LSAT 13 – Section 4 – Question 01

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT13 S4 Q01
Method of reasoning or descriptive +Method
+Easier 145.532 +SubsectionMedium

Here we have a Method of Reasoning question, which we know from the question stem: “The basic step in Eileen’s method of attacking James’ argument is to…”

After correctly identifying the question type we can use structural analysis to describe the Method of Reasoning used by our speaker, Eileen.

Immediately we should note we have two speakers in our stimulus. That means we need to be on the lookout for two conclusions and two sets of explanations. James begins the conversation by telling us that at their house they have complete personal freedom. On the basis of that freedom, James concludes the government is ignoring the right of individuals to set smoking policies on their own property. This argument is not a good one. Sure, James can do whatever they want in their own home. But boarding a domestic flight does not mean one should receive the same rights as if they were in the privacy of their own home. James has improperly assumed there is no difference between the rights someone has at home versus the rights someone has on an airplane around the general public.

Eileen points out this consideration exactly. In their response, our second speaker highlights what James has assumed. While James has assumed the government has violated a right by not allowing people to do as they please, Eileen points out the difference between actions at home versus on a domestic flight. Smoking on a domestic flight impacts others far more than it would if James were to smoke in his own home.

Knowing that Eileen exactly hits on the assumption of James’ argument, we can proceed into answer choice elimination.

Correct Answer Choice (A) This is exactly what we are looking for! This is the only answer choice that correctly points out how Eileen highlights the apparent differences between an individual at home versus an individual on an airplane. By drawing a distinction between these two locations, Eileen effectively points out the weakness of James’s argument.

Answer Choice (B) This answer choice is not correct. Without the existence of a term being explained in the stimulus we cannot select an answer that suggests Eileen is providing some sort of definition.

Answer Choice (C) This answer choice is not correct. If our correct answer were going to include an analogy, we would be able to identify two items being compared through analogy in Eileen’s part of the discussion.

Answer Choice (D) This answer choice is not correct because of the term contradiction. Contradicting something means our argument provides directly contrary pieces of information. But Eileen does not contradict or say James is wrong – instead, Eileen explains how the base assumption James needs in the first place does not exist.

Answer Choice (E) If this were our correct answer choice, we would see some sort of reference to the motivation of James or others in smoking on airplanes versus in their own homes. Without this information we cannot select answer choice E.

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