Strengthen the reasoning vs. Strengthen the conclusion

theoretics
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Strengthen the reasoning vs. Strengthen the conclusion

Postby theoretics » Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:00 pm

Is there a significant difference between the two? I know that the answer is yes, but I am having some difficulty seeing how to frame my thinking in this light.

Also, are there many problems where one can feasibly strengthen the conclusion without strengthening the reasoning that links the premises to the conclusion?

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Clyde Frog
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Re: Strengthen the reasoning vs. Strengthen the conclusion

Postby Clyde Frog » Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:01 pm

They're both strengthen questions so should be treated the same way. It's just another way of saying the same thing.

theoretics
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Re: Strengthen the reasoning vs. Strengthen the conclusion

Postby theoretics » Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:52 pm

I sort of think of them as the same as well, but I came across the LSAT Trainer's section on strengthen questions which says that some of the trap answer choices will utilize this distinction and strengthen the conclusion without strengthening the reasoning. I'm unclear on that point.

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Clyde Frog
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Re: Strengthen the reasoning vs. Strengthen the conclusion

Postby Clyde Frog » Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:55 pm

theoretics wrote:I sort of think of them as the same as well, but I came across the LSAT Trainer's section on strengthen questions which says that some of the trap answer choices will utilize this distinction and strengthen the conclusion without strengthening the reasoning. I'm unclear on that point.


Is it referring to premise boosters? What page are you referring to btw? I have a 1st edition of the LSAT Trainer laying around.

theoretics
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Re: Strengthen the reasoning vs. Strengthen the conclusion

Postby theoretics » Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:09 pm

In my version of the book, it's on the second boldface paragraph on p. 275. The page that has the heading 'Strengthen/ Weaken.'

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Clyde Frog
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Re: Strengthen the reasoning vs. Strengthen the conclusion

Postby Clyde Frog » Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:12 pm

Nevermind I see what you're talking about. Mike is saying that some answer choices could affect the conclusion but we're looking to address the argument (premise+conclusion). Regardless both strengthen the reason and strengthen the conclusion mean the same thing on the lsat.

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Re: Strengthen the reasoning vs. Strengthen the conclusion

Postby theoretics » Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:28 pm

I want to say that what you say makes sense to me, but that doesn't seem like a satisfying answer seeing as how Mike makes it a point to distinguish the two. I'm going to ask on his thread to see if we can get more on his perspective.

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Re: Strengthen the reasoning vs. Strengthen the conclusion

Postby qgprhtnf » Sat Apr 25, 2015 4:30 pm

I remember also being confused about the way LSAT views this distinction, so I'll chime in with an observation.

In PT46-S2-Q10, (A) only strengthens the passage's conclusion without strengthening the reasoning behind the conclusion. However, there are no answer choices in this question that strengthen the conclusion by strengthening the reasoning behind it. Thus, (A) is the credited response.

Now take a look at question 8 of the same section (PT46-S2-Q10). Here, (A) attacks the conclusion of the passage without attacking the reasoning behind the conclusion. On the other hand, (C) attacks the conclusion by attacking the reasoning that led to the conclusion. In this question, (C) is the credited response.

In light of this observation, I am inclined to think that LSAT views "strengthening the reasoning" to be better than "strengthening the conclusion." In other words, I think that if both are available as answer choices, one that strengthens the reasoning is the right answer (e.g. Q8); but if there is no answer choice that strengthens the reasoning, strengthening the conclusion can still be the right answer (e.g. Q10).

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Clyde Frog
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Re: Strengthen the reasoning vs. Strengthen the conclusion

Postby Clyde Frog » Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:52 pm

qgprhtnf wrote:I remember also being confused about the way LSAT views this distinction, so I'll chime in with an observation.

In PT46-S2-Q10, (A) only strengthens the passage's conclusion without strengthening the reasoning behind the conclusion. However, there are no answer choices in this question that strengthen the conclusion by strengthening the reasoning behind it. Thus, (A) is the credited response.

Now take a look at question 8 of the same section (PT46-S2-Q10). Here, (A) attacks the conclusion of the passage without attacking the reasoning behind the conclusion. On the other hand, (C) attacks the conclusion by attacking the reasoning that led to the conclusion. In this question, (C) is the credited response.

In light of this observation, I am inclined to think that LSAT views "strengthening the reasoning" to be better than "strengthening the conclusion." In other words, I think that if both are available as answer choices, one that strengthens the reasoning is the right answer (e.g. Q8); but if there is no answer choice that strengthens the reasoning, strengthening the conclusion can still be the right answer (e.g. Q10).


What test are you looking at? 46-2-8 and 10 are weaken and nec assumption questions respectively.

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Re: Strengthen the reasoning vs. Strengthen the conclusion

Postby qgprhtnf » Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:25 pm

Clyde Frog wrote:
qgprhtnf wrote:I remember also being confused about the way LSAT views this distinction, so I'll chime in with an observation.

In PT46-S2-Q10, negating (A) only strengthens the passage's conclusion without strengthening the reasoning behind the conclusion. However, there are no answer choices in this question that strengthen the conclusion by strengthening the reasoning behind it. Thus, (A) is the credited response.

Now take a look at question 8 of the same section (PT46-S2-Q10). Here, (A) attacks the conclusion of the passage without attacking the reasoning behind the conclusion. On the other hand, (C) attacks the conclusion by attacking the reasoning that led to the conclusion. In this question, (C) is the credited response.

In light of this observation, I am inclined to think that LSAT views "strengthening the reasoning" to be better than "strengthening the conclusion." In other words, I think that if both are available as answer choices, one that strengthens the reasoning is the right answer (e.g. Q8); but if there is no answer choice that strengthens the reasoning, strengthening the conclusion can still be the right answer (e.g. Q10).


What test are you looking at? 46-2-8 and 10 are weaken and nec assumption questions respectively.


That test is indeed the one I was referring to. But I agree that the questions are not strengthen questions, so my observation may be misleading. Also, I made a mistake in explaining my observation -- fixed it in my quotation above!

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Blythe17
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Re: Strengthen the reasoning vs. Strengthen the conclusion

Postby Blythe17 » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:28 pm

Here's an example of the difference:

Arg:
(P1) The pie is missing.
(P2) Max the dog has crumbs around his mouth.
(C) Max ate the pie.

Conclusion strengthener: the neighbor said she saw Max eat the pie. (This premise has nothing to do with the reasoning of the arg.)

Reasoning strengtheners:
(1) The only food in the house today was pie. (This one strengthens the reasoning without any direct relation to the conclusion.)
(2) The crumbs around Max's mouth match the missing pie's crust. (This one strengthens the reasoning while also independently strengthening the conclusion, since it essentially incorporates (P2) with additional detail.)

Hope this is helpful!

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ltowns1
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Re: Strengthen the reasoning vs. Strengthen the conclusion

Postby ltowns1 » Sun May 17, 2015 11:49 am

know this thread is old, but this link may help on this question. I've been wondering about the same thing in the past few days. To me there does seem to be a distinction just based on the way it feels. Clyde Frog and the guy from Manhattan may totally be right from a theoretical perspective, but I can say for me I use to get tripped on questions where The stem asks you to stregthen the conclusion, instead of stregthening the argument.However for me, when I realized the subtle difference in what the question stem asked, I've been able to fly by questions when I distinguish the two. On questions where they ask to stregthen the conclusion itself, I solely focus on the conclusion. Of course I don't ignore the stimulus, I read it for context, but I really focus on just the conclusion. On stregthen the argument questions, I bridge the gap between the premise and conclusion. viewtopic.php?f=6&t=193835




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