Strengthening / Weakening Questions - "Some...." tricky TRAP ACs

Has anyone noticed the "Some...." as a cookie-cutter trap answer choice for tougher strengthening/weakening questions?

(Disclaimer - I don't think this would work all of the time; and would actually love to look at counterexamples if anyone has any). But I think it might merit some additional attention/scrutiny if you are going to select an AC to strengthen or weaken an argument and all you have in your pocket is a some statement - kind of like going into battle with a BB Gun.

I think the reason for this is that some statements are inherently weak (or NOT powerful, in Loophole terminology). Some could be 1 out of 100 or 4 out of 2 trillion and unless the conclusion is conditional claiming that all As are Bs then its probably won't do much to claim that some As are /Bs. I could see this being particularly the case for causal arguments when there are potentially multiple and countervailing factors at play (as there almost always are).

For example, prolonged exposure to sun without sunscreen is known to cause skin cancer. If we wanted to weaken this argument for example, "some people who go to the beach everyday and never wear sunscreen will NEVER develop skin cancer". Well of course! There are always going to be a couple outliers but that doesn't wreck the fact that one thing (prolonged exposure to the sun without sunscreen) causally contributes to another thing (skin cancer).

I also think that the same reason that some statements make them incorrect (they are indefinite, vague and inherently weak) also make them appealing. After all, some could mean 99.99% but that requires the additional (and unwarranted) assumption.

Can anyone else validate this reasoning or rip it apart with an accompanying explanation? :)


  • ahnendc-1ahnendc-1 Member
    642 karma

    bumping this thread back up to the top of the pile; someone please let me know your thoughts :)

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