Does "most" include "all" ?

michaelt
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Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby michaelt » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:40 pm

PT2-S2-Q24 sets a precedent.

So far the rule has been that "most" on LSAT means more than 50%, and this includes 100%. "Most people are smart" does not mean "some people are not smart". This has been a fundamental law of the LSAT "constitution", and I am wondering if now I I must introduce the first amendment: "Most" = [ 50%+1, 100%-1], "most people are smart" thus "some people are not smart" ?

I was torn between (d) and (e), and without this "amendment" had no choice but to select the wrong answer.

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t14splitter
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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby t14splitter » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:42 pm

Most includes all. Go with "most" --> more than half

BPlaura
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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby BPlaura » Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:41 pm

Most does include all. However, I understand your confusion on this particular question.

The early PTs tend to be less refined than recent PTs, so I'd be very surprised to find a question like this on a more recent test - LSAC generally doesn't let stuff like this slide any more. However, the stimulus here also says that political insight and artistic talent are *rarely* found together, which would mean that there are a few (rare) cases in which they are found together.

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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:08 pm

BPlaura wrote:Most does include all. However, I understand your confusion on this particular question.

The early PTs tend to be less refined than recent PTs, so I'd be very surprised to find a question like this on a more recent test - LSAC generally doesn't let stuff like this slide any more. However, the stimulus here also says that political insight and artistic talent are *rarely* found together, which would mean that there are a few (rare) cases in which they are found together.


Agree with everything Laura said -- also wanted to add that politicians are not discussed, or even alluded to, in any way, in the stimulus, and so there is no way d can be correct.

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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby michaelt » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:28 pm

BPlaura wrote:Most does include all. However, I understand your confusion on this particular question.

The early PTs tend to be less refined than recent PTs, so I'd be very surprised to find a question like this on a more recent test - LSAC generally doesn't let stuff like this slide any more. However, the stimulus here also says that political insight and artistic talent are *rarely* found together, which would mean that there are a few (rare) cases in which they are found together.


I am relieved!

There are several interesting observations in this question:

- "most" excludes "all", e.g. "most people are smart" means it cannot be true that "all people are smart", at least one person isn't.

- "there is little point in doing X" excludes "there is no point in doing X", e.g. "the argument has little point" means it cannot be true that "the argument has no point", the argument must have at least some point.

- "X is rarely Y" excludes "X is never Y", e.g. "Siamese cats are rarely black" means at least one Siamese cat must be black.

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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby political scientist » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:32 pm

michaelt wrote:PT2-S2-Q24 sets a precedent.

So far the rule has been that "most" on LSAT means more than 50%, and this includes 100%. "Most people are smart" does not mean "some people are not smart". This has been a fundamental law of the LSAT "constitution", and I am wondering if now I I must introduce the first amendment: "Most" = [ 50%+1, 100%-1], "most people are smart" thus "some people are not smart" ?

I was torn between (d) and (e), and without this "amendment" had no choice but to select the wrong answer.


Don't ever make amendments to lsat logic. If you need to do this, you're doing something wrong.

Most doesn't include or imply all, it's simply consistent with all. It's more like all includes most, and most includes some. You can go "all, thus most," but you can't go "most, thus all."

"Most people are smart" doesn't imply "some people are not smart," but these are also consistent.

The last line in the stimulus is the evidence that gives you the answer here.

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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby michaelt » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:38 pm

The LSAT Trainer wrote:
BPlaura wrote:Most does include all. However, I understand your confusion on this particular question.

The early PTs tend to be less refined than recent PTs, so I'd be very surprised to find a question like this on a more recent test - LSAC generally doesn't let stuff like this slide any more. However, the stimulus here also says that political insight and artistic talent are *rarely* found together, which would mean that there are a few (rare) cases in which they are found together.


Agree with everything Laura said -- also wanted to add that politicians are not discussed, or even alluded to, in any way, in the stimulus, and so there is no way d can be correct.


