LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

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LSAT Hacks (Graeme)
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LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:43 pm

Here's the original thread.

Here's their response.

It's an interesting argument, I'm still thinking about whether I agree. I always tell students you're allowed to use common sense reasoning that everyone would agree with. They say we can trust the journalist to give the full picture.

I'd love to hear what you guys think. Please read the original comment and their response in full before commenting.

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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby Daily_Double » Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:59 pm

Oh, Luebke, you slay me. I'm still wrapping my head around their rebuttal. But I will say the response is worded precisely how I would expect.

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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby Daily_Double » Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:14 pm

I disagree with a couple of the statements they use to support the claim that the argument is not flawed. Though I must concede that some, if not most, of their rebuttal rests upon the nature of an inductive vs. deductive argument. Being as those concepts have not been necessary to my previous prep, I see no reason, other than this, which gives me pause, to investigate this discrepancy. Thus, I'll leave that out of my issues, though it may, if accepted, take my issues into account.

The rebuttal claims that there exist certain features of the argument which should be taken note of. The rebuttal uses these features to support its claim that the argument is not flawed. I have issues with two of these features.

First, the discussion of journalism, the context of it, and the relatively complete picture of the relevant facts. By LSAC's logic, unless I'm misreading it, we should apply the "principle of clarity" to all stimuli allegedly stated by a journalist, since those features seem sufficient for this principle of clarity. And since, the rebuttal claims that, pursuant to the principle of clarity, arguments made by a journalist, in the context of journalism, constitutes a relatively complete picture of the relevant facts. This seems counterintuitive in my opinion, and since I've never heard of the principle of clarity, I would claim it entails outside information, which we are taught to not include in our analysis of LSAT stimuli.

Second, and most importantly, LSAC concludes that since X plans to do Y, Y is likely to happen. I could make up analogies to show this is false, but I would assume that this is only the case in the context of the principle of clarity mentioned above. However, the rebuttal does not take this stance. It presents this second reason as a separate form of support, well in that case, I have issues with it. This alone in my opinion, does not constitute sufficient evidence to show that Y is likely to happen. We discussed this issue extensively in the previous thread, and my opinion of it has not changed since my previous replies. It would seem that LSAC disagrees however.

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Clearly
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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby Clearly » Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:31 pm

I love the LSAC. Its so great that they took the time to put this together for you.

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LSAT Hacks (Graeme)
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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:59 pm

It's the principle of charity, not clarity. It means interpreting a speaker's remarks in a way that makes sense.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_charity

I think their strongest point is their everyday interpretation of 'planning to' and 'avert'. They say planning to can be taken to mean 'likely', and that use of the word 'avert' reinforces the idea that the strike is indeed likely without such intervention.

So they point out that the argument is not entirely deductive, and also that my possible other reasons to avert the strike don't necessarily make the strike 'not likely'. They just make it 'not certain'. (They didn't write this, but I'm taking their ideas to the logical conclusion)

Hmm....they may have a good case. Though I've still never seen them try to match a non-deductive argument to a deductive argument.

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LSAT Hacks (Graeme)
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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:00 pm

....for anyone taking the LSAT monday, don't worry: you don't have to know about this stuff. Principle of charity, modus tollens, etc. This discussion is just for nerdy fun.
Last edited by LSAT Hacks (Graeme) on Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:00 pm

Daily_Double wrote:First, the discussion of journalism, the context of it, and the relatively complete picture of the relevant facts. By LSAC's logic, unless I'm misreading it, we should apply the "principle of clarity" to all stimuli allegedly stated by a journalist, since those features seem sufficient for this principle of clarity. And since, the rebuttal claims that, pursuant to the principle of clarity, arguments made by a journalist, in the context of journalism, constitutes a relatively complete picture of the relevant facts. This seems counterintuitive in my opinion, and since I've never heard of the principle of clarity, I would claim it entails outside information, which we are taught to not include in our analysis of LSAT stimuli.


AAAAAH, this is a perfect example of what I'm always saying: LR and RC in recent PTs is based on logic that is inconsistent with what LSAC has traditionally held (or at least, what I infer they have traditionally held, given 50+ earlier exams). This "principle of charity" garbage is the exact sort of outside information that would normally invalidate an assumption when trying to interpret a problem. Given any other sort of prompt, we would not be allowed to make such an assumption ("well, a journalist made this argument, so surely all the relevant facts have been accounted for and are present in this stimulus").

