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Assumption negation question -- I think I'm doing it wrong.

CaffeineAddict

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Assumption negation question -- I think I'm doing it wrong.
« on: November 28, 2006, 01:46:20 AM »
Superprep Test A, Section 4, Question 17

Drivers in the country of Holston want highway tolls eliminated. The cost of maintaining the highways is paid entirely out of revenue from the highway tolls. Holston must maintain its highways. Thus, it follows that if the tolls are eliminated, then the entire cost of maintaining the highways will have to be paid for by an increase in general taxes.

Which one of the following is an assumption made by the argument?

(E) If the highway tolls are not eliminated, there will be no need to increase the general taxes.

I know this test has explanations, and I've read it, but my problem is the reason I chose (E) during the test eventhough I didn't like it. I applied the assumption negation method to check it: If the highway tolls are eliminated, there will be no need to increase the general taxes. This killed the argument and thus, I chose (E). Since (E) is wrong, I must have negated the choice wrong. Should I have negated both negative terms to get: If the highway tolls are eliminated, there will be a need to increase the general taxes?

What should choice (E) look like when negated, and is there a general rule for which terms to negate? Thanks so much!


guyminuslife

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Re: Assumption negation question -- I think I'm doing it wrong.
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2006, 02:08:34 AM »
Superprep Test A, Section 4, Question 17

Drivers in the country of Holston want highway tolls eliminated. The cost of maintaining the highways is paid entirely out of revenue from the highway tolls. Holston must maintain its highways. Thus, it follows that if the tolls are eliminated, then the entire cost of maintaining the highways will have to be paid for by an increase in general taxes.

Which one of the following is an assumption made by the argument?

(E) If the highway tolls are not eliminated, there will be no need to increase the general taxes.

I know this test has explanations, and I've read it, but my problem is the reason I chose (E) during the test eventhough I didn't like it. I applied the assumption negation method to check it: If the highway tolls are eliminated, there will be no need to increase the general taxes. This killed the argument and thus, I chose (E). Since (E) is wrong, I must have negated the choice wrong. Should I have negated both negative terms to get: If the highway tolls are eliminated, there will be a need to increase the general taxes?

What should choice (E) look like when negated, and is there a general rule for which terms to negate? Thanks so much!



I was about to say, E is not the correct answer, is it? What's the correct answer?

I don't see how whatever method you're using is helpful. E doesn't makes sense simply because it is, again, irrelevant. We're not talking about what happens if the tolls aren't eliminated, we're talking about what happens when they are. If highway tolls not being eliminated causes a nuclear cataclysm that destroys all life on earth as we know it, it doesn't change the argument.

I'd imagine the correct answer is something like, "General taxes are the only way for Holston to acquire revenue besides tolls." Is that an answer choice?

Sweetpri

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Re: Assumption negation question -- I think I'm doing it wrong.
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2006, 06:56:09 AM »
I don't understand this either.  This was the original statement:

Thus, it follows that if the tolls are eliminated, then the entire cost of maintaining the highways will have to be paid for by an increase in general taxes.

If we only negate the necessary position would it be "If the tolls are eliminated, the the entire cost of maintaining highways will not have to be paid by an increase in taxes"

It sounds to me like this would weaken the argument...

Or do we reverse the elements too?

Ok, maybe I'm just confused because I dont know what the other answer choices are...

Re: Assumption negation question -- I think I'm doing it wrong.
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2006, 07:47:27 AM »
Sweetpri, you're negating the conclusion of the actually argument, NOT the answer choice in question. If you properly negate answer choice E, it makes sense why it's not the correct answer.

bubDread

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Re: Assumption negation question -- I think I'm doing it wrong.
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2006, 07:53:26 AM »
Yeah, I agree with this.  E cannot be the correct answer.  A negated conditional statement really does not say much.

It is not the case that if X then Y

This does not allow you to conclude much.