I disagree. We are talking about "insights into political issues" in general, not about any specific issue(s). It is practically impossible to assume that a politician has no insights into any political issue whatsoever, even in a broad sense. Now, given the premise "artistic talent and political insight are rarely found together" allows inference that "Politicians rarely have any artistic talent". The word "rarely" not only limits the scope of the "artistic talent", and it also limits the number of politicians, too.
Last edited by michaelt on Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby BPlaura » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:39 pm

political scientist wrote:Most doesn't include or imply all, it's simply consistent with all. It's more like all includes most, and most includes some. You can go "all, thus most," but you can't go "most, thus all."


Whoops, yeah. To clarify, when I said "most includes all" earlier, I meant that most CAN mean all. But it definitely doesn't always mean all. Note to self - words matter!

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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:47 pm

michaelt wrote:
The LSAT Trainer wrote:
BPlaura wrote:Most does include all. However, I understand your confusion on this particular question.

The early PTs tend to be less refined than recent PTs, so I'd be very surprised to find a question like this on a more recent test - LSAC generally doesn't let stuff like this slide any more. However, the stimulus here also says that political insight and artistic talent are *rarely* found together, which would mean that there are a few (rare) cases in which they are found together.


Agree with everything Laura said -- also wanted to add that politicians are not discussed, or even alluded to, in any way, in the stimulus, and so there is no way d can be correct.


I disagree. We are talking about "insights into political issues" in general, not about any specific issue(s). It is practically impossible to assume that a politician has no insights into any political issue whatsoever, even in a broad sense. Now, given the premise "artistic talent and political insight are rarely found together" allows inference that "Politicians rarely have any artistic talent". The word "rarely" not only limits the scope of the "artistic talent", and it also limits the number of politicians, too.


Okay then -- I think we can agree to disagree -- sorry I couldn't be of more help -- MK

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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby political scientist » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:00 pm

The LSAT Trainer wrote:
michaelt wrote:
The LSAT Trainer wrote:
BPlaura wrote:Most does include all. However, I understand your confusion on this particular question.

The early PTs tend to be less refined than recent PTs, so I'd be very surprised to find a question like this on a more recent test - LSAC generally doesn't let stuff like this slide any more. However, the stimulus here also says that political insight and artistic talent are *rarely* found together, which would mean that there are a few (rare) cases in which they are found together.


Agree with everything Laura said -- also wanted to add that politicians are not discussed, or even alluded to, in any way, in the stimulus, and so there is no way d can be correct.


I disagree. We are talking about "insights into political issues" in general, not about any specific issue(s). It is practically impossible to assume that a politician has no insights into any political issue whatsoever, even in a broad sense. Now, given the premise "artistic talent and political insight are rarely found together" allows inference that "Politicians rarely have any artistic talent". The word "rarely" not only limits the scope of the "artistic talent", and it also limits the number of politicians, too.


Okay then -- I think we can agree to disagree -- sorry I couldn't be of more help -- MK


Let me help you. Listen to these people. There is one credited response. Learn their rules and play by them to get points. Don't fight it.

It doesn't say "politicians" anywhere in the stimulus. It's a trap. We're talking about artists and political insight.

It says most artists hold political views that are less insightful.
It also says that artistic talent and political insight are rarely (***sometimes***) found together.
Select E and move on.

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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby michaelt » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:14 pm

Guys, please - I am not fighting. Many correct answers (e.g. necessary assumptions) are about something wildly out-of-scope of what was originally discussed, and we don't reject them merely because something was not alluded.

We are talking about a group of people ("X") who have "insights into political issues". Politicians are merely a subset of this group.

The argument states that artists (a group "Y") have almost no overlap with "X". So I infer that the subset of "X", i.e. politician, also have almost no overlap with "Y".

This choice certainly seems more logical to me rather than accepting that "most" must exclude "all".

michaelt
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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby michaelt » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:21 pm

political scientist wrote:
Let me help you. Listen to these people. There is one credited response.


Isn't it called an "appeal to authority"? :) - a flaw that we all should be familiar with.

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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby BPlaura » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:37 pm

michaelt wrote:Isn't it called an "appeal to authority"? :) - a flaw that we all should be familiar with.


