strengthening conclusion vs. strengthening argument

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Fianna13
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strengthening conclusion vs. strengthening argument

Postby Fianna13 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:02 pm

is there a practical difference in the correct answer choices? Or should I treat these 2 questions the same.

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gaud
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Re: strengthening conclusion vs. strengthening argument

Postby gaud » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:16 pm

Maybe I'm wrong about this, but I would think something that strengthened the argument would also strengthen the conclusion. I vote the same.

bp shinners
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Re: strengthening conclusion vs. strengthening argument

Postby bp shinners » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:33 pm

There's a subtle difference, and it really only comes up in Necessary assumption questions.

If you strengthen the conclusion, then you're making it more likely to be true either based on the given premises OR for some reason other than the premises stated. However, this also strengthens the argument, so for strengthen questions, you should go with either.

If you strengthen the argument, then you're making it more likely for the conclusion to be true based on the given premises. This comes up in Necessary Assumption questions, because sometimes the assumption isn't necessary to reach the conclusion, but it is necessary to reach the conclusion with the given premises.

Mik Ekim
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Re: strengthening conclusion vs. strengthening argument

Postby Mik Ekim » Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:25 pm

I think you are asking about question stems that ask you to strengthen the conclusion, or strengthen the argument --

Q stems that ask u to strengthen the argument are the norm, and for these it's important to remember that you need an answer that strengthens the relationship between premise and conclusion, not just something that strengthens the conclusion --

Q stems that ask u to just strengthen the conclusion are far less common, and they tend to show up when there is no argument made -- that is, there is a point without any reasoning given to support it. Just thinking off the top of my head, I think I recall seeing them in "except" form -- four answers strengthen this conclusion and one doesn't. Obviously, for these questions, because there is no support/conclusion relationship, u only have to think about how the answer relates to the conclusion. HTH.

bp shinners
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Re: strengthening conclusion vs. strengthening argument

Postby bp shinners » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:36 pm

Mik Ekim wrote:Q stems that ask u to strengthen the argument are the norm, and for these it's important to remember that you need an answer that strengthens the relationship between premise and conclusion, not just something that strengthens the conclusion --


I don't believe that's true, unless you have a different view of strengthening the relationship between the premises and conclusion than I do (which is entirely possible).

There will quite often be strengthen questions with a causal conclusion, and these often have other cases where there is the same cause/effect (or no cause/no effect). That strengthens the argument, but to me it doesn't connect the premises more tightly to the conclusion. Rather, it introduces a different set of premises (the other situation) that suggest the conclusion is more likely based on the fact we saw this relationship more than once.

Either way, I don't think it's likely to make any difference at all in a strengthen question. I can't think of a single question where this distinction would make a difference. It is really only important in necessary assumption questions.

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05062014
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Re: strengthening conclusion vs. strengthening argument

Postby 05062014 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:30 pm

bp shinners wrote:
If you strengthen the argument, then you're making it more likely for the conclusion to be true based on the given premises. This comes up in Necessary Assumption questions, because sometimes the assumption isn't necessary to reach the conclusion, but it is necessary to reach the conclusion with the given premises.


Can you expand on this? On my last PT, I got 4 LR questions incorrect and the two that were non-time related were Necessary Assumption questions. I have learned to go with weaker answer choices on NA questions, but it seems like on some of the most difficult ones, a stronger answer choice is required, just because the question prompt is so short and information to support the conclusion is lacking greatly. So, for NA questions, if I narrow it down to a strong answer choice, should I just go with it? For example, PT 63 (section 4) #11

Mik Ekim
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Re: strengthening conclusion vs. strengthening argument

Postby Mik Ekim » Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:35 pm

bp shinners wrote:
Mik Ekim wrote:Q stems that ask u to strengthen the argument are the norm, and for these it's important to remember that you need an answer that strengthens the relationship between premise and conclusion, not just something that strengthens the conclusion --


I don't believe that's true, unless you have a different view of strengthening the relationship between the premises and conclusion than I do (which is entirely possible).

There will quite often be strengthen questions with a causal conclusion, and these often have other cases where there is the same cause/effect (or no cause/no effect). That strengthens the argument, but to me it doesn't connect the premises more tightly to the conclusion. Rather, it introduces a different set of premises (the other situation) that suggest the conclusion is more likely based on the fact we saw this relationship more than once.

Either way, I don't think it's likely to make any difference at all in a strengthen question. I can't think of a single question where this distinction would make a difference. It is really only important in necessary assumption questions.


I think we can agree to disagree, and I think it definitely does stem from the fact that we view the test very differently -- for anyone interested, I discuss the topics I mentioned above at great length, with examples, in the S/W chapter of the Manhattan LR book. Keep in mind that I wrote that chapter after doing as careful an analysis as I could of every S/W question that has appeared on the LSAT in the last ten+ years of exams, and the topics that are discussed are discussed specifically because they were issues I found to be commonly significant for the most challenging of those questions.




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