The most recent RC and LR sections seem to be constructed according to a different set of logic than past tests, and it's... frustrating. :?

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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby Clearly » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:03 pm

At the end of the day, they buy themselves a lot of leeway with the phrase "most closely parallels".

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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:04 pm

TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
AAAAAH, this is a perfect example of what I'm always saying: LR and RC in recent PTs is based on logic that is inconsistent with what LSAC has traditionally held (or at least, what I infer they have traditionally held, given 50+ earlier exams). This "principle of charity" garbage is the exact sort of outside information that would normally invalidate an assumption when trying to interpret a problem. Given any other sort of prompt, we would not be allowed to make such an assumption ("well, a journalist made this argument, so surely all the relevant facts have been accounted for and are present in this stimulus").

The most recent RC and LR sections seem to be constructed according to a different set of logic than past tests, and it's... frustrating. :?


The LSAT has definitely moved in a more informal direction. I think this is a BIG failing of Powerscore. They teach robotic formal logic. I see people denying their common knowledge and missing questions they should have had, because they don't trust their intuition or that they're allowed to apply it.

This kind of informal reasoning was present at least as far back as 29-38, but it's definitely more common since the 50s or 60s.

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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby Dr. Dre » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:19 pm

Graeme (Hacking the LSAT) wrote: I think this is a BIG failing of Powerscore. They teach robotic formal logic.



Which is why people are heading to buy MLSAT bundles in droves.

HTH.

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Post removed.

Postby PourMeTea » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:21 pm

Post removed.
Last edited by PourMeTea on Fri May 08, 2015 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby Daily_Double » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:35 pm

PourMeTea wrote:
TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
Daily_Double wrote:First, the discussion of journalism, the context of it, and the relatively complete picture of the relevant facts. By LSAC's logic, unless I'm misreading it, we should apply the "principle of clarity" to all stimuli allegedly stated by a journalist, since those features seem sufficient for this principle of clarity. And since, the rebuttal claims that, pursuant to the principle of clarity, arguments made by a journalist, in the context of journalism, constitutes a relatively complete picture of the relevant facts. This seems counterintuitive in my opinion, and since I've never heard of the principle of clarity, I would claim it entails outside information, which we are taught to not include in our analysis of LSAT stimuli.


AAAAAH, this is a perfect example of what I'm always saying: LR and RC in recent PTs is based on logic that is inconsistent with what LSAC has traditionally held (or at least, what I infer they have traditionally held, given 50+ earlier exams). This "principle of charity" garbage is the exact sort of outside information that would normally invalidate an assumption when trying to interpret a problem. Given any other sort of prompt, we would not be allowed to make such an assumption ("well, a journalist made this argument, so surely all the relevant facts have been accounted for and are present in this stimulus").

The most recent RC and LR sections seem to be constructed according to a different set of logic than past tests, and it's... frustrating. :?


This is particularly terrifying. Should this affect our studying?


It's not changing anything for me. The correct answer was easy to find, in relation to the other answers. If that were not the case, then I might have an issue with it, but as it stands now, I care more about my weak internet connection than this question. I think this one is best left to the LSAT instructors.

Oh, and charity? Can't believe I butchered that so badly

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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:05 pm

Daily_Double wrote:
PourMeTea wrote:
TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
Daily_Double wrote:First, the discussion of journalism, the context of it, and the relatively complete picture of the relevant facts. By LSAC's logic, unless I'm misreading it, we should apply the "principle of clarity" to all stimuli allegedly stated by a journalist, since those features seem sufficient for this principle of clarity. And since, the rebuttal claims that, pursuant to the principle of clarity, arguments made by a journalist, in the context of journalism, constitutes a relatively complete picture of the relevant facts. This seems counterintuitive in my opinion, and since I've never heard of the principle of clarity, I would claim it entails outside information, which we are taught to not include in our analysis of LSAT stimuli.


AAAAAH, this is a perfect example of what I'm always saying: LR and RC in recent PTs is based on logic that is inconsistent with what LSAC has traditionally held (or at least, what I infer they have traditionally held, given 50+ earlier exams). This "principle of charity" garbage is the exact sort of outside information that would normally invalidate an assumption when trying to interpret a problem. Given any other sort of prompt, we would not be allowed to make such an assumption ("well, a journalist made this argument, so surely all the relevant facts have been accounted for and are present in this stimulus").

