Identifying the conclusion in "Some critics say..."

michaelt
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Identifying the conclusion in "Some critics say..."

Postby michaelt » Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:12 pm

I am struggling with a simple type of question that keeps repeating itself:

Some critics say it is possible to do A. But they are wrong. [Here comes a line of reasoning]. Therefore, it is not possible to do A.

What is the main conclusion here:

1) It is not possible to do A.
2) Those critics that say it is possible to do A are wrong.

:roll:

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elterrible78
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Re: Identifying the conclusion in "Some critics say..."

Postby elterrible78 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:15 pm

michaelt wrote:I am struggling with a simple type of question that keeps repeating itself:

Some critics say it is possible to do A. But they are wrong. [Here comes a line of reasoning]. Therefore, it is not possible to do A.

What is the main conclusion here:

1) It is not possible to do A.
2) Those critics that say it is possible to do A are wrong.

:roll:


Both, really. But for functional purposes, it's the first choice...that is almost always where the traction is in these types of questions.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Identifying the conclusion in "Some critics say..."

Postby Pneumonia » Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:16 pm

Discounting the way that you have phrased it, the answer here is 2).

A good question to ask is which of the statements supports the other.

ETA: based on the above I disagree with Elterrible; the conclusion is that the critics are wrong.

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Gustave
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Re: Identifying the conclusion in "Some critics say..."

Postby Gustave » Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:18 pm

The critics are wrong is the final conclusion.

The statement, "Therefore it is not possible to do A" is an intermediate conclusion. It's predicated upon the premises contained within the glossed line of reasoning. It, though, can be used to support the statement, "But they are wrong."

Again, since the statement "Therefore it is not possible to do A" supports the statement, "but they are wrong," the first is an intermediate conclusion and the later is the final conclusion.

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Gustave
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Re: Identifying the conclusion in "Some critics say..."

Postby Gustave » Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:22 pm

elterrible78 wrote:
michaelt wrote:I am struggling with a simple type of question that keeps repeating itself:

Some critics say it is possible to do A. But they are wrong. [Here comes a line of reasoning]. Therefore, it is not possible to do A.

What is the main conclusion here:

1) It is not possible to do A.
2) Those critics that say it is possible to do A are wrong.

:roll:


Both, really. But for functional purposes, it's the first choice...that is almost always where the traction is in these types of questions.


-- Nope. Wrong. Think about it this way: If you weaken the statement that the critics are wrong (that their argument is not valid) it will have no effect on whether or not it is possible to do A. That argument is contained within the glossed line of reasoning. However, if you weaken that intermediate conclusion, that it's impossible to do A, then you'll weaken the conclusion that "they are wrong."

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Pneumonia
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Re: Identifying the conclusion in "Some critics say..."

Postby Pneumonia » Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:23 pm

I'm gonna give ET the benefit of the doubt here and assume that he just mixed up the numbers.

michaelt
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Re: Identifying the conclusion in "Some critics say..."

Postby michaelt » Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:39 pm

Let's slightly re-phrase it, remove the critics, and the assertion that they were wrong:

Contrary to recent speculations, A will not occur. [Here comes a line of reasoning proving A will not occur].

Which one is the main conclusion:

1) Those who recently speculated that A would occur were wrong.
2) A will not occur.

(this is where I got puzzled: PT54-S2-11)

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elterrible78
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Re: Identifying the conclusion in "Some critics say..."

Postby elterrible78 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:20 pm

michaelt wrote:Let's slightly re-phrase it, remove the critics, and the assertion that they were wrong:

Contrary to recent speculations, A will not occur. [Here comes a line of reasoning proving A will not occur].

Which one is the main conclusion:

1) Those who recently speculated that A would occur were wrong.
2) A will not occur.

(this is where I got puzzled: PT54-S2-11)


The one about the hardware store?

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elterrible78
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Re: Identifying the conclusion in "Some critics say..."

Postby elterrible78 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:29 pm

Gustave wrote:
elterrible78 wrote:
michaelt wrote:I am struggling with a simple type of question that keeps repeating itself:

Some critics say it is possible to do A. But they are wrong. [Here comes a line of reasoning]. Therefore, it is not possible to do A.

What is the main conclusion here:

1) It is not possible to do A.
2) Those critics that say it is possible to do A are wrong.

:roll:


Both, really. But for functional purposes, it's the first choice...that is almost always where the traction is in these types of questions.


