Trying to develop a uniform way to look at assumptions

Macalpinerules
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Trying to develop a uniform way to look at assumptions

Postby Macalpinerules » Sun May 12, 2013 6:27 pm

Do assumptions in logical LR stimuluses always come down to not considering additional possibilities?

In other words whenever I read an assumption can it always be paraphrased by starting with "the author or person fails to consider the possibility that there can be more than just (insert assumption)" or "the author fails to consider the possibility that (insert assumption) is the only way that such and such could happen"?

So, again. Do assumptions simply boil down to failing to consider other possibilities?

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Skill Game
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Re: Trying to develop a uniform way to look at assumptions

Postby Skill Game » Mon May 13, 2013 8:40 am

There's several different question types that can deal with assumptions and it sounds like you're talking about flaw questions, and those aren't always about additional possibilities. For the most part I guess they are, but don't always blindly eliminate choices that don't fit this pattern. For example, an answer choice that says something like "It assumes what it sets out to establish". These are almost always incorrect, but I made the mistake of blindly crossing that one off every time I saw it because it was always wrong on previous PTs. But on this particular one, it was right.

Manhattan LSAT Noah
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Re: Trying to develop a uniform way to look at assumptions

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Mon May 13, 2013 10:52 am

Macalpinerules wrote:Do assumptions in logical LR stimuluses always come down to not considering additional possibilities?

In other words whenever I read an assumption can it always be paraphrased by starting with "the author or person fails to consider the possibility that there can be more than just (insert assumption)" or "the author fails to consider the possibility that (insert assumption) is the only way that such and such could happen"?

So, again. Do assumptions simply boil down to failing to consider other possibilities?

Good question.

Not all assumptions fit into this idea in terms of how the answer choices will be phrased. Take this:

Tom is going to work out, therefore Tom is going to become much more attractive.

Yes, we could say "it's failing to consider that Tom might work out and not become attractive" - but it's just as likely that an answer will directly point out the gap with something like "the argument assumes that working out always leads to becoming more attractive."

All that said, I think that it's a good stance to take with assumption family questions, as it leads you to a gap, often the gap. So, keep up with that if it's working for you, but make sure it's not leading you to just look for answers in that style.

bp shinners
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Re: Trying to develop a uniform way to look at assumptions

Postby bp shinners » Mon May 13, 2013 12:12 pm

Manhattan LSAT Noah wrote:All that said, I think that it's a good stance to take with assumption family questions, as it leads you to a gap, often the gap. So, keep up with that if it's working for you, but make sure it's not leading you to just look for answers in that style.


Completely agree with this. Looking at it this way is my failsafe for flaw questions - if you just can't see the flaw in any other way, try to explain the possible world where the premises are true but the conclusion isn't. This will show you the world that the argument fails to consider, and it will lead you to the flaw.

The AC just won't necessarily be phrased in this manner.




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