The most recent RC and LR sections seem to be constructed according to a different set of logic than past tests, and it's... frustrating. :?


This is particularly terrifying. Should this affect our studying?


It's not changing anything for me. The correct answer was easy to find, in relation to the other answers. If that were not the case, then I might have an issue with it, but as it stands now, I care more about my weak internet connection than this question. I think this one is best left to the LSAT instructors.

Oh, and charity? Can't believe I butchered that so badly


I am not referring to this particular question; I am referring to what the arguments LSAC makes in their response to the inquiry imply about their recent test development.

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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby Dr. Dre » Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:23 pm

I agree with LSAC.


This is how I diagrammed it (and my though process as I did this problem)

Image

The yellow is basically a random sentence.

1st sentence: The green is A. The purple B.
2nd sentence: Not B, Not A

Thus I diagrammed it like this: Image


For the credited response, I followed similar reasoning:

Image

The yellow = random

1st sentence: A, B
2nd sentence: Not B, Not A

Thus, Image

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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:45 pm

Dre, what you highlight is a random sentence is the core of the LSAC's argument. They said that because a *journalist* mentions that the union plans to strike, we can reasonable infer that a strike is likely.

From their rebuttal:
"In informal, everyday English, an unqualified assertion of the form 'X is planning to do Y'—Sam is planning to leave work at 4:00 today, The teacher is planning to give an exam next week, The mayor is planning to run for reelection—invites
the inference 'It is likely that X will do Y'.


(The journalist part was relevant, because we can trust a journalist to present the full context)

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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:07 pm

PourMeTea wrote:
TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
Daily_Double wrote:First, the discussion of journalism, the context of it, and the relatively complete picture of the relevant facts. By LSAC's logic, unless I'm misreading it, we should apply the "principle of clarity" to all stimuli allegedly stated by a journalist, since those features seem sufficient for this principle of clarity. And since, the rebuttal claims that, pursuant to the principle of clarity, arguments made by a journalist, in the context of journalism, constitutes a relatively complete picture of the relevant facts. This seems counterintuitive in my opinion, and since I've never heard of the principle of clarity, I would claim it entails outside information, which we are taught to not include in our analysis of LSAT stimuli.


AAAAAH, this is a perfect example of what I'm always saying: LR and RC in recent PTs is based on logic that is inconsistent with what LSAC has traditionally held (or at least, what I infer they have traditionally held, given 50+ earlier exams). This "principle of charity" garbage is the exact sort of outside information that would normally invalidate an assumption when trying to interpret a problem. Given any other sort of prompt, we would not be allowed to make such an assumption ("well, a journalist made this argument, so surely all the relevant facts have been accounted for and are present in this stimulus").

The most recent RC and LR sections seem to be constructed according to a different set of logic than past tests, and it's... frustrating. :?


This is particularly terrifying. Should this affect our studying?


You shouldn't change your studying. This level of minutia is not very relevant to a high score.

However, I'd caution against the common strategy of avoiding all new tests until right beforehand. Some students have noticed a difference around the 50s. I think it's important to get exposed to some of the new materials early on, so you're not stuck in one particular era of the test.

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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby wtrc » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:01 am

Weird.

D is clearly the best answer, but after reading that response, I'm still not convinced its a *good* answer. Inferring something because a journalist said it seems like something that would be presented as "the reasoning can most likely be challenged on the basis of..." question from the 20's, with the answer being either "takes for granted that the journalist is correct" or "neglects to consider that something else may occur to avert a strike."

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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby Dr. Dre » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:10 am

When I say "random" I just mean background information. To me, at least, all the first sentence does is
provide support for the clause "Independent arbitration would avert a strike..."

If we did not have the first sentence one would have to ask "what strike?" The first sentence tells us what strike independent arbitration would avert. (Namely, the union members')

Further, like LSAC said, the first sentence tells us a strike is likely — and that is obvious since the union members are planning to strike. If they are planning to strike, it is "likely" or "probable" that they will strike.

