LSAT 13 – Section 2 – Question 14

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT13 S2 Q14
Necessary assumption +NA
+Medium 148.524 +SubsectionMedium
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This is a straight forward question stem for an NA question. The argument depends on the assumption in the answer. This is asking for necessity.

First off in this stimulus, that is a powerful sounding book. I don’t know of anything this convincing, so we’ve set a very extreme characteristic to this book. But remember that on the LSAT, we accept the assertions as true. So this book is all powerful in its persuasiveness. Members of the Earth Association gave away 2,000 copies last month. Given its persuasive power, that seems like a worthwhile thing to do for an environmental organization. “Thus” is introducing the conclusion here in the final line: The EA converted 2,000 people to the cause.

Well, a lot of problems might come to mind. First, it’s not enough for someone to own the book to be persuaded by it. It still needs to be read. Did any of these people they gave the books to read it? Also, to be converted, the recipients must not have already been environmentalists. Who are these people? The Earth Association better not have been distributing these at a convention for environmentalists, or I’m skeptical that they haven’t just been handing these out to people who were already environmentalists. Maybe these issues are obvious to some of us, maybe not to others. I do think these are particularly conspicuous compared to the average NA question, but we need not see these as problems. Whether you saw these or not, you still want to keep an open mind with the answer choices. There may very well be something else. With NA, there is almost always other directions a correct answer could take. For example, another NA here would be something like, “Copies of To Save the Earth are not printed in a font too small for any of the 2,000 recipients to read.” Bet no one predicted that, but it would be the right answer if provided. It goes to the same idea that each recipient actually read it, but its presented in a surprising way that may be difficult to recognize if we’re committed to looking for any answer in particular.

Answer Choice (A) Well that doesn’t have to be true. The more the merrier. We might have an issue if other organizations gave it to the same recipients, but this doesn’t say that. If it did, then these people would get this book with or without the Earth Association and so that could be a problem for their claim. If you selected this, did you think that’s what it said? Read carefully!

Answer Choice (B) This is wrong, but it’s a little tricky. Their “willingness” to buy it does not particularly matter. They could both be willing to buy it and not have bought it. I’d be willing to buy lots of things I have not actually bought. So just because they’d’ve been willing to buy it doesn’t mean they’d have obtained (and read) a copy. Furthermore, if they were willing to buy it, it doesn’t at all matter that they would have been willing to have bought it from the Earth Association. Any bookstore or online retailer or yard sale or anything else would be fine. This just doesn’t have to be true.

Answer Choice (C) Recycled paper? No. We might expect this book to be sustainably printed, but this has nothing to do with its persuasive power or whether or not the Earth Association has changed hearts and minds.

Correct Answer Choice (D) Here it is. If someone was already committed to the cause when the Earth Association gave them the book, then the Earth Association cannot claim to have converted that person to the cause they were already committed to.

Answer Choice (E) This is another slippery one. We do need each recipient to convert to the environmentalist cause, but that need not mean they embrace the specific brand of environmentalism advocated for by the Earth Association. That is an additional assumption which we are not at liberty to make and which prevents this answer from being necessary.

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