PT15.S2.Q19 - Without information that could only

radkri10radkri10 Member
edited September 2019 in Logical Reasoning 133 karma

Hi 7Sagers,

Can anyone help me understand why (E) is not the correct AC for this question?
Here's the breakdown of the stimulus and my understanding of each AC:

P1: Without info that could only have come from someone present at the secret meeting between the finance minister and the leader of the opposition party, the news story that forced the finance minister to resign could not have been written

P2: No one witnessed the meeting except the minister’s aide.

Conclusion: It is clear that the FM was brought down not by any of his powerful political enemies but by his own trusted aide.

Flaw: The minister’s aide is one of the many, not the only sources of information. It could have been the opposition party members who got in touch with the leader of the opposition party who attended the meeting. You can't definitely conclude that it's the FM's trusted aide that brought down the FM.

(A) drawing a conclusion on the basis of evidence that provides equally strong support for a competing conclusion. ⇒ Correct. It can equally support the opposite conclusion: No one but the minister’s trusted aide witnessed the meeting. Therefore, it is clear the FM was brought down by his powerful political enemies.

(B) assuming without warrant that if one thing cannot occur (=FM brought down) without another thing’s already having occurred (=the minister’s aide leaking info), then the earlier thing cannot occur without bringing about the later thing. ⇒ Not the right flaw. doesn’t work for this argument which does not care about the temporal order / chronology of the two events.

(C) confusing evidence that a given outcome on one occasion was brought about in a certain way with evidence that the same outcome on a different occasion was brought in that way. ⇒ Not descriptively accurate. There are no two occasions presented where the evidence can be used for the same outcome but in different occasions.

(D) basing its conclusion on evidence that is almost entirely irrelevant to the point at issue. ⇒ P1 and P2 are relevant to the point at issue (FM being brought down).

(E) treating evidence that a given action (=the trusted aide witnessing the secret meeting) contributed to bringing about a certain effect (FM being brought down) as though that evidence established that the given action by itself was sufficient to bring about that effect.

I was divided between (A), the right AC, and (E) and went with (E).
I'm not sure if I've understood the vague / complex sentence structure of (E) correctly. I must be missing out on sth or misinterpreting the argument structure. . . please share how you tackled this question!

Thank you :)

Admin note: edited title; please use the format of "PT#.S#.Q# - [first set of words]"


  • cooljon525-1-1cooljon525-1-1 Alum Member
    917 karma

    I think for AC E "a given action" is referring to the newspaper story. The trusted aide witnessing the secret meeting is not what brought down the finance minister. It is the newspaper story and since there were 2 other people in the room with the finance minister, we don't know who released the information to the press.

    So for AC E

    I read it as "Treating evidence that a newspaper story contributed to the finance minister resigning as though the newspaper story by itself was sufficient for bringing down the finance minister".

    In the stimulus, it tells us that the newspaper story forced the finance minister to resign so we take that as given. E is saying there are other reasons besides the newspaper story basically.

  • radkri10radkri10 Member
    133 karma

    Thank you @cooljon525 Now that I think of it, there seems to be nth we can refer to as "evidence" that a given action contributed to bringing about a certain effect in the stimulus. News story forced the FM to resign but it does not serve as the evidence for anything.

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