PT 62, Section 2, Question 7

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PT 62, Section 2, Question 7

Postby carmtastic » Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:41 pm

I'm having trouble understanding the parallel flawed pattern of reasoning in this question as was hoping someone could explain:

When the famous art collector Vidmar died, a public auction of her collection, the largest privately owned was held. "I can't possibly afford any of those works because hers is among the most valuable collections ever assembled by a single person," declared at lover MacNeil.

The flawed pattern of reasoning in which one of the following is most closely parallel to that in MacNeil's argument?

A) Each word in the book is in French. So the whole book is in French.
B) The city council voted unanimously to adopt the plan. So councilperson Martinez coed to adopt the plan.
C) This paragraph is long. So the sentences that comprise is are long.
D) The members of the company are old. So the company itself is old.
E) The atoms comprising this molecule are elements. So the molecule itself is an element.

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Blueprint Mithun

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Re: PT 62, Section 2, Question 7

Postby Blueprint Mithun » Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:50 pm

Hey, just as a heads up, you're not supposed to post entire LSAT questions, so there's a good chance this topic will get deleted. Better just to name the PT and question number and just paraphrase. I'll PM you this explanation as well, in case this gets deleted.

This is one of the more common flaw, known as the whole-to-parts fallacy. Essentially, this occurs when an argument claims that because a whole has a certain quality, each individual part of it must have the same quality.

In this case, Vidmar's art collection is one of the most valuable collections ever assembled by a single person. The art lover assumes that because it's one of the most valuable collections, he can't afford any individual piece from it. But just because the collection is incredibly valuable doesn't mean that each individual piece is valuable. There could be pieces that are affordable, as long as, when considered collectively among the other pieces, the collection is one of the most valuable.

So we need an answer that does the same thing - assumes each individual part has the same properties as the whole. Several of the answers do the reverse of that - i.e. they assume that the whole must have a certain quality because each part has that quality. This applies to A, D, and E. Answer choice B is actually a valid argument, because it uses the word 'unanimously,' so councilperson Martinez, assuming she's a member of the same city council, must have voted for the plan as well.

C is our answer. Just because the paragraph (the whole) is long, doesn't mean that each sentence (the parts) is long. Some of the sentences could be short. In fact, they could all be short, as long as the paragraph is long.

Hope that helps!

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