PT62 S2 Q17

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vuthy
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PT62 S2 Q17

Postby vuthy » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:54 pm

Went -2 on this section, but for some reason still cannot get my head around #17. Looked at the Manhattan forum but didn't help. Anyone have a good take on this one?

Reframe
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Re: PT62 S2 Q17

Postby Reframe » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:04 pm

Very standard justify-principle question. Notice that there is a "should" in the conclusion. That's what we need to justify. The right answer does that.

Daily_Double
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Re: PT62 S2 Q17

Postby Daily_Double » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:12 pm

PT 62, S2, Q17: S/A

CORE: One should not sacrifice health for money

Why?

(p1) ~Health ---> ~Happiness

Ok, so we need to link these two ideas. We know that if we don't have health we can't be happy, so let's work that into our prephrase. Obviously, since this is a S/A question, we want the conclusion to basically be the necessary condition of our pre phrase. So I'm going with:

One should not acquire money without happiness.

Let's move to the answers. I'm going to briefly skim for the ones I like... Boom. A is the contrapositive of my prephrase. The others don't fit at all, none of them even caught my eye. Are you stuck on one?

Theopliske8711
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Re: PT62 S2 Q17

Postby Theopliske8711 » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:30 pm

This is a suff. assumption. Meaning you are looking for something that completes the logic. That's what you should be asking when you do look at the questions. You are playing a kind of connecting game. Sometimes they can be diagrammed, but I don't think its worth it here. Just note that for sufficient assumptions, you are making a connections. So, if Happiness requires Health, and you are being told that you should not seek Wealth if it comes at the cost of Health. Well then what would complete this? What connection would make this solid? Well, think about it. The stimulus ends with Happiness and Health is connected to it and to Wealth. Well, we have Health in both parts of the stimulus, so perhaps we should connect Wealth and Happiness? Which one does that? A is the answer.

A says that we shouldn't go for wealth if it results in us not getting happiness. That would connect everything because if the wealth you are searching for results in you being unhealthy, the unhealthy will lead you to being unhappy. But that's what we are told to avoid.

Just look at the rest:

B: This doesnt work. Contradicts the premise. The premise says if Happiness --> Health.
C: "Precondition". Nothing about preconditions in the stimulus. Out!
D: So what? It doesn't resolve the statement in the first sentence of the stimulus. Irrelevant. Out!
E: "More". Nothing about degrees in the stimulus. Out!

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vuthy
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Re: PT62 S2 Q17

Postby vuthy » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:53 pm

You know, it may just be one of those weird times when a not-so-hard question simply won't click. For whatever reason, I guess my block is that the argument seems totally logical and complete to me (i.e., it doesn't seem like it's missing any assumptions).

Since you can't be happy without being healthy, you shouldn't jeopardize your health for money.


To me, if anything at all is missing, it's something like: money is one of the things in the world that can undermine health. I get that the SOP for S/A questions is to find the missing connecting piece, as Theopliske8711 said. So if pressed, I think I would get to A by that route. But I always like to actually understand the arguments after I'm done, and I can't seem to see A as a missing assumption.

Like I said, may just be one of those weird blind spots.

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Re: PT62 S2 Q17

Postby Reframe » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:58 pm

On the LSAT, something is almost always missing if you have just one "should" in the conclusion of the argument - you need another "should" in the premises to justify it. You probably have some background assumptions about what one should and shouldn't do that are making the argument seem "logical" to you. Remember: on the LSAT you throw ethics out the door every time you move on to a new question just like you throw out any other kind of real-life knowledge.

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vuthy
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Re: PT62 S2 Q17

Postby vuthy » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:06 pm

I guess. But still, A seems more like an inference to me than an assumption.

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Re: PT62 S2 Q17

Postby Daily_Double » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:17 pm

vuthy wrote:I guess. But still, A seems more like an inference to me than an assumption.


If you explain your reasoning, why you think it is more of an inference than an assumption, then it would be easier to clarify this situation. Specifically, why should this action be taken? Do you see what I'm getting at? We have a premise, which supports a conclusion. But the conclusion is in such absolute terms, it doesn't follow logically. For example what if money is worth more to people than health or happiness? The argument is just flawed, answer choice A closes the gap.

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vuthy
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Re: PT62 S2 Q17

Postby vuthy » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:34 pm

Thanks. It's really helpful. But then why wouldn't the missing assumption be something like, "Happiness is something that everybody wants to attain"? In other words, to use your counterexample, let's say there's some person out there who values money more than happiness. To connect everything up, it seems like you'd need to eliminate the possibility of that person messing up the argument, which my assumption does. I'm not sure I get how A does that.

(You're all being really patient, and I appreciate that. I know I should just say hey you got a -2...that's another good showing...move on. But mental blocks are so annoying and I can't let it go!)

