LSAT 11 – Section 4 – Question 10

You need a full course to see this video. Enroll now and get started in less than a minute.

Target time: 1:12

This is question data from the 7Sage LSAT Scorer. You can score your LSATs, track your results, and analyze your performance with pretty charts and vital statistics - all with a Free Account ← sign up in less than 10 seconds

Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT11 S4 Q10
Method of reasoning or descriptive +Method
+Harder 149.098 +SubsectionMedium
This page shows a recording of a live class. We're working hard to create our standard, concise explanation videos for the questions in this PrepTest. Thank you for your patience!

We can identify this question as Method of Reasoning because of the question stem: “Jonathan uses which one of the following techniques in his response to Lydia?”

When dealing with a Method of Reasoning question, we know we are looking for an answer choice that correctly describes the structure of our entire argument. Our correct answer is going to fit the argument exactly. Our wrong answer choices likely explain argument structures we are familiar with, but that simply don’t apply to the specific question we are looking at. Knowing what the right and wrong answers are going to do, we can jump into the stimulus.

Immediately we should make note of the two speakers at play. This means we could possibly be dealing with two different conclusions with different levels of support. Our first speaker, Lydia, tells us seabirds often become entangled in equipment owned by fishing companies. Lydia concludes on the basis of this that the fishing companies should assume responsibility for the medical treatment of these animals.

Lydia’s position makes an assumption here. If our conclusion tells us that something should happen, our evidence needs to give us reasoning to guarantee the outcome should occur. Perhaps, for instance, there is a law indicating those causing harm to animals should be responsible for them. But without this information the evidence does not automatically lead to the conclusion that the fisherman should be responsible for anything.

Jonathan does not quite hit the assumption out of the ballpark. In response, our second speaker concludes the proposal should not be adopted because the most injured birds won’t be able to return to the wild. Remind yourself here of how uncertain the number of “most injured birds” is. Perhaps 99.99% of the birds are injured mildly and 0.01% are the “most injured” with extensive injuries. Putting things into context, Jonathon’s response asking us to consider a group that could be impossibly small and irrelevant to Lydia’s ultimate conclusion.

Knowing that we are looking for an answer choice that will highlight Jonathon’s use of a small subset of these animals in a (poor) attempt to weaken Lydia’s reasoning we can jump into answer choice elimination.

Answer Choice (A) This answer choice accuses Lydia of a personal attack. But without any reference to Lydia’s motivation or other personal characteristics, we have to eliminate this answer from contention.

Answer Choice (B) We can eliminate this answer for a similar reason why we eliminated answer choice A. Like a personal attack, B accuses Lydia of being wrapped up in their personal interests - an attack we do not see used as the reasoning for Jonathon’s conclusion.

Answer Choice (C) This answer choice goes too far in the extreme. By accusing our second speaker of not wanting to interfere with wildlife in any way, this answer choice claims Jonathon’s conclusion goes even further than we can see in the stimulus.

Correct Answer Choice (D) This is exactly the answer we are looking for! This is the only answer choice that references Jonathon’s use of the sickest group of birds in an attempt to weaken Lydia’s argument.

Answer Choice (E) While Lydia’s feelings are addressed at the beginning of Jonathan’s argument, this is not the reasoning used to prove Jonathon’s main point. They claim we should not adopt the proposal because of this sub-group of birds. Not because of Lydia’s personal feelings in the matter.

Take PrepTest

Review Results

Leave a Reply