-- Nope. Wrong. Think about it this way: If you weaken the statement that the critics are wrong (that their argument is not valid) it will have no effect on whether or not it is possible to do A. That argument is contained within the glossed line of reasoning. However, if you weaken that intermediate conclusion, that it's impossible to do A, then you'll weaken the conclusion that "they are wrong."


This is certainly correct, and in a regular old "main conclusion" question, this is absolutely the right way to look at this. I have to admit to kind of skimming the OP. Typically, though, you'll get something like "the critics are wrong" as the main conclusion, and from there you have to kind of take another step and look at their claim, and then for all intents and purposes, the main conclusion is the opposite of what they were trying to say. That's what I mean by "that's where the traction is." But absolutely, in this case, "the critics are wrong" is the main conclusion.

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Gustave
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Re: Identifying the conclusion in "Some critics say..."

Postby Gustave » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:19 pm

michaelt wrote:Let's slightly re-phrase it, remove the critics, and the assertion that they were wrong:

Contrary to recent speculations, A will not occur. [Here comes a line of reasoning proving A will not occur].

Which one is the main conclusion:

1) Those who recently speculated that A would occur were wrong.
2) A will not occur.

(this is where I got puzzled: PT54-S2-11)


Te


In this case, it's that A will not occur. The first clause, "contrary to recent speculations," is a counter premise. Nowhere is it explicitly stated herr that those who recently speculated that A would occur were wrong, though you could reasonably show this with the line of reasoning, "if you speculate that something will occur and it does not occur, you are wrong. Some people recently speculated that A will occur. A will not occur, for the reasons stated above. Thus, those people are wrong."

michaelt
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Re: Identifying the conclusion in "Some critics say..."

Postby michaelt » Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:22 pm

Gustave wrote:Nowhere is it explicitly stated here that those who recently speculated that A would occur were wrong, though you could reasonably show this with the line of reasoning, "if you speculate that something will occur and it does not occur, you are wrong. Some people recently speculated that A will occur. A will not occur, for the reasons stated above. Thus, those people are wrong."


I agree that the it wasn't explicitly stated, but it is still a premise - - "some people speculated". It is an implicit premise (like, e.g., PT56-S2-Q9). So can I say that the argument conclusion, then, was to deny the implicit premise?

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elterrible78
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Re: Identifying the conclusion in "Some critics say..."

Postby elterrible78 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:17 pm

michaelt wrote:
Gustave wrote:Nowhere is it explicitly stated here that those who recently speculated that A would occur were wrong, though you could reasonably show this with the line of reasoning, "if you speculate that something will occur and it does not occur, you are wrong. Some people recently speculated that A will occur. A will not occur, for the reasons stated above. Thus, those people are wrong."


I agree that the it wasn't explicitly stated, but it is still a premise - - "some people speculated". It is an implicit premise (like, e.g., PT56-S2-Q9). So can I say that the argument conclusion, then, was to deny the implicit premise?


There is definitely an implicit premise here (and there are usually about a zillion of them in each question. Another implicit premise here is that the shopping plaza exists), but it's not doing a whole lot of work. If you accept that the "implicit premise" is that "some people speculated", then denying that would just be "nobody has speculated."

I'm not sure if you're interested in this on a more theoretical level, or because you were confused about why B was the correct answer here. In any case:

P: SOHS ----> ASP
P: /ASP
-----
C: /SOHS

michaelt
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Re: Identifying the conclusion in "Some critics say..."

Postby michaelt » Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:46 pm

It might be a theoretical level. I am trying to figure out the difference between "Some critics say X, but they are wrong" and "Contrary to the recent speculations, Y will occur". I am not clear why the critics earned so much weight to be the main point of the argument. Why are the critics allowed to steal the main conclusion, and those who speculated are not? Is it merely because the critics' appearance was explicit, and those who speculated were implicit?

The opinion of the critics as much as the fact of speculations is merely a preamble to the argument, a background, an introduction which is not the main focus at all. The purpose of this introduction is only to start the argument, and it ends right there, at the beginning, not at the end of the line of reasoning.

So it seems the second post (that both answers could be the main conclusion) was actually correct then...

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elterrible78
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Re: Identifying the conclusion in "Some critics say..."

Postby elterrible78 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:09 pm

michaelt wrote:It might be a theoretical level. I am trying to figure out the difference between "Some critics say X, but they are wrong" and "Contrary to the recent speculations, Y will occur". I am not clear why the critics earned so much weight to be the main point of the argument. Why are the critics allowed to steal the main conclusion, and those who speculated are not? Is it merely because the critics' appearance was explicit, and those who speculated were implicit?