But even so, it plays a very minor role because the first clause of the second sentence ("Independent arbitration would avert a strike...") tells us that a strike is likely. The first sentence just complements this clause. Or as LSAC said:

Note that this inference [that a strike is likely to occur] is reinforced by
subsequent use of the word "avert" in relationship to the strike: 'to avert an outcome X by doing Y' suggests that X is likely unless some positive action Y is taken to prevent X.


I don't think there is a reason not to trust the journalist. And even if there were other ways that the strike could be averted, those ways don't really hurt the argument core at all. Like LSAC said, "The argument is not about them."

In short, if we did not have the first sentence, the argument would still be valid and still be parallel to the credited response. This is because the first clause of the second sentence already tells us that a strike is likely — the first sentence just supports that clause and tells us what strike we would be averting. And the journalist part is not LSAC's core argument. They are just saying, "hey, other ways that the strike could be averted don't matter."

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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby Trajectory » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:25 am

What a response from LSAC! Just like I imagined a response from them to be. Haha

Anyway, I'm not sure what the HUGE problem with this is, I understand that it might not be the BEST argument possible, but looking at it as an LSAT parallel reasoning question I saw it EXACTLY like Dre wrote out. Aside from all of the crap in the stimulus I got A-->B....~B so ~A. Went through the answers and got it.

Am I missing something here?

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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby guano » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:36 am

I don't actually see the flaw in the question. Please explain it to me like I were a 5 year old child

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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby Dr. Dre » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:48 am

Trajectory wrote:Am I missing something here?


You are missing nothing.

I guess the problem is whether we can trust the journalist. But this inquiry is a stretch.

Look at the Credited Response. Look at the sentence that reads: "But his sponsors are known to be poor at keeping their athletes hydrated." One could ask, well how can we trust what is known to be the case?

In other words, suppose someone tells you, "MLSAT is known to produce 170+ers." You could say, "how can I trust what is known?" OR "The statement that MLSAT produces 170+ers is known by who?" Indeed, what is allegedly "known to be the case" could possibly not be the case at all.

This same approach is used to call into question the journalist's contention that "The trade union members at AutoFaber Inc. are planning to go on strike." Similarly, one could ask how can we know that the journalist is presenting the complete picture? Couldn't other things avert the strike? But this inquiry is a huge stretch.

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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby bp shinners » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:11 pm

guano wrote:I don't actually see the flaw in the question. Please explain it to me like I were a 5 year old child


The problem is that the stimulus says, "Independent arbitration would avert a strike, but only if..." That's creating a world where something is necessary for independent arbitration to avert the strike, but it's not creating a world where nothing else can avert the strike.

It's like saying, "The Joker is planning to terrorize Gotham City. Batman would avert this rein of terror, but only if he doesn't have a swanky ball to attend. However, based on past experience, he will have a swanky ball to attend, so the Joker's rein of terror is likely."

The issue is that there are other heroes in the DC universe that can take out the Joker. Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, even the Martian Manhunter; they could all stop his rein of terror. While you could make an argument that they might not be around, the conclusion should be that the Joker's rein of terror is possible, as it's not necessarily likely.

In short, I'm not buying the explanation of this as valid. They seem to hedge their bets even in the letter, saying that the reasoning isn't completely parallel. So I guess they're fine with shifting "Parallel" questions to "soft Parallel" questions, like "Must be True" vs. "Most Strongly Supported." Or they just messed up here and don't want to admit it. We'll have to see where this trend goes.

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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby Daily_Double » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:25 pm

Dr. Dre wrote:Further, like LSAC said, the first sentence tells us a strike is likely — and that is obvious since the union members are planning to strike. If they are planning to strike, it is "likely" or "probable" that they will strike.

But even so, it plays a very minor role because the first clause of the second sentence ("Independent arbitration would avert a strike...") tells us that a strike is likely. The first sentence just complements this clause. Or as LSAC said:

Note that this inference [that a strike is likely to occur] is reinforced by
subsequent use of the word "avert" in relationship to the strike: 'to avert an outcome X by doing Y' suggests that X is likely unless some positive action Y is taken to prevent X.


I don't think there is a reason not to trust the journalist. And even if there were other ways that the strike could be averted, those ways don't really hurt the argument core at all. Like LSAC said, "The argument is not about them."