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CardozoLaw09
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Re: PT62 S2 Q17

Postby CardozoLaw09 » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:48 pm

vuthy wrote:But then why wouldn't the missing assumption be something like, "Happiness is something that everybody wants to attain"?


Because that's not what the argument is getting at; the argument is about wealth, health, and happiness and the relationship between these three elements. A) helps bridge the gap between the premises and conclusion:

Premise: Happiness ---> Health
Conclusion: Money ---> Health

Gap: Money ---> Happiness — which is restated in answer choice A

The argument is not saying that happiness is something that everyone ought to attain as you suggest; it's saying health should never be sacrificed for money because without health, you can't be happy, which is different from saying "everybody should attain happiness."

vuthy wrote:In other words, to use your counterexample, let's say there's some person out there who values money more than happiness. To connect everything up, it seems like you'd need to eliminate the possibility of that person messing up the argument, which my assumption does. I'm not sure I get how A does that.


A) does protect from the possibility that someone values money more than happiness because A) says you should acquire money only if you can still be happy. There's nothing wrong with valuing money over happiness; just as long you can still be happy.

Daily_Double
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Re: PT62 S2 Q17

Postby Daily_Double » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:09 pm

No problem. I'm tired of drilling. I'll do three things here, first I'll explain the argument and the method of reasoning used, then I'll address your counterpoint, then I'll use a parallel argument to show you what's going on here in more detail. Hopefully, the combination of these points will alleviate your issues here.

So in the argument we have a conclusion supported by a premise. What requires attention is the language of the conclusion, it is advocating for a position: that one should not sacrifice one's health to acquire money. As support for this sweeping claim, the author offers the premise that if one sacrifices one's health, then one will not be happy. Do you see the gap here? Just because taking an a particular action (sacrificing) one's health would result in an undesirable outcome (being unhappy) doesn't mean that that action should not be taken. In my previous point I was trying to illustrate the possibility of a scenario in which happiness doesn't matter. A better example might be to zone out a little bit and realize that in the context of the LSAT, no action should or should not be taken. Any conclusion advocating a position (one should do X) needs to support that position such that it follows logically. That burden is not met in the stimulus. This is how it breaks down:

If one does not have health, then one cannot be happy. But so what? People are unhappy all then time for various reasons. What if being alive is sufficient to realize the necessary condition of making one unable to be happy? I'll concede that's a bleak way of looking at it. But let's follow this example, we're given one thing sufficient for an undesirable outcome, but what if everything else results in that outcome as well? Meaning that we are all unable to be happy. Well in that case, who cares whether we have health or not? Because if we don't have health, then we are unable to be happy. But if we are already unable to be happy, then the common sense reasoning I think you're applying here falls apart because the undesirable outcome is already realized. We need something to say:

If this undesirable outcome then (position advocated)

This links the premises to the conclusion and removes the flawed nature of the argument. What we need is a reason why we SHOULD take the action advocated for.

vuthy wrote:Thanks. It's really helpful. But then why wouldn't the missing assumption be something like, "Happiness is something that everybody wants to attain"? In other words, to use your counterexample, let's say there's some person out there who values money more than happiness. To connect everything up, it seems like you'd need to eliminate the possibility of that person messing up the argument, which my assumption does. I'm not sure I get how A does that.

(You're all being really patient, and I appreciate that. I know I should just say hey you got a -2...that's another good showing...move on. But mental blocks are so annoying and I can't let it go!)


Nope, it doesn't matter whether or not people want happiness. It matters whether or not an action should be taken in the absence of happiness. I don't exactly understand your counterexample, so instead of tackling that, I'll just explain what I was getting at. I was introducing an example where one should sacrifice one's health to get money, which the stimulus leaves open. In my example, I looked at the possibility of a situation in which happiness doesn't matter as much as money does, put another way, in this scenario, this person would try to acquire money even if it led to a lack of happiness.

To use a parallel argument:

One should not sleep in the middle of the freeway in order to get tan, because when one sleeps in the middle of the freeway, one is likely to be hit by a car.

In this argument, we have a position advocated for (one shouldn't lay down on the highway) and that position is supported by a premise. In both cases we have an undesirable outcome which happens when the position advocated for is not taken. Now in this case, we would like to have the sufficient assumption that: One should not try to get tan when one is likely to be hit by a car. But if we don't have that linking premise then the argument above is flawed. Why should we not sleep in the middle of the freeway? Yeah, sure we run the risk of being hit by a car, but what if that doesn't matter to most people?

The point I'm trying to make is that whenever an action is advocated for on this test, and supported by a factual premise, we want a linking premise to say "If (consequence of factual premise) then (position advocated for)" or something along those lines.

