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# Does "A causes B" equal to A -->B?

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Hi, guys, I am confused with the relationship between "causation" and conditional logic. Could anyone give me some help? According to the lessons, it seems that "A causes B" = A-->B. However, in PT25-S4-Q12, this rule does not seem to work. In the stimulus, "the school principle insisted that student failures are caused by bad teaching." Then, he concludes that since failing grades disappeared, the teaching had improved at the school. This is a parallel flaw question. I am wondering what is the flaw. Isn't it that bad teaching --> failure, here, /failure, therefore,/bad teaching? I also find several similar questions in the PTs. Therefore, I really need your help. Thank you so much.
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edited August 2015 1489 karma
This one is a little weird because the principal's reasoning is so shaky that it's hard to see what's going on. If we simplify the argument, the principal wants us to believe that teaching improved the school. Conclusion. Why are we supposed to believe that? "In a relatively short time failing grades disappeared from the school." Premise.

Based on just the simplified argument, it becomes relatively clear that D matches. Complaints disappeared, it must be because workers are making more productive use of their time.

The first sentence can be thought of as context. Yes, the principal believes that bad teaching caused student failures but that's not the conclusion of his argument.
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Dear Brna,

Thank you for your reply. It is really helpful. However, I am still wondering generally, could we write causation into conditional logic? Like A causes B, so A-->B? Thank you so much.
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I suppose technically yes, if it's worded in such way that suggests that A guarantees B in all cases. If it's something like A caused B in one instance, then A would not necessarily imply B.

The bigger idea here is that it's usually not necessary to diagram questions like this one using strict conditional logic. I use a swiggly line if I'm writing things out as a means of understand but causation is *usually* found in flaw questions and the flaw is almost always mistakes correlation for causation. No strict, conditional logic or contrapositives needed. I found your initial question interesting because I would have never thought to diagram this question at all. It doesn't always fit the bill.
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I just reread the question. In this case, if I was held at gun point and forced to diagram it I'd actually write down "student failures imply bad teaching." What do we know? If student failures exist, they were caused bad teaching. We do not, however, know that bad teaching will always lead to student failures so we cannot say that bad teaching implies student failures.
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Unless a question is written with conditional logic, I would avoid using it to try to find flaws in causation. I would go back here: http://7sage.com/lesson/causation/ and do the lessons following that one to really develop your understanding of causation and the flaws therein. You're most likely to encounter causation on flaw/strengthen/weaken questions and generally won't ever need conditional logic, but instead need to focus on the gaps in the argument. As @brna0714 said, LSAC's favorite flaw for this is correlation/causation, and they also like to go for the endogeneity flaw (i.e.- they say A causes B but overlook the fact that B causes A). Conditional logic will not serve you well in causation questions like it will in other questions.
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@Pacifico - Right. It's not helpful in answering the question but it can be interesting to consider how the sentence would be diagrammed.
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@"QQ ILLSAT" said:
Could anyone give me some help? According to the lessons, it seems that "A causes B" = A-->B. However, in PT25-S4-Q12, this rule does not seem to work.
I believe the flaw for this question is not applying contrapositive to a causal relationship. Instead, the principle *claims* that there is such causal relationship and then uses the contrapositive to *prove* the causal relationship. In other words, the principle is using circular reasoning.

Causal relationship can always be represented by conditional logic. I don't remember seeing questions where this does not apply. If you have an example, let me know and I can try to help.
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If A causes B, A always lead B. If you don't see B, then you don't see A. Situations such as A causes B in one scenario but not the other entail there being joint factors causing B. For example, Eating a lot --cause--> overweight
and Eating a lot -cause-> ~overweight can be consistent because there are more than one factors that lead to overweight.

This is different from conditional logic because in conditional logic, the world is simpler and relationship is straightforward.You can think of A having a characteristic of B. For example, dog has the characteristic of four legs. Thus, if you don't see B you can never see A.

I don't use conditional language for causal relationship because it doesn't normally help me to understand a question.

Hope this helps.
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