In short, if we did not have the first sentence, the argument would still be valid and still be parallel to the credited response. This is because the first clause of the second sentence already tells us that a strike is likely — the first sentence just supports that clause and tells us what strike we would be averting. And the journalist part is not LSAC's core argument. They are just saying, "hey, other ways that the strike could be averted don't matter."


I disagree. The first sentence is essential, according to LSAC's argument it establishes that the strike is likely to occur. The second sentence does not.

Also, I would claim that you mis-diagrammed the stimulus in your diagram above. The second premise is a compound conditional statement: Arbitration is sufficient to avert a strike but only if they agree. Because they are unlikely to agree, we can take the contrapositive, which negates the sufficient condition of the conditional. Thus, we have, arbitration is unlikely sufficient to avert a strike. At issue here, and we dove into it in the other thread, is whether other things are sufficient to avert a strike. Because if there are things besides a strike which are both likely and sufficient to avert a strike then the logic that since one obstacle to a strike has been eliminated, it is likely to occur, seems flawed because there would still exist options which could satisfy the sufficient condition of preventing a strike.

LSAC's claim rests upon the assumption, which in my opinion is a misguided one, that statements made by a journalist are complete, meaning that because other things which could be sufficient to avert a strike are not mentioned, they either do not exist, or at least do not impact the argument. I say this is misguided simply because before I read this reply, I would have assumed the opposite: that no statement can be assumed to present the facts in their entirety. I feel this assumption is better supported by my prep, and probably many others. In addition, some journalists depict a more complete picture than others, while some slacking journalists may not be representative of journalism, which according to LSAC is the context of this argument, I don't see how this assumption can be supported without requiring the use of outside information. I'm spending today reviewing, and if I find a Flaw question type by a journalist, I'll be sure to post it, since that would directly undermine the logic of LSAC's argument.

At the end of the day though, this question was pretty easy. It was formulated as a parallel question, the others were easy to eliminate and the correct answer was obviously the best choice. I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.

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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby objection_your_honor » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:27 pm

bp shinners wrote:
guano wrote:I don't actually see the flaw in the question. Please explain it to me like I were a 5 year old child


The problem is that the stimulus says, "Independent arbitration would avert a strike, but only if..." That's creating a world where something is necessary for independent arbitration to avert the strike, but it's not creating a world where nothing else can avert the strike.

It's like saying, "The Joker is planning to terrorize Gotham City. Batman would avert this rein of terror, but only if he doesn't have a swanky ball to attend. However, based on past experience, he will have a swanky ball to attend, so the Joker's rein of terror is likely."

The issue is that there are other heroes in the DC universe that can take out the Joker. Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, even the Martian Manhunter; they could all stop his rein of terror. While you could make an argument that they might not be around, the conclusion should be that the Joker's rein of terror is possible, as it's not necessarily likely.

In short, I'm not buying the explanation of this as valid. They seem to hedge their bets even in the letter, saying that the reasoning isn't completely parallel. So I guess they're fine with shifting "Parallel" questions to "soft Parallel" questions, like "Must be True" vs. "Most Strongly Supported." Or they just messed up here and don't want to admit it. We'll have to see where this trend goes.


Very well said. This stimulus could have been used for an identify the flaw question.

"Fails to consider the possibility that the strike may be averted by means other than independent arbitration."

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Re: LSAC responded to my claim that a question was flawed.

Postby jrsbaseball5 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:10 pm

Graeme (Hacking the LSAT) wrote:
TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
AAAAAH, this is a perfect example of what I'm always saying: LR and RC in recent PTs is based on logic that is inconsistent with what LSAC has traditionally held (or at least, what I infer they have traditionally held, given 50+ earlier exams). This "principle of charity" garbage is the exact sort of outside information that would normally invalidate an assumption when trying to interpret a problem. Given any other sort of prompt, we would not be allowed to make such an assumption ("well, a journalist made this argument, so surely all the relevant facts have been accounted for and are present in this stimulus").

The most recent RC and LR sections seem to be constructed according to a different set of logic than past tests, and it's... frustrating. :?


The LSAT has definitely moved in a more informal direction. I think this is a BIG failing of Powerscore. They teach robotic formal logic. I see people denying their common knowledge and missing questions they should have had, because they don't trust their intuition or that they're allowed to apply it.

This kind of informal reasoning was present at least as far back as 29-38, but it's definitely more common since the 50s or 60s.


What would you recommend to combat this?




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