Law School Discussion

Argument Most Similar Question

Argument Most Similar Question
« on: June 19, 2005, 12:23:45 PM »
I seem to have troubles on questions, like the following.  If someone could please tell me how they go about these questions in a timely manner it would be appreciated.  I feel that I spend way too much time on them and still get them wrong.  Thank you!!!

Not all tenured faculty are full professors.  Therefore, although every faculty member in the linguistics department has tenure, it must be the case that not all of the faculty members in the linguistics departement are full professors. 

The flawed pattern of reasoning exhibited by the argument above is most similar to that exhibited by which one of the following:

A.  Although all modern office towers are climate-controlled buildings, not all office buildings are climate-controlled.  Therefore, it must be the case that not all office buildings are modern office towers.

B.  All municipal hospital buildings are massive, but not all municipal hospital buildings are forbidding an appearance.  Therefore, massive buildings need not present a forbidding appearance.

C.  Although some buildings designed by famous architects are not well proportioned, all government buildings are designed by famous architects.  Therefore, some government buildings are not well proportioned.

D.  Not all public buildings are well designed, but some poorly designed public buildings were originally intended for private use.  Therefore, the poorly designed public buildings were all originally designed for private use.

E.  Although some cathedrals are not built of stone, every cathedral is impressive.  Therefore, buildings can be impressive even though they are not built of stone. 


Re: Argument Most Similar Question
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2005, 12:53:07 PM »
Is this from an actual PrepTest?

I'd go with C.

All items of in a group have a characterisitc ("Every faculty member has tenure" or  "All government buildings are designed by famous architects").

Some items having said characterisitcs "lack" something ("NOT all tenured faculty are full professors" or "some government buildings are NOT well proportioned").

The argument then concludes, incorrectly, that since all of a group have a characteristic and the characteristic is necessary to lack something, there is an overlap. This may or may not be true. For example:

All chocolate has a smell. Not all smells are good. Therefore, some chocolate does not smell good.

Is this true? In my opinion definitely not. All chocolate can smell good even though every scent in the world may not be pleasant.

Re: Argument Most Similar Question
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2005, 01:04:39 PM »
Yes it is from an official preptest - June 1996, Section 4 #21.  I came across it in the 10 More Acutual, Official LSAT PrepTests book.


Re: Argument Most Similar Question
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2005, 01:17:59 PM »
At first glance, this question appears to be a mappable parallel question.  However, to get to the answer for this question, you do not proceed in the same manner you would through a mappable parallel question as this is a specific type of one of those questions called an "identify the flaw" question.

To proceed, mapping is generally helpful, and with this question it will help you get your mind around what the stimulus is saying.  The stimulus says Some tenured professors are not full time professors.  It then says that all linguistics professors are tenured, therefore some are not full time.  Obviously, there's a huuuuge flaw there!  Before you go onto the answer choices, identify the flaw and it may even be helpful to articulate the flaw with a few words beside the stimulus.  When I did this practice exam, I remember thinking to myself, "What if all the linguistics professors are tenured and full time and all history professors are tenured but not full time, then it would be true that some tenured are not tenured and full time.  Now our task is to find which answer choice exhibits the same flaw.  The flaw is basically trying to say, that what is true about the whole is true about the parts.  A very bad bad flaw.  Let's go through the answer choices now.

A. If it's a modern office towers then it's climate controlled.  Not all office buildings are climate controlled. Therefore, not all office buildings are modern towers.
----this is a true statement, and therefore not the correct answer

B.  If municipal hospital then it's massive.  If municipal hosp, then not necessarily forbidding.  Therefore massive buildings need not be massive.
----again, this is a true statement, and thefore not the correct choice.

C.  Some buildings designed by fam architects are not well proportioned (read: if it's a building designed by a fam. architect it's not necessarily well proportioned).  If gov't building, then designed by a famous architect.  Therefore, some gov't bldgs are not well proportioned.  This exhibits the same flaw.  Say all gov't bldgs are designed by famous architects and they all are well proportioned, but some houses are also designed by famous architects and a bunch of those houses or all of those houses are poorly proportioned, then some buildings designed by famous architects might not be well proportioned but all gov't bldgs are still well proportioned.  Again the flaw is, what is true for the whole, is not necessarily true for each of its parts.

If you need help figuring out why D and E are wrong, let me know.  However, I think you should be able to map them and figure out why the do not exhibit the flaw in question.  The credited response is C.