:lol:

But, if I can put my nit-picky hat on for a second, an appeal to authority isn't inherently flawed. The problem comes when you're appealing to an authority who can't reasonably be assumed to have expertise on the subject matter of the argument. For instance, there's that LR question where the IT department says data storage (or something) should be the hospital's #1 priority - those guys aren't a good source for the argument because while they probably know a lot about computers, they don't know enough about running a hospital to be able to determine the hospital's overall priorities. That's a flaw. But there's another question about NAFTA where the argument appeals to Adam Smith's authority, and that isn't inherently a flaw.

Sooo, I guess what I'm saying is... are you implying that Mike and I don't have expertise on this subject area? ;)

(totally kidding, by the way - it's a slow day at work, as you can probably tell))

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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby political scientist » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:52 pm

michaelt wrote:Guys, please - I am not fighting. Many correct answers (e.g. necessary assumptions) are about something wildly out-of-scope of what was originally discussed, and we don't reject them merely because something was not alluded.

We are talking about a group of people ("X") who have "insights into political issues". Politicians are merely a subset of this group.

The argument states that artists (a group "Y") have almost no overlap with "X". So I infer that the subset of "X", i.e. politician, also have almost no overlap with "Y".

This choice certainly seems more logical to me rather than accepting that "most" must exclude "all".


It isn't saying that "most" must exclude "all." It says we shouldn't look to artists for political insight because most artists are less politically insightful than well-educated non-artists, but some (this is the part that excludes all) artists have both artistic talent and political insight.

Politicians could be in either group. Maybe politicians are artists and have terrible political insight. We just don't know.

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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby michaelt » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:34 pm

A = "artists"
B = "any reasonably well-educated person who is not an artist"
X = "politically insightful views"

Premise: Most A have less X than B.
Answer: it can be inferred that some A have no less X than some B.

"Can be inferred" means that it must be true, not that it can be true. If this was merely "can be true", than all other answers would fall into category "must be false", and (e) certainly does not have to be false.

Looking for "must be true", can we infer "some A must have no less X than some B" ? No - it's possible that "most A" in the premise includes "all A", and thus this answer cannot be actually inferred.

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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby BPlaura » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:18 pm

As I said above, the key in the stimulus is that it says that politically insightful views and artistic talent RARELY occur together, which means that they do sometimes occur together. That's why the answer follows. You're focusing on the wrong part of the stimulus.

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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby zhenders » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:32 pm

This has gotten so confusing so quickly. How?

BPlaura wrote:As I said above, the key in the stimulus is that it says that politically insightful views and artistic talent RARELY occur together, which means that they do sometimes occur together. That's why the answer follows. You're focusing on the wrong part of the stimulus.


This.

Don't turn the question into something it isn't.

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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby michaelt » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:46 pm

BPlaura wrote:As I said above, the key in the stimulus is that it says that politically insightful views and artistic talent RARELY occur together, which means that they do sometimes occur together. That's why the answer follows. You're focusing on the wrong part of the stimulus.


Let me see if I get this right: "most" includes "all", however "rarely" excludes "never". I think this is what caused the confusion.

If I substitute "rarely" with "a few", it becomes apples-to-apples: "most" (more than a half including all) vs. "a few" (less than a half excluding zero).

The difference is tiny, yet could be very critical. The question is a perfect example how LSAT makers mixed the two terms to create as much confusion as possible out of this hardly noticeable difference between the two terms. Specifically, because the two terms were used interchangeably, in that particular case "most" actually excludes "all".

Wow!

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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby political scientist » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:06 am

michaelt wrote:Let me see if I get this right: "most" includes "all", however "rarely" excludes "never". I think this is what caused the confusion.

If I substitute "rarely" with "a few", it becomes apples-to-apples: "most" (more than a half including all) vs. "a few" (less than a half excluding zero).

The difference is tiny, yet could be very critical. The question is a perfect example how LSAT makers mixed the two terms to create as much confusion as possible out of this hardly noticeable difference between the two terms. Specifically, because the two terms were used interchangeably, in that particular case "most" actually excludes "all".

Wow!


