PT92.S1.Q13 - Philosopher: as many prominent physicists have suggested

jimmylimbjimmylimb Member
edited December 2021 in Logical Reasoning 9 karma

Can someone explain why B is correct and C/E are wrong?

Admin Note: Edited title. Please use the format: "PT#.S#.Q# - brief description of the question"


  • mesposito886mesposito886 Member
    254 karma

    The stimulus exhibits a common flaw type: assuming that because the components of a thing have a feature, that thing itself also has a feature. It's usually used in stimuli that talk about individuals and groups (e.g. all the city council members are inefficient people, therefore the city council is inefficient). In Q13, it's regarding energy, mass, and the physical objects they make up. The premises tell us that both energy and mass are theoretical constructs, and conclude that because physical objects are made up entirely of energy and mass, they are physical constructs too. But nowhere in the argument are we told that if something is entirely made up of components that have a feature, that thing should have that feature as well. B says that in a very evasive way: something (physical objects) may lack a feature (being a theoretical construct) even if it composed purely of things (energy and mass) that have that feature (being theoretical constructs).

    I think JY's response as to why C and E are incorrect would be that they attack the truth of the premises rather than the relationship to the premises and the conclusion. But besides that, I think there are at least two other reasons to rule them out:

    C: This answer choice says that the argument assumes that two things may be different even if there is no essential distinction against them. The language here is taken from the premise about mass also being a theoretical construct. But the argument actually does the opposite: it assumes that mass is the same as energy (they both are theoretical constructs) because there is no essential distinction between them. This is kind of a word trap answer choice.

    E: The argument isn't really saying that energy is a theoretical construct because prominent physicists suggest it is. The argument is more so just outright stating that energy is a theoretical construct, which is something that many prominent physicists have also suggested. The physicists may be used to bolster the credibility of that premise, but the argument isn't basing the claim of energy being a theoretical construct off their suggestions. It's like the difference between these two sentences:

    "As the best dog trainers have stressed, it is important that dogs have their own private sleeping space."

    "Because the best dog trainers have stressed it, it is important that dogs have their own private sleeping space."

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