PT28-S3-Q26 - Is it common to respond to a person who is exhorting us...

Leon-on-the-LsatLeon-on-the-Lsat Monthly Member
edited March 2021 in Logical Reasoning 378 karma

Hi,
Regarding PT28-S3-Q26:
The conclusion in the stimulus is drawing attention to the arguer's behavior is irrational.
The conclusion in the answer (D) is one should not dismiss the argument by pointing out the arguer's behavior.

There seems to be a mismatch between descriptive and prescriptive; how come these two argument patterns can be seen as similar to each other?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

Admin Note: https://7sage.com/lsat_explanations/lsat-28-section-3-question-26/

Comments

  • canihazJDcanihazJD Alum Member Sage
    7907 karma

    Because the stem asks which one is most similar, not which one is the same.

  • KevinLuminateLSATKevinLuminateLSAT Monthly Member
    edited March 2021 520 karma

    @Leon-on-the-Lsat In addition to @canihazJD 's point, you should note that the idea of something being "irrational" is arguably both descriptive and prescriptive. If you say that a particular response is irrational, you're saying that it doesn't make logical sense. There's very little space between that and saying "You shouldn't respond in that way." Although strictly speaking there's a logical gap that needs to be filled in order to get to "You shouldn't do it"), it's so small that it doesn't quite present a clean divide between descriptive vs. prescriptive, at least for the purpose of parallel reasoning. In any case, there's no requirement in parallel reasoning that the correct answer match descriptive and prescriptive in every respect, even if focusing on that issue is a reliable way to do a "soft" eliminate.

    Consider a similar example:

    "Many people who see a bear in the wild immediately try to run away from the animal. However, this is the wrong response, since this actually encourages the bear to give chase."

    Is the author's conclusion prescriptive? "You should not try to run away from a bear that you see in the wild."

    Or is it descriptive? Is the author just saying "IF you care about surviving, then running away is not going to help, so in that sense it's a wrong response. But I'm not necessarily saying that you shouldn't do it."

    Perhaps the real answer is that not every statement is purely descriptive or purely prescriptive and that we might need to be careful with certain kinds of claims. Maybe they do have a strict logical meaning, but if there's a very reasonable informal reading of the statement, we might need to keep that in mind, too.

  • Leon-on-the-LsatLeon-on-the-Lsat Monthly Member
    378 karma

    Thank you for another wonderful explanation, Kevin and canihazJD!

    "[...] not every statement is purely descriptive or purely prescriptive and that we might need to be careful with certain kinds of claims. Maybe they do have a strict logical meaning, but if there's a very reasonable informal reading of the statement, we might need to keep that in mind, too." I will keep this, along with a scary chasing bear, in my mind especially when doing parallel questions.

  • Leon-on-the-LsatLeon-on-the-Lsat Monthly Member
    378 karma

    @KevinLuminateLSAT
    A quick follow-up question: a person, X, claims drinking tea is a rational choice. Does such claim also contain somewhat "semi-prescriptive" nature in it?

    1. Drinking tea is a irrational choice.
      (So, inferalby, we should not drink tea)

    2. Drinking tea is a rational choice.
      (So, inferalby, we should drink tea)

    Would you kindly share your view about this comparison please? Thank you so much.

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