## Possible Error in LSAT 64, Section 3, Question 25

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melmoththewanderer

Posts: 86
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:31 pm

### Re: Possible Error in LSAT 64, Section 3, Question 25

Micdiddy wrote:@melmoth: we have no need to assume that other things can avert the strike in order to call it flawed. The fact that the stimulus did not rule out this possibility is enough to call it flawed, without stretching so far as to assume anything. It's a mistaken negation, period.

Also, to address another point, I would be extremely surprised if the LSAC comes back and says "a flawed argument can be paralleled with a good one." I simply don't believe they would ever venture to make such a statement. This answer is NOT more right than any other answer. The contrapositive and the mistaken negation, even with quantifiers thrown in, cannot be misconstrued to parallel each other anymore than a raven and a writing desk. Either the LSAC will explain where we were mistaken, or admit they did something wrong (or just not respond).

I understand your concern and I see it differently. Let me propose a relevantly similar argument.

If I let the eggs rot then the room will smell but only if I do not throw them away. But based on the fact that it is (i.e. given, if, suppose) unlikely that I will not throw them away, it will probably not smell. So my point is the probability is calculated for when it is unlikely the eggs will not be thrown away. Of course you can say well it doesn't exclude the possibility that my brother passed gas and would make it bunk. But to that, I think LSAC could respond that is out of scope of the conditional conclusion, which applies based on (given, when, suppose, if) it is unlikely I will not throw them away. In other words, the argument is not assumed to apply when your brother passes gas--that is a different probability altogether. It is tangential to the initial condition that it is unlikely I will not throw it away.

You have to account for the fact that this stimulus is (1) conditional and (2) probabilistic. Given this, we can derive a conclusion when the probably sufficient condition is satisfied, but we can't conclude anything if we add alternate factors because that would satisfy another conditional and it would create another probability. You have to see that probability is in some ways a looser standard than formal logic and in some ways it is more precise and because it is not a guarantee it does not apply universally in every case.

LSAT Hacks (Graeme)

Posts: 371
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 9:18 pm

### Re: Possible Error in LSAT 64, Section 3, Question 25

melmoththewanderer wrote:
I understand your concern and I see it differently. Let me propose a relevantly similar argument.

If I let the eggs rot then the room will smell but only if I do not throw them away. But based on the fact that it is (i.e. given, if, suppose) unlikely that I will not throw them away, it will probably not smell.

Melmoth, I see the point you're trying to make, but you've changed the phrasing and logic of the question.

In the question,

1. the strike was happening.
2. arbitration could avert it.
3. Arbitration could work only if both sides agreed.
4. The union was unlikely to agree.

To parallel that with eggs, you would have to say:

1. The eggs are rotting, and will stink up the room.
2. Removing them would prevent a smell,
3. Removing the eggs would only work if it's done soon.
4. I probably won't get around to removing them soon.
5. The parallel conclusion would be to say that the room will probably smell.

This is a bad argument, just like the stimulus. It's true that *I* probably won't remove the eggs. But you might, or my housecleaner, etc.

It's not 'out of scope' (a meaningless term) to be aware of those possibilities. There can be multiple sufficient conditions for any necessary condition. This is basic logic. All apples are fruit doesn't mean that if something is not an apple it is not a fruit.
Last edited by LSAT Hacks (Graeme) on Wed May 15, 2013 10:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

mvonh001

Posts: 581
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:49 pm

### Re: Possible Error in LSAT 64, Section 3, Question 25

graeme wrote:
melmoththewanderer wrote:
Micdiddy wrote:
I understand your concern and I see it differently. Let me propose a relevantly similar argument.

If I let the eggs rot then the room will smell but only if I do not throw them away. But based on the fact that it is (i.e. given, if, suppose) unlikely that I will not throw them away, it will probably not smell.

Melmoth, I see the point you're trying to make, but you've changed the phrasing and logic of the question.

In the question,

1. the strike was happening.
2. arbitration could avert it.
3. Arbitration could work only if both sides agreed.
4. The union was unlikely to agree.

To parallel that with eggs, you would have to say:

1. The eggs are rotting, and will stink up the room.
2. Removing them would prevent a smell,
3. Removing the eggs would only work if it's done soon.
4. I probably won't get around to removing them soon.
5. The parallel conclusion would be to say that the room will probably smell.

This is a bad argument, just like the stimulus. It's true that *I* probably won't remove the eggs. But you might, or my housecleaner, etc.

It's not 'out of scope' (a meaningless term) to be aware of those possibilities. There can be multiple sufficient conditions for any necessary condition. This is basic logic. All apples are fruit doesn't mean that if something is not an apple it is not a fruit.

Check, and Mate.

melmoththewanderer

Posts: 86
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:31 pm

### Re: Possible Error in LSAT 64, Section 3, Question 25

I actually don't view this as basic deductive logic, which may be the reason we are not in accord. We're using the diagramming as a crutch really, but we are doing so to represent inductive relationships (that is not deductive, so these are not guarantees, but probabilities based on givens). We can't forget that it is inductive! The standard that applies is described here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_ ... _reasoning

I hope you'd at least agree that based on what is given, not likely reaching an agreement is insufficient to avert the strike. You have to operate in an inductive argument based on what is known. We are going from specific to general as opposed to a general rule to specific, so the argument doesn't have to be valid (see the link above).

I'll grant this is not covered in LRB. And I'll grant they are using a counterintuitive definition of likely (see: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/likely). So wouldn't you agree supposing likely is referring to definition 3 that it is at least feasible that the strike will occur?

So my verdict stands, the question is a valid item.
Last edited by melmoththewanderer on Thu May 16, 2013 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LSAT Hacks (Graeme)

Posts: 371
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 9:18 pm

### Re: Possible Error in LSAT 64, Section 3, Question 25

The LSAC has notified me that they're reviewing my inquiry.

I checked how long it took them to reply the last time I asked. It was about 40 days after I asked. So, might have to wait a while to let you guys know about an official answer, but I promise I will whenever I hear back.

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Micdiddy

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Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:38 pm

### Re: Possible Error in LSAT 64, Section 3, Question 25

melmoththewanderer wrote:I actually don't view this as basic deductive logic, which may be the reason we are not in accord. We're using the diagramming as a crutch really, but we are doing so to represent inductive relationships (that is not deductive, so these are not guarantees, but probabilities based on givens). We can't forget that it is inductive! The standard that applies is described here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_ ... _reasoning

I hope you'd at least agree that based on what is given, not likely reaching an agreement is insufficient to avert the strike. You have to operate in an inductive argument based on what is known. We are going from specific to general as opposed to a general rule to specific, so the argument doesn't have to be valid (see the link above).

I'll grant this is not covered in LRB. And I'll grant they are using a counterintuitive definition of likely (see: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/likely). So wouldn't you agree supposing likely is referring to definition 3 that it is at least feasible that the strike will occur?

So to amend my verdict, since the argument need not be valid, this question is valid.

Of course it is feasible the strike will occur. Again, acknowledging that has nothing to do with the logic, and especially the parallel with answer choice D, of the stimulus.