LSAT 16 – Section 2 – Question 23

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT16 S2 Q23
Method of reasoning or descriptive +Method
+Hardest 0 +SubsectionMedium

We can identify this question as Method of Reasoning because of the question stem: “T responds to S’s argument by…” 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.

This question presents us with two speakers. Right away, we should recognize that there are two conclusions and two reasons behind them. In this question we are presented with two speakers who take varying positions on the use of voting as a comparison to enlisting in the military. First, speaker S presents a belief that people who are old enough to fight in wars are old enough to vote. On the basis that their government enlists 17 year olds to fight, speaker S ultimately concludes the group should be allowed to vote. This argument is immediately questionable. What does knowing how to fight in a war have to do with having the skills to vote? Speaker S assumes that the skills applicable to war transfer to the skills necessary to vote.

Our second speaker begins by pointing out the assumption in speaker S’s argument. Speaker T tells us that so long as we go along with the assumption - voting and war require the same skills - the first speaker would make complete sense. But T points out that assumption is not reality presenting the different skills required between the two activities - physical strength for combat, and reasoning power required to vote.

Knowing we are looking for the answer choice pointing out the assumption T exemplifies, we can proceed into answer choice elimination.

Answer Choice (A) This answer choice does not line up with what we see in the stimulus. To start off, this answer says T points out evidence that is good for S’s conclusion. But we know that T is actually pointing out something bad by explaining how S’s assumption about the transfer of skills from war to voting does not make sense.

Answer Choice (B) We can get rid of this answer choice based on understanding of rights. T is not questioning the opponent’s competence. For this answer choice to be correct, we would need to see some sort of direct reference to S’s knowledge rather than information that questions the validity of the overall assumption.

Answer Choice (C) This answer choice do4es not line up with what we predicted from the stimulus. Aside from the fact that the issue of obligation does not appear in our original stimulus, speaker T does not base their argument on something that S has ignored.

Correct Answer Choice (D) This is exactly what we are looking for! This answer choice correctly summarizes the structure of our entire argument by explaining how the second speaker calls into question the assumptions of speaker S.

Answer Choice (E) We can eliminate this answer choice once we get to the word opposite. In saying our argument argues for a conclusion opposite to the one drawn, we would need to see speaker T conclude that 17 year olds should not have the right to vote. Speaker T does not go quite that far. Instead of saying a 17 year old should not have the right to vote, our second speaker merely states that speaker S’s reasoning does not make sense.

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