LSAT 16 – Section 3 – Question 09

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT16 S3 Q09
Flaw or descriptive weakening +Flaw
+Easier 0 +SubsectionMedium

Here we have a flaw question, which we know from the question stem: “The argument’s reasoning 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 question’s objective, we can proceed into structural analysis of the stimulus.

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. Our theater critic kicks off the discussion by explaining how dwindling audience and talent pools lead to the conclusion that theater is in a dismal state. Not a terrible conclusion to draw from those sets of premises. Let’s see what our second speaker has to say about this.

The producer immediately makes the point of disagreement clear. The producer rejects the theater crtic’s argument that theater is in decline. But the producer’s reasoning does not respond to the explanation presented by our theater critic. Instead, the critic explains how having the opinion discourages the pool of audience and talent from joining the theater world. If we’re ranking arguments the producer’s definitely comes dead last. Rather than addressing whether the conclusion was correct, the producer focuses on the consequence of the conclusion that would follow if people held it.

Correct Answer Choice (A) This is exactly what we are looking for. Instead of responding to the argument, the producer presents new information that focuses on the effect of having the opinion to begin with. This is the only answer choice that describes the exact flaw of the stimulus in a way that is descriptively correct.

Answer Choice (B) This answer choice is not descriptively accurate. The producer does not refute the theater critic’s evidence as claimed by this answer choice. Rather than assuming the critic of relying on “unsupported” evidence, the producer ignores the evidence altogether.

Answer Choice (C) This answer choice is not descriptively correct. The producer presents an appeal to a potential consequence of the producer’s opinion instead of some personal characteristic the critic has. We would need a reference to the critic’s character in order to make this the right answer choice.

Answer Choice (D) This answer choice is descriptively accurate and honestly confusing. It’s not clear what “emphasis” this answer choice would even be referring to. Our producer certainly focuses on argument, but their argument just does not respond to our first speaker.

Answer Choice (E) This answer choice is not descriptively correct. By claiming that the producer invokes “authority in order to intimidate the critic” our argument would need to have some sort of reference to an authoritative figure relevant to the topic of theater.

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