The opinion of the critics as much as the fact of speculations is merely a preamble to the argument, a background, an introduction which is not the main focus at all. The purpose of this introduction is only to start the argument, and it ends right there, at the beginning, not at the end of the line of reasoning.

So it seems the second post (that both answers could be the main conclusion) was actually correct then...


Well...

I suspect you're looking at it the wrong way. The main conclusion doesn't have anything to do with the "weight", really, it has to do with (at the most basic level) what is supporting what, and what is the end of the line of that "chain of support."

Can you point to an explicit question so I can try to help you with it? I'm looking at the original question you cited, and there's not a "critic" to be found in it.

And as far as the second post being right....the way you spelled out the argument in your OP, it's not right.

Let's take this out of theory land. Find me a concrete example of the kind of thing that's bothering you, and we'll work from there, and that'll help me address your theoretical concerns a little better. I really suspect you're having a fundamental (but easily correctable) misunderstanding of the logic.

michaelt
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Re: Identifying the conclusion in "Some critics say..."

Postby michaelt » Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:48 am

Ok, maybe I didn't make my points clear. Let me try again.

In arguments that start with a counter-premise "some critics say X" immediately proceeded by "but they are wrong" it is universally recognized that the main conclusion is about the wrongfulness of the counter-premise: "some critics are wrong". The explanation for this rests on the simple fact that this wrongfulness is supported by the line of reasoning, and at the same time it does not support by itself anything else.

Now, the question PT54-S2-Q11 also seems to be the exact same type as "some critics say". It starts with a very similar counter-premise: "Contrary to the recent speculations". While this counter-premise has an implicit part (those people who speculated are not expressly mentioned), the main conclusion is nevertheless not about the conflict with the speculations. We are asked to identify the main conclusion, and none of the answers say "The speculations were unwarranted". So my point is that this is inconsistent with all other "some critics say" types of questions that I have come across many times before. If critics' wrongfulness was deemed to be the arguments' main point, so the speculators must make their appearance in the main conclusion as well. So I found it surprising that they didn't.

Also, in RC section the main conclusion is identified by weight. We wouldn't select an answer "the critics were wrong" merely because the passage started like this. We would check if the critics' opinion had any significant weight in the rest of the passage. However, in LR section, as you suggest, the weight of "the critics are wrong" should play no role, and we should focus instead of what is supported by what.

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elterrible78
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Re: Identifying the conclusion in "Some critics say..."

Postby elterrible78 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:27 pm

michaelt wrote:Ok, maybe I didn't make my points clear. Let me try again.

In arguments that start with a counter-premise "some critics say X" immediately proceeded by "but they are wrong" it is universally recognized that the main conclusion is about the wrongfulness of the counter-premise: "some critics are wrong". The explanation for this rests on the simple fact that this wrongfulness is supported by the line of reasoning, and at the same time it does not support by itself anything else.

Now, the question PT54-S2-Q11 also seems to be the exact same type as "some critics say". It starts with a very similar counter-premise: "Contrary to the recent speculations". While this counter-premise has an implicit part (those people who speculated are not expressly mentioned), the main conclusion is nevertheless not about the conflict with the speculations. We are asked to identify the main conclusion, and none of the answers say "The speculations were unwarranted". So my point is that this is inconsistent with all other "some critics say" types of questions that I have come across many times before. If critics' wrongfulness was deemed to be the arguments' main point, so the speculators must make their appearance in the main conclusion as well. So I found it surprising that they didn't.

Also, in RC section the main conclusion is identified by weight. We wouldn't select an answer "the critics were wrong" merely because the passage started like this. We would check if the critics' opinion had any significant weight in the rest of the passage. However, in LR section, as you suggest, the weight of "the critics are wrong" should play no role, and we should focus instead of what is supported by what.


Okay, yes. RC and LR are different in just the way you specified. Your original question was a little confusing, and didn't express exactly what you were trying to ask. By some miracle, my very first response actually understood what you meant to ask.

To be as clear as possible:

In most "main conclusion" questions, when you get something that says "Most critics say the sun will come out tomorrow, but they are wrong because...", the main conclusion could be "the critics are wrong", but in an answer choice will typically be something more like "the sun will not come out tomorrow."




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