have been persuaded against their true interests.

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Ling520
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Re: PT 58. S. 4. Q 18

Postby Ling520 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:31 am

Your right to feel dissatisfied with these solutions. I've had trouble with questions of this sort; the trouble is that every proposition is built on background assumptions which are built on background assumptions, etc. (ask a.j ayer); it's literally impossible to create an augment that does not neglect, ignore or fail to address some background assumption, which is why questions with answer options of this sort do not make me happy.

What helped me with these questions was focusing on what is addressed by the written argument only. LSAT authors probably write these scenarios with the correct answer--an argument flaw--in mind and then create random wrong answer choices as an afterthought. It's possible that a random wrong answer might inadvertently address something in the argument that the author was not even aware of. When I get these questions, where there are two mostly correct answers, I use "inside the argument" as heuristic. In the mentioned case, I can point to the written words in the argument where (e) occurs, and I can't do that with (d), so (e) is my answer.




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