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Studying for the LSAT / Re: June 2006 Section 2 17 & 23
« on: January 23, 2013, 01:16:20 PM »
#17 Human beings can exhibit complex, goal-oriented behavior without conscious awareness of what they are doing. Thus, merely establishing that nonhuman animals are intelligent will not establish that they have consciousness.

Which one of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

(A) Complex, goal-oriented behavior requires intelligence

I got this one totally by luck. Can someone explain this one, thanks.

So far as I can see, they are mistaken that the argument depends on (A).  "Depends on" means "couldn't do without".  But suppose there was a further answer choice:

(F)   Intelligence never guarantees anything more suggestive of consciousness than complex, goal-oriented behavior. 

If (F) is true, then learning that an animal is intelligent can't guarantee anything more than that it engages in complex, goal-oriented behavior.  Since a premise is that that doesn't require consciousness, we'd get our conclusion: we wouldn't be able to tell whether the intelligent animal is conscious.

And (F) does not entail (A).  It could be that there's plenty of complex, goal-oriented behavior without intelligence, but that intelligence never guarantees anything more than complex, goal-oriented behavior. 

Compare this argument:

People can be scientists without being smart.  Thus, merely establishing that someone is a biologist will not establish that he is smart.

The argument is valid if we add the assumption that establishing that someone is a biologist doesn't establish anything suggestive of smarts beyond suggesting that he is a scientist.  If that assumption is added, the argument is valid, even though it isn't true that being a scientist requires being a biologist. 

And note that although it is true that being a biologist requires being a scientist, that fact isn't enough to guarantee validity.  For there may be other things that follow from being a biologist than being a scientist, and those things may guarantee smarts. 

However, back to the original argument, it does seem that (A) is a sufficient assumption.  If complex, goal-oriented behavior requires intelligence, and doesn't suffice for consciousness, then intelligence doesn't suffice for consciousness. 

So had the question been a sufficient assumption question, no quarrel with (A).  But as it stands, (A) is not a good answer. 

Studying for the LSAT / Re: June 2006 Section 2 17 & 23
« on: January 23, 2013, 12:56:36 PM »
if an answer choice had said intelligence --> complex, goal oriented behavior, that could still work as an assumption right?


No, it wouldn't.  For all that assumption says, intelligence could also entail consciousness. 

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