LSAT 16 – Section 2 – Question 24

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT16 S2 Q24
Flaw or descriptive weakening +Flaw
+Harder 0 +SubsectionMedium

Here we have a flaw question, which we know from the question stem: “the conclusion that the first sentence in the passage is flawed because…” 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 question’s objective, we can proceed into structural analysis of the stimulus.

This flaw question requires us to have a strong understanding of the argument’s structure. The stimulus begins by telling us the role of the supreme court in this particular country is to protect human rights. Makes sense enough. Things get complicated when our author tells us that the court sometimes needs to go outside of the country’s constitution to figure out how to make decisions on rulings. This is a problem because, as the speaker explains, needing to go outside the constitution inherently makes the court likely not to uphold human rights (by putting themselves at the whim of whoever holds power.) We see the conclusion arise within a linking clause at the end of the text where we are told “it cannot be true that the role of the Uplandian supreme court is to protect all human rights against abuses of government power.”

So, according to our first sentence the court’s role is to protect against human rights abuses. But our author is concluding that contrary to the premise (hey, aren’t we supposed to accept those?) the role of the supreme court is not to protect human rights. Our speaker is telling us the first premise is wrong because premise #3 (needing to adhere to one specific source) exists. Remember the role of our conclusion here. The conclusion is a statement that absolutely must follow based on the truth of the premises. But the truth of premise #1 directly contradicts with our conclusion!

Knowing that our speaker makes a conclusion by rejecting the truth of one of the premises, we can get into the answer choices.

Answer Choice (A) This answer choice is not descriptively accurate. The argument is accused of ignoring data, but we do not see information aside from overall general trends and requirements here. On top of that this answer choice states that the argument uses a “single example” which we can reject for the same reason. Our stimulus focuses on the requirements of a goal rather than a specific instance of that thing happening.

Answer Choice (B) This answer choice is not descriptively accurate. When it says “seeks to defend a view on the grounds…” The answer choice is assuming the stimulus of using the following information directly in the argument. But nowhere in the stimulus do we see a reference to a view being “widely held” in order for the conclusion to be accepted.

Answer Choice (C) This answer choice is not descriptively accurate. When saying the argument “rejects a claim as false on the grounds…” the “grounds” have to line up with the evidence we saw in the stimulus. But the topic of profit appeared nowhere in the discussion of the role of the court.

Answer Choice (D) This answer choice is not descriptively accurate. But we can categorize this common logical flaw by its name; part-to-whole. For this answer choice to be correct, we would need to see a reference to some individual trait of each member of the court and connection to the traits of the whole. This definitely does not line up with our stimulus.

Correct Answer Choice (E) This is exactly what we are looking for! This descriptively accurate flaw answer choice is difficult to unwind. By suggesting it is “equally possible for that premise to be true and some other premise false,” we see the alternative hypothesis. Just as we can conclude premise #3 right and premise #1 wrong, we can reverse our reasoning the same way. This is the only answer choice that points out that our argument ignores the fact that premises are accepted as equally true statements in the absence of any conclusion indicating language.

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