Law School Discussion

An necessary assumption question Preptest 29 sec4 #5

An necessary assumption question Preptest 29 sec4 #5
« on: August 27, 2005, 04:42:34 PM »
Political opinion and analysis outside the mainstream rarely are found on television talk shows, and it might be thought that this state of affairs is a product of the political agenda of the television stations themselves.  In fact, television stations are driven by the same economic forces as sellers of more tangible goods.  Because they must attempt to capture the largest possible share of the television audience for their shows, they air only those shows that willl appeal to large numbers of people.  As a result, political opinions and analyses aired on television talk shows are typically bland and innocuous.

The explanation offered by the author of the passage makes the assumption that

(A) television station executives usually lack a political agenda of their own

(B) bland and innocuous political opinions and analyses are generally in the mainstream

(C) political analysts outside the mainstream are relatively indifferent to the effect their analyses have on television viewers

(D) most television viewers are prepared to argue against allowing the expression of political opinions and analyses with which they disagree

(E) the political opinions of television station executives are not often reflected in the television shows their stations produce.












The answer is B)  My questions is:
Does it mean:
1. Most of bland and innocuous political opinions and analyses are in the mainstream
2. In mainstream, there are bland and innocuous political opinions and analyses

If it is 1. when I negate it, it should be "not most of ..... are in the mainstream". So 
I can still say  " in mainstream there still might be  some bland and innocuous political opinions." The conclusion is not attacked.


How someone explain this to me? I am quite confused.Thank you!


Re: An necessary assumption question Preptest 29 sec4 #5
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2005, 04:57:52 PM »
I see your concerns about B. A better answer would be something like "mainstream political opinions are generally bland and innocuous." But it's the closest fit of all the answers. And it does technically work: negating it would be "bland and innocuous political opinions and analyses are not generally in the mainstream."

One really good trick for assumption questions is to look at a new element introduced in the conclusion. In this problem, the only new element is "bland and innocuous." The assumption must bridge bland and innocuous to the premise. And B is the only one that will do that.

Re: An necessary assumption question Preptest 29 sec4 #5
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2005, 05:02:08 PM »
I see your concerns about B. A better answer would be something like "mainstream political opinions are generally bland and innocuous." But it's the closest fit of all the answers. And it does technically work: negating it would be "bland and innocuous political opinions and analyses are not generally in the mainstream."

One really good trick for assumption questions is to look at a new element introduced in the conclusion. In this problem, the only new element is "bland and innocuous." The assumption must bridge bland and innocuous to the premise. And B is the only one that will do that.

In my opinion, a better answer is "at least some mainstream political opinions are  bland and innocuous"

I don't know why "generally" is used. Some is good enough. This is a necessary assumption .


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Re: An necessary assumption question Preptest 29 sec4 #5
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2005, 08:55:15 PM »
“Political opinion and analysis outside the mainstream rarely are found on television talk shows”: Premise 1---if outside the mainstream, most PA not(=rarely) on  TV talk shows: Contra-if most PA on TV talks shows, inside the mainstream

“ and it might be thought that this state of affairs is a product of the political agenda of the television stations themselves.  In fact, television stations are driven by the same economic forces as sellers of more tangible goods.  Because they must attempt to capture the largest possible share of the television audience for their shows, they air only those shows that willl appeal to large numbers of people.”: Premise 2 --As applied to P1,  if PA aired on TV talks show,  all of them(only those) are in the mainstream.

“ As a result, political opinions and analyses aired on television talk shows are typically bland and innocuous”: Conclusion-if aired on TV talk shows,  PA always (=typically) is bland and innocuous.

P2+Conclusion=PA aired---all of them in the mainstream

                             ---------Missing--------
                           
                            Aired-------PA always bland and innocuous

Missing: All of them in the mainstream-----PA always bland and innocuous.
Contra: ~not always PA bland and innocuous----~ all of them in the mainstream.
=PA bland and innocuous generally in the mainstream.