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Author Topic: A couple Logical Reasoning questions.....  (Read 1444 times)

ChiGirl

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A couple Logical Reasoning questions.....
« on: October 09, 2008, 09:02:04 PM »
Some things have been changed for copyrighted purposes.

1)  It's apparent that 1 ought to have a will stating how 1 wishes 1's estate to be distributed. This can easily be seen from the fact that, according to current laws, in the absence of a legal will distant realtives whom 1 has never even met have a greater legal right to 1's estate than 1's beloved friends do.

Which 1 of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

(D) People are generally not indifferent about how their estates are distributed.
(This is the correct answer & I do understand it!)

(E) One's beloved friends have a greater legal right to one's estate than one's distant relative's do.
(I chose this & it's also the most tempting answer according to 2 test prep co. Kaplan's explanation of this totally sucked!)

Why isn't (E) right? Maybe I didn't properly negate it. I really like (E)! :-\

I really struggled w/the following one...

2)  R: To become an attorney, a person should be required to have a diversity of experience. The more diverse one's experience, the more one will understand the need for compromise.

S: To be worthy of public trust, it's not enough, as you recommend, that one simply have varied experience. Such a person would not necessarily be worthy of public trust.

Which one of the following most accurately describes a flaw in the reasoning in S's response to R's statements?

(C) The response attributes to Ruth a view that's more vulnerable to criticism (btw, vulnerable to criticism means weaken, right?) than any she actually expresses.

(D) The response fails to make a needed distinction between personal experience & relevant professional experience.

The correct answer is (C) and I chose (D).

First of all, I'm not even sure I understand what S is saying. Maybe that's why I got this wrong.  Public trust so the people will compromise w/him??

Thank you!

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Re: A couple Logical Reasoning questions.....
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2008, 11:31:58 PM »

1)  It's apparent that 1 ought to have a will stating how 1 wishes 1's estate to be distributed. This can easily be seen from the fact that, according to current laws, in the absence of a legal will distant relatives whom 1 has never even met have a greater legal right to 1's estate than 1's beloved friends do.

Which 1 of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

(D) People are generally not indifferent about how their estates are distributed.
(This is the correct answer & I do understand it!)

(E) One's beloved friends have a greater legal right to one's estate than one's distant relative's do.
(I chose this & it's also the most tempting answer according to 2 test prep co. Kaplan's explanation of this totally sucked!)

Why isn't (E) right? Maybe I didn't properly negate it. I really like (E)! :-\

For this question, you'd like to avoid all the gimmicky stuff and just look at it the right way.  The argument is very simple (as are almost all LSAT arguments).  In structural form, it is:

X (have a will) (the conclusion)
because
If Not X then Y (distant relatives over close friends)(the premise)

Why would If Not X then Y lead to the conclusion X.  Only if Y was a bad result. However, the argument does not explicitly state that Y is a bad result.  That is the assumption upon which the argument relies.  (Without that assumption, the premise does not lead to the conclusion).  Choice D shows a reason Y is a bad result.  That is what makes it the response option which is a necessary assumption of this argument.

As far as Choice E, no one who does this question the right way (as I explained) could pick Choice E.  It does not provide a reason why one would not want Y as an outcome.  The people who chose this incorrect response option were probably trying to apply a gimmick to figure out the correct response. 

As you wrote, you applied the negation technique.  As you know, that means you negate a potential assumption.  If negating the assumption means the argument is not true, then it must be a necessary assumption.  In this case, if you negate Choice E the argument is not true.  So, why doesn't it work?  Because Choice E is not a potential assumption.  In fact, it states the opposite of the premise.  That is why negating it makes the argument false.  Not because it is a necessary assumption.  People ignoring the argument and blindly applying the gimmick will not realize Choice E is prohibited from being an assumption of the argument. 

Those of you who are long-timers on this forum will recall that I have written many times about the response options LSAC places in the questions to purposely trip-up the test takers who rely exclusively on gimmicks.  This is one of them.  That is why this blatantly and clearly incorrect response option is the most chosen incorrect response option among the bible and prep course students. 
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Re: A couple Logical Reasoning questions.....
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2008, 12:58:42 AM »
I really struggled w/the following one...

2)  R: To become an attorney, a person should be required to have a diversity of experience. The more diverse one's experience, the more one will understand the need for compromise.

S: To be worthy of public trust, it's not enough, as you recommend, that one simply have varied experience. Such a person would not necessarily be worthy of public trust.

Which one of the following most accurately describes a flaw in the reasoning in S's response to R's statements?

(C) The response attributes to Ruth a view that's more vulnerable to criticism (btw, vulnerable to criticism means weaken, right?) than any she actually expresses.

(D) The response fails to make a needed distinction between personal experience & relevant professional experience.

The correct answer is (C) and I chose (D).

First of all, I'm not even sure I understand what S is saying. Maybe that's why I got this wrong.  Public trust so the people will compromise w/him??

