weaken questions

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pitter

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weaken questions

Postby pitter » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:44 am

i have been struggling with weaken questions in the recent PTs for there seems to be more open ended questions..

let's say that the question stem says that 'this' is is not of value since it lacks the characteristic to express x.
would it be a better argument to weaken the initial argument by saying that x as well as y is important for this to be valuable. or is it a stronger argument to say that this may have x characteristic?

i just dunno what the clear difference is btw inferencing and over inferencing

help tls people :D

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galeatus

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Re: weaken questions

Postby galeatus » Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:05 am

Arg Core: It lacks X -> It is not of value

Saying x as well as y is important for this to be valuable actually strengthens the argument:
x as well as y is important for this to be valuable -> x is important for this to be valuable -> lack of x means it is not valuable

"This may have x" does actually weaken the argument.

One tip that you may find helpful is that almost all weaken questions actually only have one answer choice that weakens the argument, while all the other ones either strengthen the argument or are completely irrelevant to the argument core.

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Deardevil

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Re: weaken questions

Postby Deardevil » Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:07 am

If a painting, in terms of aesthetic and/or monetary value,
is not on par with the rest of its museum brethren due to lacking style (X),
how do we go about weakening this?

We can't deny the validity of the premise and claim that this painting DOES match the value of other works.
And we can't directly address the conclusion, either, because it's the supporting information we're attacking;
we're not simply saying "No, you're wrong, whereas I'm right" since that is a terrible way to argue.

Options

Introduce an alternative.
As opposed to eliminating an alternative to strengthen an argument, this does the opposite.
For example, if I were at the Olympics, and I say that Michael Phelps is my only competition due to our winning streaks,
then throwing in Ryan Lochte, who has a similar record as Phelps, would weaken my claim because there is now a third dude,
so Phelps is not the ONLY competition anymore, and I might not be first place during the 200 meter freestyle (damn you, Lochte).

At times, there can be a conditional error. For example, given
"If Henry bombs the LSAT, he will feel sad."
To weaken this statement, we have to show that the necessary condition does not have to follow.
TCR would be something like...
"Should Henry fail any big test, he recollects himself and studies even harder for the retake."

Mikey

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Re: weaken questions

Postby Mikey » Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:26 am

just some general advice for weaken questions:

You NEVER directly attack premises, you always take them as true, you question the conclusion drawn from the evidence given. There are usually trap answers that attack a premise and seem right, but you don't get to do this.
Example: Researchers conducted a study in which infants smiled when presented with something red. Therefore, infants prefer red over other colors.
Trap answer: the researchers measured smiles wrong (some shit along these lines)

You might think "oh, if the researchers did something wrong in the study then maybe that allows for the conclusion to not hold". but remember, you don't get to attack premises directly, you ONLY get to attack the support in the middle of the premises and conclusion. Plus, you have no idea how they measured it and whether it was the "right" or "wrong" way.

this probably isn't the best example, but i hope it makes even a bit of sense lol

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freekick

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Re: weaken questions

Postby freekick » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:59 am

pitter wrote:i have been struggling with weaken questions in the recent PTs for there seems to be more open ended questions..

let's say that the question stem says that 'this' is is not of value since it lacks the characteristic to express x.
would it be a better argument to weaken the initial argument by saying that x as well as y is important for this to be valuable. or is it a stronger argument to say that this may have x characteristic?

i just dunno what the clear difference is btw inferencing and over inferencing

help tls people :D


Your argument: Y ['this'] does not have value because it lacks A ['the characteristic to express X'].
Step 1:
What am I weakening here?
The claim that Y lacking A means that Y does not have value.
Step 2:
What's the argument assuming?
That Y's value is related to A's presence/absence.
Step 3
How do I weaken the claim?
By showing that:
1. Y's value is independent of X (the plausibility attack)
2. Y's value is dependent on Z (the alternate reason/consideration attack)

A given question could have either 1 or 2 as the correct answer. A difficult question would have both 1 and 1 as lines of attack in answer choices but one them would be wrong for some reason.

For answer choice analysis, instead of looking for the perfect/right answer, look for the best one 'coz that's what we are asked to find. Adopt reasoned elimination because often 2 answer choices seem to do the job, but one does so more than the other because it needs less additional assumptions. Such reasoned elimination while drilling will help you become proficient under test conditions.)



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