You're going too far with the "most" inferences. By itself, most doesn't ever include or exclude all. Most is just consistent with all. All includes most, which includes some or a few. All, most, and some exclude never.

You are right that rarely (or some, or a few) excludes never.

In this question there is a negation that changes how these work. Saying most are not politically insightful excludes all are politically insightful. Some are politically insightful excludes all are not politically insightful.

All is excluded on both ends here. It can't be that all are insightful or that all are not insightful. So, you're left with most artists (more than half) are not insightful and rarely (at least one) are insightful.

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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby michaelt » Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:09 am

political scientist wrote:By itself, most doesn't ever include or exclude all. Most is just consistent with all. All includes most, which includes some or a few. All, most, and some exclude never.

You are right that rarely (or some, or a few) excludes never.

In this question there is a negation that changes how these work. Saying most are not politically insightful excludes all are politically insightful. Some are politically insightful excludes all are not politically insightful.

All is excluded on both ends here. It can't be that all are insightful or that all are not insightful. So, you're left with most artists (more than half) are not insightful and rarely (at least one) are insightful.


Saying that "most" includes "all" is exactly the same as saying "most" is consistent with "all". At least this is what I had in mind from the beginning.

However, in the case here one of the premises removes possibility of "all" by using another term: "rarely". Carefully and barely noticeable, like a shell game. Because "rarely" is inconsistent with "never" (which was not that obvious to me), it excludes the possibility for "all". Thus, the modifier "most" shifts to "most, but not all", and this is what the whole catch is about - to notice the shift. If the shift is not noticed, it's very easy to focus on "most" alone, and this makes it impossible to answer. No wonder Cambridge put this question in the category of the most difficult.

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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby political scientist » Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:38 pm

michaelt wrote:
political scientist wrote:By itself, most doesn't ever include or exclude all. Most is just consistent with all. All includes most, which includes some or a few. All, most, and some exclude never.

You are right that rarely (or some, or a few) excludes never.

In this question there is a negation that changes how these work. Saying most are not politically insightful excludes all are politically insightful. Some are politically insightful excludes all are not politically insightful.

All is excluded on both ends here. It can't be that all are insightful or that all are not insightful. So, you're left with most artists (more than half) are not insightful and rarely (at least one) are insightful.


Saying that "most" includes "all" is exactly the same as saying "most" is consistent with "all". At least this is what I had in mind from the beginning.

However, in the case here one of the premises removes possibility of "all" by using another term: "rarely". Carefully and barely noticeable, like a shell game. Because "rarely" is inconsistent with "never" (which was not that obvious to me), it excludes the possibility for "all". Thus, the modifier "most" shifts to "most, but not all", and this is what the whole catch is about - to notice the shift. If the shift is not noticed, it's very easy to focus on "most" alone, and this makes it impossible to answer. No wonder Cambridge put this question in the category of the most difficult.


If you are going to use includes to mean the same as is consistent with, then consider my use of includes to mean implies, e.g., all implies most. When I say excludes I mean they are contradictory.

Also, the modifier "most" doesn't shift here. The "rarely" has no effect on it. If there are 100 artists, most would imply 51 are not insightful. Rarely insightful would imply 1 artist is insightful, but the 51 not insightful artists stay the same. The other 48 artists are unaccounted for.

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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby michaelt » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:28 pm

This explains then, and I absolutely agree that "most" does not imply "all", it is consistent with "all".

Also, the modifier "most" doesn't shift here. The "rarely" has no effect on it. If there are 100 artists, most would imply 51 are not insightful. Rarely insightful would imply 1 artist is insightful, but the 51 not insightful artists stay the same. The other 48 artists are unaccounted for.


What happened to "consistent" ? Let's put the exact same reasoning to what is consistent with what:

If there are 100 artists, most would be consistent (i.e. allow a possibility) that all artists are not insightful. Rarely would imply 1 artist is insightful, and this eliminates the possibility of all 100 artists being not insightful. In other words, "most" got reduced from its full potential ("most, including all") to something less ("most, excluding all").

