LSAT 14 – Section 2 – Question 04

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT14 S2 Q04
Flaw or descriptive weakening +Flaw
+Easier 148.522 +SubsectionMedium

Here we have a flaw question, which we know from the question stem: “The reasoning in the argument is flawed because the argument…” Right away we know our correct answer has to do two things: be descriptively accurate, and describe the flaw of the stimulus. We also know what the wrong answers will do - describe reasoning flaws we’ve seen before, but don’t like up with our stimulus. Once we have a clear understanding of the questrion’s objective, we can proceed into structural analysis of the stimulus.

The stimulus begins with a fact; the new proposed cut to arts funding will make things difficult for arts organizations. Despite this, the author concludes the funding cut will not put these groups entirely out of existence. The stimulus ends with the main reasoning for the author’s conclusion, that we know these groups will continue to exist simply because they survived a budget cut in the past.

Our conclusion definitely does not follow from our premises here. Just because the group survived a budget cut in the past, that has no bearing on whether the groups will survive after this next cut. If anything, the groups seem even less likely to survive if they face one budget cut after surviving another budget cut in the previous year alone.

Knowing that our speaker incorrectly presumes because the arts survived one past cut they must survive this newly proposed budget reduction, we can proceed into answer choice elimination.

Answer Choice (A) This answer choice is not descriptively accurate. Without seeing somewhere in the stimulus where the speaker claims that the economy is without a doubt going to improve, we can eliminate this answer choice from consideration.

Answer Choice (B) Answer choice B is descriptively accurate, but not the ultimate issue with our argument. The justification of the existence of the arts group is not in question. Instead, our speaker focuses on whether or not they will be able to exist moving forward past this new proposed funding cut.

Answer Choice (C) This is not what we are looking for. Answer choice C goes beyond what our stimulus concludes by saying the speaker equated surviving with thriving. But nowhere does our speaker tell us the arts are thriving. For all we know, they exist at a 10th of the capacity as they did before the funding cuts. Our stimulus is concerned with the group existing at all - not whether that existence is a good one.

Answer Choice (D) The amount of our budget cuts is not the issue with our stimulus. Although this answer choice is descriptively accurate in that our speaker does not take this into account, our correct answer has to also hit on the exact reason why the speaker is flawed. The problem with our stimulus centers on a past/future assumption rather than the exact amount of those proposed cuts.

Correct Answer Choice (E) This is exactly what we are looking for. This descriptively correct answer choice points out the right issue in our stimulus by telling us that our speaker does not consider the already weakened position of the arts’ group. If the group survived one budget cut, they could very well be put entirely out of business by another round. The cumulative effect of those multiple budget cuts lines up well with our identification of the flaw in the stimulus.

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