LSAT 15 – Section 3 – Question 14

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT15 S3 Q14
Flaw or descriptive weakening +Flaw
+Medium 147.463 +SubsectionMedium

Here we have a flaw question, which we know from the question stem: “The reasoning in the argument is most vulnerable to criticism on which one of the following grounds?” 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 speaker begins with a good contender for the conclusion - that weapons production plans are equally wasteful as inflated government spending. We know this is our conclusion because the speaker follows with the support behind it. The government is building a weapons plant that violates 69 laws when it could build a safer one. Huh? What does the passing or not passing of laws have to do with taxpayer dollars? This is where we can spot the assumption being made by the speaker. A comparative conclusion about wasteful spending needs some sort of support that confirms a comparative about wasteful spensing. This argument is flawed because the evidence they give for the conclusion does not actually respond to the issues being presented in this debate.

Knowing our correct answer choice will point out the irrelevant evidence introduced by our speaker, we can proceed into answer choice elimination.

Answer Choice (A) This answer choice is descriptively accurate, but it is not the issue in our stimulus. The argument is flawed because the evidence is irrelevant. Not because the author fails to provide us with some sort of evidence. Whether or not the alternative production site is actually safer does not impact our argument - it adds detail to evidence we already know is irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

Answer Choice (B) This answer choice is not descriptively accurate. In order for our argument to be conceding something we need to see our author agree with a point that does not appear to be completely consistent with their position. Additionally, we do not see evidence that serves to undermine the conclusion in the stimulus. Instead of seeing harmful evidence, we see evidence that really does nothing at all.

Correct Answer Choice (C) This is exactly what we are looking for! This descriptively correct answer choice is the only one that points out the irrelevance of the evidence used in the stimulus.

Answer Choice (D) This answer choice is not descriptively accurate. Suggesting the argument confuses a necessary condition for wasteful research spending means our stimulus presents some sort of requirement for this research. Without any sort of reference to a requirement we cannot call this a conditional reasoning flaw as is suggested by answer choice D.

Answer Choice (E) This answer choice is factually correct, but not the ultimate issue in our stimulus. Our issue is not really that they haven’t explained the comparison between these two institutions. Our problem is that they are supporting the comparison using information completely unrelated to the topic that they are trying to use to compare these groups.

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