Thank you!


Once again, you'd like to start this with a simple understanding of the argument.  Ruth has put forth a simple claim:

If X (become atty) should be Y (diverse). 
In other words, Y should be a necessary condition for X. 

S attempts to counter Ruth's claim.Unfortunately, the first thing S does is to misstate Ruth's argument.  While Ruth claimed Y should be a necessary condition for X, S claimed Ruth stated it was a sufficient condition.  Then S continued by stating Y wqas not a sufficient condition.  The problem with the opposition?  Ruth never said it was a sufficient condition.  S did.

This is basically what Choice C states.  S attributed to Ruth a more vulnerable claim (sufficiency) than Ruth really claimed (necessity). 

I don't know why you picked Choice D. Perhaps because the distinction was not made?  The problem is the distinction is not necessary to the argument or the opposition.  This response option is just there for people who were looking for a possible correct response and did not figure it out from the gimmicks.  In that case, this could look pretty good.  the distinction was not made.  However, from an understanding of the flaw in the opposition itself, the correct response is pretty simple to pick out.
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geospear

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Re: A couple Logical Reasoning questions.....
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2008, 01:40:44 AM »
What are you talking about star? 'S' does not talk about any sufficient condition that 'R' has mentioned. He/she starts out with something completely different (worthiness of pub respect) than 'R' has stated he/she believes.... that is the flaw... the attribution to 'R' something other than 'R' has stated.

As for answer choice 'D', there is no failure to distinguish... it is the misrepresentation that is the issue. By not understanding the stimulus you were forced to guess... don't guess unless you absolutely have to.

ssilver0210

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Re: A couple Logical Reasoning questions.....
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2008, 02:28:55 AM »
I'm going to agree with Allstar, here.

R has said that a diversity of experiences should be a requirement to become an attorney. S stated that R has said that one simply needs a variety of experiences to become an attorney.  But R did not say that if one has a variety of experiences, then nothing else is needed to become an attorney. S has mistaken R's necessary condition for a sufficient condition.


By S misstating what R has said, S has opened up R's statement to criticism. (Choice C).


As for the first one, the argument states that one should have a will. The reason for having a will is because if one does not have a will, then distant relatives, rather than close friends, might have a greater legal right to one's estate.

I'm a fan of negating, so I'll explain how I would go about reasoning out this problem.

Assume that one is generally indifferent as to how one's estate is distributed. (This is the negation of the correct response, choice D).  If one is generally indifferent as to how one's estate is distributed, then not having a will will not negatively effect the person who has died in the way in which the argument claims that it will.

In other words, if one is generally indifferent as to how one's estate is distributed, then one does not care whether one's distant relatives receive the estate, rather than one's close friends.  If one doesn't care about this, then not having a will (in which case one's distant relatives might be entitled to the estate), will not be much a problem. But, the argument concludes that it is a problem.

So, in order for the argument to remain valid (that one should have a will so that distant relatives are not legally entitled to the estate), it must be true that one is not generally indifferent as to how one's estate is distributed. (choice D)



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Re: A couple Logical Reasoning questions.....
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2008, 02:41:24 AM »
What are you talking about star? 'S' does not talk about any sufficient condition that 'R' has mentioned. He/she starts out with something completely different (worthiness of pub respect) than 'R' has stated he/she believes.... that is the flaw... the attribution to 'R' something other than 'R' has stated.

Sorry a little bit.  I was commenting about something that was more obvious in the original question than in this rendition.  In the context of how this was presented here, what LSAC intended in this question was that attorneys were a subset of those worthy of public trust.  In the original question I believe the profession was public servant.  "Atty" was this poster's substitute word.  The connection to public service was more obvious with the original wording and was vital to the cr.  The poster's change withstanding, in the actual LSAT question this came from, the subjects of the two claims were more clearly synonymous.  Diverse and varied experiences are also synonymous.

In addition, S absolutely does talk about a sufficient condition.  Her opposition starts by stating that varied experience should not be a sufficient condition.  Then she supports this statement by merely restating it in another form (because this condition is not necessarily sufficient.) 

Nonetheless, you are right.  The flaw is the attribution of something to Ruth that she did not state.  But, I was also right.  What S specifically attributed to Ruth that she did not state was that the condition Ruth stated as necessary (diversity of experience), S implied she stated as a sufficient condition.  If this implication is not assumed, the first sentence of S's opposition makes no sense.  LSAC clearly intends that you treat it as a direct response. 

While your explanation worked for this rendition of the question, it would not be true of the original version.  Actually, it is not really true for this question either.  While attorney is not a synonym for those worthy of public trust, attorneys are certainly considered a subset of that group.  In the context of this argument, all that is necessary for S's claim to be relevant is for Ruth's subject set (attys) to be a subset of the subject of S's claim (those worthy of public trust).  So, you are actually wrong on both accounts.  S does talk about a sufficient condition that Ruth has mentioned (as a necessary condition) and S does not start out with something completely different.