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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby political scientist » Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:57 pm

michaelt wrote:This explains then, and I absolutely agree that "most" does not imply "all", it is consistent with "all".

Also, the modifier "most" doesn't shift here. The "rarely" has no effect on it. If there are 100 artists, most would imply 51 are not insightful. Rarely insightful would imply 1 artist is insightful, but the 51 not insightful artists stay the same. The other 48 artists are unaccounted for.


What happened to "consistent" ? Let's put the exact same reasoning to what is consistent with what:

If there are 100 artists, most would be consistent (i.e. allow a possibility) that all artists are not insightful. Rarely would imply 1 artist is insightful, and this eliminates the possibility of all 100 artists being not insightful. In other words, "most" got reduced from its full potential ("most, including all") to something less ("most, excluding all").


I don't think you understand what consistent means. Most has no potential, it gives you 51 and nothing more. Another premise would need to be introduced in order to bring the remaining artists into play. Most being consistent with all means that if a premise stating all were introduced there would not be a contradiction, the same way it's consistent with rarely. These quantifiers act on the domain of discourse, not each other.

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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby michaelt » Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:51 pm

I do appreciate when someone corrects me. I actually have learned a lot from this forum already, and really want to get to the bottom of this issue we are discussing. I had misconstrued "consistent" in the past (one of my earlier posts), and I was under an impression I get it right this time. Yet it's possible I am still wrong, if so - please do correct me again.

I think "consistent" means "does not contradict" or (the same thing) "allows a possibility". "Most artists" does not contradict "all artists". It allows a possibility for "all artists", and in that sense I say "most" includes (from the range of possibilities) "all".

If there are 100 artists, "most artists are not insightful" means possibilities are anywhere from 51 up to, and including, 100. So "most artists" is consistent with (as in "does not contradict", or in "allows a possibility") that "all" artists are not insightful.

The argument starts by saying "most artists are not insightful", then it introduces a premise "artists are rarely insightful", and this shifted "most" to "most, but not all". The range of possibilities got reduced. It might be not the way you solved this question, and for you focusing on the modifier "rarely" what led to the right answer, however for those who like me focused on "most", recognizing this shift is critical to understand why the answer is correct. I started this thread by saying that the question sets a precedent where "most" excludes "all". This is not true, I merely did not recognize the shift.

In regular everyday life, we would not notice any difference between "most As are not B" and "As are rarely B". But on LSAT the difference is huge: the first allows the possibility that all As are not B, and the second does not. This is precisely what the LSAT makers intended to test - would I notice the difference.

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Re: Does "most" include "all" ?

Postby political scientist » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:45 pm

michaelt wrote:I think "consistent" means "does not contradict" or (the same thing) "allows a possibility". "Most artists" does not contradict "all artists". It allows a possibility for "all artists", and in that sense I say "most" includes (from the range of possibilities) "all".

If there are 100 artists, "most artists are not insightful" means possibilities are anywhere from 51 up to, and including, 100. So "most artists" is consistent with (as in "does not contradict", or in "allows a possibility") that "all" artists are not insightful.

The argument starts by saying "most artists are not insightful", then it introduces a premise "artists are rarely insightful", and this shifted "most" to "most, but not all". The range of possibilities got reduced. It might be not the way you solved this question, and for you focusing on the modifier "rarely" what led to the right answer, however for those who like me focused on "most", recognizing this shift is critical to understand why the answer is correct. I started this thread by saying that the question sets a precedent where "most" excludes "all". This is not true, I merely did not recognize the shift.


Solve it however you like, but for anyone else reading this I don't recommend thinking that way.

This question asks what can be inferred, not what is possible. You don't know that 100 is possible given most, and it turns out it is not possible. The "allows a possibility" you describe is really a contingency. Everything above 51 is contingent upon information you don't have with just most.

If you were given a premise stating all, then that would be consistent with most, but that doesn't happen. Consistency is something that happens between two or more premises. Considering whether most would hypothetically be consistent with premises you aren't given doesn't give you any usable information, and it doesn't make contingencies any more allowable.

Focusing on the modifier "rarely" is the only information that gives you the right answer.

Good luck.




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