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vuthy
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Re: PT62 S2 Q17

Postby vuthy » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:44 pm

Your freeway tan example is great, but I guess where I get stuck is the following place. You wrote:

Yeah, sure we run the risk of being hit by a car, but what if that doesn't matter to most people?

But to me, the proper response to that -- i.e., the best way to overcome that very destructive hole in the argument -- would be:

Being hit by a car is bad and undesirable.

I think that is what fills in the gap between "should not sleep in the freeway to tan" and the "likely to get hit by a car."

I do see how your assumption works, and I'm really grateful for the help. But I still don't see why my assumption (above) wouldn't be a better one. (I know it wasn't offered as a choice in the parallel Question 17, but I'm just speaking more generally now.)

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Re: PT62 S2 Q17

Postby Daily_Double » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:49 pm

vuthy wrote:Your freeway tan example is great, but I guess where I get stuck is the following place. You wrote:

Yeah, sure we run the risk of being hit by a car, but what if that doesn't matter to most people?

But to me, the proper response to that -- i.e., the best way to overcome that very destructive hole in the argument -- would be:

Being hit by a car is bad and undesirable.

I think that is what fills in the gap between "should not sleep in the freeway to tan" and the "likely to get hit by a car."

I do see how your assumption works, and I'm really grateful for the help. But I still don't see why my assumption (above) wouldn't be a better one. (I know it wasn't offered as a choice in the parallel Question 17, but I'm just speaking more generally now.)


My last sentence, the one about most people could have been better. My sufficient assumption was good though, and those are the two points I was trying to illustrate. When I said:

One should not try to get tan when one is likely to be hit by a car.

I was showing an assumption which guides my hypothetical argument to its conclusion: that one should not try to get tan in a particular scenario. When I said, what if most people don't get hit, I was trying to illustrate the flawed nature of my hypothetical argument. I was trying to attack the undesirable outcome, and whether or not it should affect the actions of people in general. Do you follow? I'll concede that my objection to the hypothetical could have been better, but I was trying to get a point across more so than trying to make an LSAT stimulus and answer.

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vuthy
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Re: PT62 S2 Q17

Postby vuthy » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:10 pm

I do. It's really helpful. So bear with me one more minute. Let's go back to the real question, and I'm going to just fill it in w/ a more concrete set of circumstances because it helps me think better.

So in Q17, we have a conclusion (an advocated action) that says:

Don't voluntarily give yourself the plague (don't sacrifice your health) for millions of dollars (for money).


We then have a justification/premise that says:

The reason you shouldn't give yourself the plague is that if you have the plague, you won't be happy.


We then generate a hypothetical argument-destroyer, who interjects by saying:

I don't give a rip about happiness. All I care about is my million. So your effing advice doesn't apply to me.


And so to eliminate that argument-destroyer (aka the gap in the argument), we need something that essentially says:

You should value happiness over money.


Am I okay so far? (I'll wait for green light before proceeding to the next part, which really should just be to link up the last thing -- You should value happiness over money -- with one of the answer choices, which of course will be A, but I need to make sure I'm getting it thus far first.)

Daily_Double
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Re: PT62 S2 Q17

Postby Daily_Double » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:16 pm

Yeah that works. Though, I wouldn't ever wait for advice on this site. People are just giving their opinions, anonymously, which leads to the increased possibility that some may be more right than others. Just take what I wrote above as just that, advice. And good luck.

Reframe
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Re: PT62 S2 Q17

Postby Reframe » Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:20 pm

The "value" language, which is also present in one of the answer choices, is basically a red herring. A "should" answer choice will match up quite closely with the conclusion it's justifying. Since the conclusion here is about some action we should or should not take, the assumption also ought to be about some action we should or should not take, just in a more general form; anything about what we value is just going to generate a further gap that needs filling, e.g. with an assumption like "We should do what promotes what we should value." This question follows a very familiar structure:

Prompt: "Action A has some feature x. Therefore, we should/should not perform action A."
Correct answer choice: "We should/should not perform actions with feature x."

We are always just connecting one fact in the prompt to the conclusion in the prompt. And this fits very closely with what the test is trying to predict, i.e., how you'll do in law school: on many law exams you'll be writing paragraphs like "The crime/tort/whatever in question has element x. In this case, we know fact F. This means that element x is present here" - of course with more details filled in. Legal reasoning has been characterized as a way of moving from the abstract to the concrete. (All or almost all reasoning is like this, arguably!) What you have in a sufficient assumption question with a "should" in the prompt is almost always a whole lot of concrete stuff with one abstract thing missing. That's what we've got here.

In specific response to what you wrote: keep in mind that responding to argument-destroyers is the business of strengthen and necessary assumption questions, not sufficient assumption questions.




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