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10052014
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Postby 10052014 » Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:54 pm

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Last edited by 10052014 on Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Christine (MLSAT)
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Re: PT36 S1 Q20

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:11 pm

How are you approaching this? We can help you ferret out missteps in your thinking if you tell us where you got to so far.

But here's the breakdown: the barest core of the argument is this:

Premise: Most citizens lack knowledge about punishments effects on lawbreakers.
Conclusion: Justice is not ensure in the legal system.

Quite the leap! We can add a bit to this though. The first sentence tells us the ensuing justice requires people be able to criticize everyone (involved in determining punishments). So, if people weren't able to criticize everyone , then justice would NOT be ensured. Great! So if we can get to "people aren't able to criticize everyone", then our conclusion would fall in line.

So all this argument really needs is a good solid connection between knowledge about the effects of punishments and the ability to criticize people. (E) serves it up cleanly.

Negate it: If people were capable of criticizing everyone even without having that knowledge, then where in the world does the conclusion come from? How can you possibly claim justice isn't ensured?

10052014
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Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:12 am

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Postby 10052014 » Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:14 pm

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Last edited by 10052014 on Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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retaking23
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Re: PT36 S1 Q20

Postby retaking23 » Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:04 pm

This is a NA assumption question. The negation of the right answer will destroy the argument and every other choice will not. Usually, I don't try to prephrase NA assumption questions (because the credited answer often brings in something new that was not discussed in stimulus) but this question has a glaring hole in its logic so you can prephrase what the answer should get at.

First sentence says 'ensure justice -->citizens capable of criticizing punishers.' Last sentence says because 'most citizens lack knowledge --> justice not ensured.' (Note, I don't recommend using formal logic for NA questions but this one is an exception.)

From this jump from the premise to the conclusion (the last sentence), you should be able to see that the argument assumes that ensuring justice requires most citizens having knowledge about such matters (do not concern yourself with trying to pinpoint what such matters are for it is not needed to answer the question). Choice E gets at this assumption by tying it with the criticizing of punishers in the first sentence and, therefore, it is the right answer.

The second sentence is not entirely useless (though, for me, it was) because it describes the knowledge that the argument claims most citizens lack. When I did this question in real time, I didn't bother trying to really understand the argument and instead focused on structure because it lends itself nicely to formal logic.

Also, when in doubt, just do process of elimination. Choices A through D are easily eliminated.

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Christine (MLSAT)
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Re: PT36 S1 Q20

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:30 am

jaylawyer09 wrote:

But, does this mean that the 2nd sentence was basically useless? we did not even use it.


It's not useless, exactly. All it's doing is giving you the complete definition for the "such matters" mentioned in the third sentence. So, structurally, it's not terribly relevant, but just from a 'what the heck are we talking about' perspective, you need it to make sense of the argument.

They could have smashed all that definition stuff into the 3rd sentence, arguably, and structurally it would be identical. However, it would make the sentence incredibly long and really difficult to read.

It is very, very, very common for entire sentences to only be useful as background information, definitions, etc. This is one reason why it is so critical to approach every assumption family question with an eye to what the real core of the argument is. You've got to know how to cut the wheat from the chaff.




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