Assumption Questions (that don't seem SA or NA)

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WaltGrace83
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Assumption Questions (that don't seem SA or NA)

Postby WaltGrace83 » Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:32 pm

When you get a stem that says "The argument assumes..." or "An assumption made is that...", what kind of assumption is that? Is it NA? SA? Neither?

I'd have to believe it is NOT SA and is NA, but then why be so vague?

03152016
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Re: Assumption Questions (that don't seem SA or NA)

Postby 03152016 » Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:00 pm

recreating the post i edited out

in a sa question, you're doing something to the argument, pushing the assumption up into the stim to prove the conclusion
you're helping the argument along:
"follows logically if which one of the following is assumed"
"most helps to justify the reasoning"
"allows the conclusion to be properly inferred"

compare to:
"the argument assumes"
"an assumption made is that"
these are na stims. you're not being asked to modify the argument, but to identify an assumption of it
Last edited by 03152016 on Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:55 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Jeffort
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Re: Assumption Questions (that don't seem SA or NA)

Postby Jeffort » Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:13 pm

The stems you're talking about are necessary assumption questions, not SA.

To be an SA question, the stem must include language that describes making the argument logically valid (100% logically airtight/establishes that the conclusion must be true), such as logically follows, logically correct, justifies (as opposed to most helps to justify) or another synonymous phrase AND must include language that refers to the answer choices as being a sufficient condition to make the conclusion of the argument logically valid.

For example:
The conclusion drawn in the argument is valid IF which one of the following is assumed?
Which one of the following, if true/if assumed, enables the conclusion to be properly drawn?
The conclusion follows logically IF which one of the following is assumed?

These are all SA stems because they include BOTH a description of making the conclusion valid/logically correct 'valid, properly drawn, follows logically' AND a sufficient condition indicator word or phrase that refers to the answer choices.

Without both those factors present in the stem, it's not a SA assumption question. A common misconception students form is that the presence of a word or phrase describing a valid conclusion (follows logically, etc.) in the stem is what makes a stem a SA question, but that factor by itself doesn't establish that the stem is asking for a SA. Rather, it's the combination of such a word/phrase AND a sufficient condition indicator word/phrase referring to the answer choices that makes a stem a SA question.

For example:
The conclusion drawn in the argument can be valid/follow logically ONLY IF which one of the following is assumed?
The conclusion cannot logically follow unless which one of the following is assumed?

and other variations which include a 'valid, logically follows, logically correct' word/phrase but instead of referring to the AC's as being sufficient conditions, refer to them as necessary conditions (only if, unless, etc.) are actually NA questions/stems asking for an assumption that is necessary for the argument to be able to be valid, not for an assumption that actually makes the conclusion/argument fully valid/100% air tight such that the conclusion must be true when you add the CR to the argument as additional premise.

In the absence of any sufficient or necessary condition indicator vocabulary in a stem that's asking for an assumption of the argument, it's a NA question.

Make sense?
Last edited by Jeffort on Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.

03152016
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Re: Assumption Questions (that don't seem SA or NA)

Postby 03152016 » Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:17 pm

as usual, jeffort's explanation is much better
listen to him

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Jeffort
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Re: Assumption Questions (that don't seem SA or NA)

Postby Jeffort » Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:34 pm

Brut wrote:as usual, jeffort's explanation is much better
listen to him



Hey, I liked your description too!, it was a bit more straightforward/direct in describing and emphasizing that with SA questions the CR must DO SOMETHING to change the argument (make it 100% logically valid), unlike with NA questions where you're asked to identify an assumption that already exists within the reasoning of the argument presented in the stimulus.

If you didn't already wipe out the explanation you typed up, posted and edited out, please put it back up Brut! I think in combination with my much more technical post it further helps to clarify this issue students commonly have confusion with.

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WaltGrace83
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Re: Assumption Questions (that don't seem SA or NA)

Postby WaltGrace83 » Fri Dec 26, 2014 8:09 pm

Thanks a lot! I just wanted to make sure that there wasn't some incredibly rare question type that I didn't put much thought into. Thanks!




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