My explanation is what this question is really about.  Mistaking a necessary condition for a sufficient one (or vice versa) is a logical flaw LSAC regularly tests.  Trust me.  It is what they are testing here.  It would serve you all well to get to recognize this flawed pattern. 

Quote
As for answer choice 'D', there is no failure to distinguish... it is the misrepresentation that is the issue. By not understanding the stimulus you were forced to guess... don't guess unless you absolutely have to.

As far a Choice D, I think you did exactly what you accused me of doing.  You determined Choice D was wrong by guessing that it must be wrong because Choice C (about the misrepresentation) was correct.  You are correct.  Choice D is definitely wrong because Choice C is correct. 

All you said about Choice D was that there was no failure to distinguish.  You are right but I am not sure you understand why.  Clearly no distinction was made.  However, what makes you correct is that this was not a failure.  No distinction was necessary.

My point about this response option (which I probably could have made clearer) is this is a standard trap LSAT response.  This response option is part of this question for people who did not realize Choice C was the correct response.  If a test-taker passed on Choice C, Choice D is designed to present a trap alternative.The distinction presented in this response option was not made in the argument.  That is obvious.  The trick was to realize it was not necessary.  So, the failure to make the distinction was not a flaw.  That is the affirmative reason as to why Choice D is incorrect.  This is also something it would be good to get to recognize.

As to your closing comment, I have been teaching this exam for a very long time (probably since you were in grade school).  My actual, official score was in the top 1/2 of the top 1%.  I didn't get that score because I am a good guesser.  I don't misunderstand arguments.  In order to keep from embarrassing yourself, instead of writing that I was wrong, maybe instead you should present your point and ask why I think I am correct.

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Lindbergh

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Re: A couple Logical Reasoning questions.....
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2008, 11:21:40 AM »
Some things have been changed for copyrighted purposes.

1)  It's apparent that 1 ought to have a will stating how 1 wishes 1's estate to be distributed. This can easily be seen from the fact that, according to current laws, in the absence of a legal will distant realtives whom 1 has never even met have a greater legal right to 1's estate than 1's beloved friends do.

Which 1 of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

(D) People are generally not indifferent about how their estates are distributed.
(This is the correct answer & I do understand it!)

(E) One's beloved friends have a greater legal right to one's estate than one's distant relative's do.
(I chose this & it's also the most tempting answer according to 2 test prep co. Kaplan's explanation of this totally sucked!)

Why isn't (E) right? Maybe I didn't properly negate it. I really like (E)! :-\

I really struggled w/the following one...

2)  R: To become an attorney, a person should be required to have a diversity of experience. The more diverse one's experience, the more one will understand the need for compromise.

S: To be worthy of public trust, it's not enough, as you recommend, that one simply have varied experience. Such a person would not necessarily be worthy of public trust.

Which one of the following most accurately describes a flaw in the reasoning in S's response to R's statements?

(C) The response attributes to Ruth a view that's more vulnerable to criticism (btw, vulnerable to criticism means weaken, right?) than any she actually expresses.

(D) The response fails to make a needed distinction between personal experience & relevant professional experience.

The correct answer is (C) and I chose (D).

First of all, I'm not even sure I understand what S is saying. Maybe that's why I got this wrong.  Public trust so the people will compromise w/him??

Thank you!


Just to (hopefully) clarify a little for the first question: If something is a stated premise, then you have to accept it as true.  It's not an assumption, it's a stated fact.  So any answer choice that calls into question a stated premise, or describes it as an assumption, will generally be incorrect. 

Here, it's clearly stated in the argument that distant relatives have a greater legal right to your estate than beloved friends do.  Choice E, as written, contradicts this premise (stated fact), so it can't be right as an assumption.  Moreover, the negation of Choice E would not destroy the argument, it would simply restate the premise.

If Choice E said the opposite (that distant relatives have a greater legal right than close friends), then it would simply be a restatement of the premise, and would fail on those grounds.  In that case, though, the negation would in fact hurt the argument, as you'd be removing the key premise from the argument.

tony_rocky_horror

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Re: A couple Logical Reasoning questions.....
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2008, 11:39:34 AM »
Wow, these "explanation" threads are the reason why I shop here. Clearly Lind and Star know what the hell they are talking about. Reading these gets me stoked and fired up to crush some PTs when I get home.

ChiGirl

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Re: A couple Logical Reasoning questions.....
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2008, 12:10:30 PM »
Thanks everyone. :) Not sure what else to say when it comes to some of these icky problems. I'll try to stop justifying why my answer should be right.

Have a great weekend!

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Re: A couple Logical Reasoning questions.....
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2008, 02:47:24 PM »
Thanks everyone. :) Not sure what else to say when it comes to some of these icky problems. I'll try to stop justifying why my answer should be right.

Have a great weekend!

When you post, you should tell us why you think your incorrect answer was right.  It helps us provide a better explanation.
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